Steve Deace, nationally syndicated talk radio host and political powerbroker in Iowa says that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is “on a path to the White House.” On Wednesday, Deace to the DC establishment-organ, Politico, to explain the appeal of Cruz to the Republican base and, potentially, general election voters. The article can be summarized in two words: Ronald Reagan.
Looking back from 2013, it is easy to forget that Reagan was a candidate strenuously opposed by the Republican establishment in DC. The candidacy of George H.W. Bush in the 1980 primaries was meant to stop Reagan from winning the GOP nomination. As Deace notes, Reagan had the “worldview and charisma capable of coalescing enough of the conservative/libertarian base to defeat the Republican ruling class in a national primary.”
Deace writes that, “[t]he ruling class in both parties sees Cruz as a singular threat to a failed status quo. That means he’s a viable champion for conservatives and libertarians in the Republican base that utterly loathe the ruling classes in both parties.”
The irony, as Deace notes, is that Cruz’s rapid rise in popularity with the Republican base would not have been as possible but for the “immature” response of the GOP establishment to his fight to defund ObamaCare. It is quite one thing to disagree with Cruz’s strategy, which I had some misgivings about, and quite another to take to the cable airwaves to trash Cruz or shop opposition research on Cruz to cable anchors.
Whatever failings of Cruz’s plan, and many of these are mitigated by his stellar performance on Tuesday, the response of the GOP establishment is simply mind-boggling. While Sens. Cruz, Lee, Rand and Rubio and some others were criticizing ObamaCare, the GOP establishment was obsessed with “wacko-birds” and “tactics.”
Deace is a Republican mover in Iowa. If he sees something in Cruz, you can bet lots of caucus voters there will too.