Ted Cruz wins big Iowa endorsement. Can he top Trump?

11 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cruz Nabs Endorsement of Another Influential Iowa Conservative.

It’s been a slow and steady climb to the top for GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz. The GOP hopeful on Thursday picked up the highly coveted endorsement of Bob Vander Plaats, an Evangelical leader who heads an influential social conservative advocacy group in the state. “At the end of the day, we truly believe that Ted Cruz is the most consistent and principled conservative who has the ability to not only win Iowa but I believe to win the (Republican) nomination,” Vander Plaats, the president of the Family Leader, told the Des Moines Register.

Vander Plaats completes a “trifecta” —as some Iowa Republicans have put it—of key endorsers for Cruz in the conservative evangelical community in Iowa, joining the company of Congressman Steve King and conservative radio host Steve Deace. He spent the better part of the year leading up to the 2008 contest stumping for Mike Huckabee, who ultimately coasted to a nearly 10-point victory over Mitt Romney.

Vander Plaats endorsed Iowa caucus winners Senator Rick Santorum and Governor Mike Huckabee in 2011 and 2007 respectively, but cited “resources” as one of the reasons he decided to support Cruz this year instead of the two former men who are currently running for president. “We’ve been very impressed by the campaign staff that he has assembled, the people that he’s put around him, the advisers,” the conservative leader explained. “We’ve also taken a look at the resources of Senator Ted Cruz. Four years later, Vander Plaats kept his powder dry for considerably longer before throwing his support behind Rick Santorum less than a month before the 2012 caucus. As you’ve seen in the polls he’s beginning to rise, but not only will he be very strong here in Iowa, we believe we will be strong here in the early states and and we believe he can be the nominee.” In a statement, the organization asserted it wished to be the “standard bearer” and not “endeavor to be a kingmaker” by throwing their weight behind one candidate. Since March, Cruz has been highly visible in Iowa, courting Evangelicals and winning valuable endorsements including the backing of Representative Steve King. Vander Plaat’s decision is a serious blow to a number of Cruz’s rivals who are also hoping that Christian conservative voters will propel them to a victory in Iowa, where Evangelicals make up roughly half of GOP caucus-goers.

Vander Plaats has said he wanted to deliver his stamp of approval well ahead of the caucuses because he hopes it will help spur social conservatives to coalesce around a single candidate. “The extraordinary leader that we need for these extraordinary times is U.S. It’s also a major setback for Ben Carson, who had briefly emerged as the Evangelical favorite before being battered by skepticism over his personal biography and his ability to grasp anything more than the basics of foreign policy. He said this time around, after examining the GOP field, he is backing the candidate “that can go the distance and become the nominee.” “For a lot of people I talked to in Iowa, the difference is Cruz is not as brash as Donald Trump. The freshman senator has been careful not to personally attack GOP frontrunner Donald Trump throughout the race, a strategy his Republican opponents have failed to do. In recent days, Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims entering the U.S. has been condemned by all GOP presidential candidates except Ted Cruz. “Cruz was very careful, while he said he didn’t like the statements he also said that he thought he would put Trump in his cabinet because he is a great negotiator,” said Sanders. “I think Cruz not attacking Trump has to do with the fact that he knows Trump has a ceiling, he thinks he is not going to last and Cruz wants to be there to pick up the pieces, it’s very calculated.” King says he doesn’t believe Senator Cruz is calculating each move but rather abiding by President Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” “Cruz’s MO is to follow Reagan’s 11th Commandment, he hasn’t really been attacking others but he does defend himself when he is being attacked especially when it is not the whole truth.“ Iowa State Senator Dennis Guth says speaking the truth and standing by his convictions are traits Ted Cruz has upheld during his tenure in Congress and on the campaign trail.

He does it in a subtle way without naming anyone.” Professor Sanders says in order for Cruz to sweep the Iowa caucus he needs to continue building his strong base by remaining visible and offering contrasts to Donald Trump and Ben Carson without personally attacking them. “Cruz has very firmly stood for his values that Iowans hold dear.

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