THE FEDERALIST: Cruz’s Presidential Campaign Announcement Hits All the Right Notes

By Robert Tracinski, The Federalist

What is Ted Cruz running for? I mean, he’s running for president, of course. But for what reason is he running? What is his goal, how is he selling himself to the voters—and what does he want to do with the office if he gets it?

The Federalist asked me to go see his official announcement speech at Liberty University. It wasn’t likely to contain a lot of surprises; Ted Cruz is a known entity, unlike another first-term Senator who ran for president. But I wanted to see what he would emphasize and what message he would send about how he intends to run.

Cruz is a very articulate guy—quite at ease with an audience, and with no need for a TelePrompTer—so it’s no surprise that he gave us the phrase that sums up his campaign. He described it as a movement of “courageous conservatives.”

To back that up, the whole middle of his speech was a complete rundown of the dream agenda of the conservative base.

He promised to “repeal every word of ObamaCare” and also to “repeal every word of Common Core,” the federal government’s power grab over local school curriculum. This is not quite accurate because Common Core has never actually been written down as a law. But he got around to that later, promising to reverse the current president’s practice of using executive power to bypass Congress.

He promised to secure the borders (but also to make sure that America is “welcoming to those who come to achieve the American dream”). He promised to defend the Second Amendment. He promised to push for a flat tax. And to “abolish the IRS.” Really.

Those are just the highlights. Put it this way: I’m going to have to eat a salad for lunch, because I feel like I just gorged on red meat.

There were a few items that might seem surprising, reflecting the more libertarian aspect of the right’s agenda. Cruz promised an unregulated Internet, in a clear jab at Net Neutrality, and he promised to protect our right to privacy against government surveillance.

Cruz didn’t say much about foreign policy, except for declaring that he would not accept a nuclear Iran. But within a few sentences, he talked about “American exceptionalism,” about being a “shining city on a hill,” and—in case we didn’t get the message already—called us the “indispensable nation.” His promise to “stand with Israel” was one of the biggest applause lines of the speech and was met, interestingly, with chants of “USA! USA!” On the right, it seems that support for Israel has become an issue of American patriotism.

In case you’re skeptical about whether he can achieve any of this, he ended with a rundown of the “unimaginable” achievements of Ronald Reagan: lowering the top income tax rate from 70% to 28%, reigniting economic growth, winning the Cold War, and so on. “And yet, with the grace of God, that’s exactly what happened…. Compared to that, repealing ObamaCare and abolishing the IRS ain’t all that tough.”

He declared: “The power of the American people when we rise up and stand for liberty knows no bounds.” That’s when he gave us the line about “courageous conservatives.” So his message to the right is, if I may put it this way: “Yes, we can.”

You can draw your own conclusions from that. We’ll have time later to discuss whether Cruz is electable in the general election and whether he can really achieve what he claims he can. But now we have confirmation of the niche he’s carving out in the primaries: he’s the guy who promises to deliver the whole agenda of the right.

Continue reading at The Federalist…

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey @ Flickr

40 replies
  1. Bill Wallace
    Bill Wallace says:

    why aren’t you guys attacking him for not being born in America like you accused Obama. So confused, never mind, call hypocrisy. Just like a progressive republican.

    • Geoffrey T. Flanders
      Geoffrey T. Flanders says:

      Bill Wallace, the Constitution requires the President be ” a natural born citizen”. That does not necessarily mean born in the United States. It means being legally a US citizen at birth rather than someone who was later legally naturalized.. If Cruz was a US citizen at birth, then he is qualified.

    • Sara Richmond
      Sara Richmond says:

      All of Obama’s records are still sealed via court order…Cruz is proud of who he is and isn’t hiding anything…unlike Obama who continues to deny access to press and citizens to government documents that they have every right to examine…unlike Obama who is ashamed of America and believes it needs transformed…Cruz loves America and knows it to be the beacon of freedom to the world that needs restored…that Constitution that Obama wants to sidestep is what protects us all from a government sworn to protect us that instead abuses us…

    • Bill Wallace
      Bill Wallace says:

      Sara, constitution doesn’t require release of any documents. The point is he is a citizen in the same way Cruz was, by birth because his mother was a citizen. I am talking about birthers not all the other stuff you try to change the subject about.

    • Bruce Smith
      Bruce Smith says:

      So your acussing Cruz…and then calling hypocrite …your are indeed and idiot. You cant really jump on that sword without looking stupid just let that one go.

  2. Bill Wallace
    Bill Wallace says:

    why aren’t you guys attacking him for not being born in America like you accused Obama. So confused, never mind, call hypocrisy. Just like a progressive republican.

    • Geoffrey T. Flanders
      Geoffrey T. Flanders says:

      Bill Wallace, the Constitution requires the President be ” a natural born citizen”. That does not necessarily mean born in the United States. It means being legally a US citizen at birth rather than someone who was later legally naturalized.. If Cruz was a US citizen at birth, then he is qualified.

    • Sara Richmond
      Sara Richmond says:

      All of Obama’s records are still sealed via court order…Cruz is proud of who he is and isn’t hiding anything…unlike Obama who continues to deny access to press and citizens to government documents that they have every right to examine…unlike Obama who is ashamed of America and believes it needs transformed…Cruz loves America and knows it to be the beacon of freedom to the world that needs restored…that Constitution that Obama wants to sidestep is what protects us all from a government sworn to protect us that instead abuses us…

    • Bill Wallace
      Bill Wallace says:

      Sara, constitution doesn’t require release of any documents. The point is he is a citizen in the same way Cruz was, by birth because his mother was a citizen. I am talking about birthers not all the other stuff you try to change the subject about.

    • Bruce Smith
      Bruce Smith says:

      So your acussing Cruz…and then calling hypocrite …your are indeed and idiot. You cant really jump on that sword without looking stupid just let that one go.

    • Bruce Smith
      Bruce Smith says:

      Hill ….pft she is shoe in because why ?? apparently she can be beat by a virtual nobody with no experience. I to HOPE the Hill runs but she will never make the cut.

    • Bruce Smith
      Bruce Smith says:

      Hill ….pft she is shoe in because why ?? apparently she can be beat by a virtual nobody with no experience. I to HOPE the Hill runs but she will never make the cut.

  3. Mike Stover
    Mike Stover says:

    Love to see a Tea Party Member in there shaking up the party! Go Ted Go! Who wouldn’t want to see the end of the I.R.S., Country with Boarders, and privatized Heath insurance completing for your business. A flat tax that everyone can understand. The man has some very valid ideas. More than the current lets Socialize everything big Government plan of Mr. O’Bummer!

  4. Mike Stover
    Mike Stover says:

    Love to see a Tea Party Member in there shaking up the party! Go Ted Go! Who wouldn’t want to see the end of the I.R.S., Country with Boarders, and privatized Heath insurance completing for your business. A flat tax that everyone can understand. The man has some very valid ideas. More than the current lets Socialize everything big Government plan of Mr. O’Bummer!

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