Momentum is building for former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz to pull the biggest upset in the 2012 election cycle by defeating establishment candidate Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Tuesday’s July 31 runoff. When Texans go to the polls, voting to change the way Washington works and get this country back on track means voting Ted Cruz for senator.
If you were writing a compelling script for an inspiring only-in-America movie, you couldn’t design a better Senate candidate than Ted Cruz. This 41-year old Hispanic Texas native is the son of a Baptist pastor who escaped from Cuba as a young man, graduated near the top of his class both from Princeton and Harvard Law School (where he was also an editor on the Harvard Law Review). He has argued and represented the State of Texas in some of the most important constitutional cases in U.S. history before the U.S. Supreme Court, defending everything from the Ten Commandments at the Texas State Capitol, to the Second Amendment, to taking on the United Nations, the World Court, and even the U.S. government to uphold state sovereignty—and won.
This last case is most significant in this race because in that state sovereignty case, Medellin v. Texas, Cruz was taking on a Republican president and his own former governor, George W. Bush. The hallmark of a constitutional conservative is his willingness to take on both parties when they stray from the Constitution. As a nation we will not effectively take on the structural problems facing this country that were created on a bipartisan basis—such as the need for fundamental entitlement reform of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, or massive federal involvement in education and other areas of state and local concern—unless we have a critical mass of congressmen and senators serious about returning to the Supreme Law of the Land.
Dewhurst has reportedly poured over $16 million of his vast $200 million personal wealth into negative attack ads against Cruz, largely trying to tarnish Cruz’s character because his public record is spotless and his policy positions are 100% conservative. Nonetheless, Cruz has continued to gain against Dewhurst, due to a combination of Cruz being a picture-perfect candidate, Dewhurst’s record of moderate positions, and the growing mood of Texans to elect someone they are confident will stand for the Constitution rather than typical GOP politics.
Although Cruz also had the upper hand in their first televised debate, the final debates in the last two weeks, on July 17 and July 23, respectively, weren’t even close. Cruz eviscerated Dewhurst, thumping the Lt. Governor both on style and substance.
One example that illustrates the differences between the two candidates is healthcare. Dewhurst attempted to neutralize Cruz’s advantage by repeatedly saying he was a conservative and the two candidates were aligned on the issues, a line parroted by the establishment-media moderator for the July 17 debate. Cruz debunked this assertion, seizing the floor to explain that two points where he and Dewhurst seriously differ is that Dewhurst has repeatedly supported expanding Medicaid—breaking with conservative Texas Governor Rick Perry on that issue—and publicly stating that he believes healthcare outcomes in America are sometimes inferior to European countries with socialized medicine. Cruz argues for limiting government-run medicine and allowing market-based solutions, and pointed out that the European studies cited by Dewhurst came from left-wing U.N. affiliates such as the World Health Organization, which measure the wrong things to determine quality of healthcare.
Another example is tackling illegal immigration, which is especially important to Texas Republicans. Dewhurst supports a form of amnesty broader than Barack Obama, raising the idea in 2007 not only of allowing young illegal aliens to remain in the country, but possibly a program for many or all illegal aliens. Then when Dewhurst began his campaign for Senate, he ordered that speech (and other inconvenient speeches) removed from his government website.
Also regarding immigration, during the second debate the establishment-media moderator tried to corner Cruz’s support for a border fence by pointing to the cost of securing the entire Texas border with Mexico, and asking how a conservative could ever support such spending. Cruz responded that a true constitutional conservative limits the federal government to addressing those issues the Constitution requires it to cover, and make sure it does those jobs well. Securing the border is one of those issues, and if we get the government out of areas where it has no business, it will have the manpower and funds to secure the border and execute its other constitutional duties. Perfect answer.
Cruz also scored points by illustrating how Dewhurst’s campaign rhetoric is contradicted by his record. A telling example of Dewhurst changing his position is that he supported legislation raising Texas payroll taxes, a position he now says he never embraced despite media quotations to the contrary. Cruz zinged him on this point, saying, “The lieutenant governor’s office issued a press release praising the [Texas] Senate for passing a payroll tax. Whenever anyone points to his record, his response is to call them a liar, and I’m curious to know if he thinks his own website is lying.”
When moderators have pointed to Dewhurst’s longer record of experience (supporting establishment and moderate GOP policies) and asking Cruz why he should be senator, Cruz simply responded, “I have spent a lifetime fighting for the Constitution and winning on a national level.”
That sums up this race well as to why Cruz is the better choice for Senate. Republicans share the blame with Democrats in creating some of the problems facing America today. We need serious change to get back to the Constitution for the sake of our children. Although the GOP has the potential to become the vehicle for restoring the Constitution, it will only do so if Americans elect true constitutional conservatives to high office.
Ted Cruz is a brilliant, eloquent, and steadfast champion of constitutional conservative principles, and so next week Texas Republicans should nominate him to represent them in the U.S. Senate.
Breitbart News legal contributor Ken Klukowski is the coauthor of Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America.