In his third trip to Iowa in the last year and in front of a record Reagan Dinner crowd for the Iowa Republican Party on Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted the mainstream media and the Republican consultants urging the GOP candidates to keep their heads down and try to win elections by becoming the lesser of two evils.
He said that Republicans taking advice of the mainstream media is a “little bit like taking healthcare advice from Dr. Kevorkian.”
“They’re not desiring the same end outcome you’re desiring,” Cruz said of the mainstream media, who, along with Washington Republican politicians and consultants, have blistered Cruz for his defunding Obamacare strategy and living up to his campaign promises to represent his constituents and not Washington’s ruling class.
They have said Republicans need to moderate to win elections, and Cruz obliterated that strategy as one that has cost Republicans election after election and was antithetical to how Ronald Reagan ran his campaigns.
“You guys pushing for a stand on Obamacare–that’s risky. No, no, no, no… Just keep your heads down and we’ll win races,” Cruz said of what GOP consultants are advising candidates before the 2014 elections.
He then emphatically declared, “That’s not how you win races.”
Cruz said Republican consultants and the mainstream media are driven by the “old Nixonian adage” that candidates should run to the right in primaries and race to the middle in the general election to be just a bit more conservative than the Democrat to attempt to get every marginal voter.
“What complete poppycock,” Cruz said. “That is based on the oh-so-clever idea that if your opponent is here on the spectrum, you want to be infinitesimally to the right… The problem is if you do that, you destroy every single reason anyone has to show up and vote.”
After saying it would be a “good start” to dump all of the establishment Washington strategists into the ocean, Cruz pointed out that the “least bad alternative” approach to elections cost Republicans in 2006, 2008, and 2012.
“Shock about shocks, we got our clocks cleaned,” Cruz said of the “keeping you head down” strategy favored by the Republican elite.
He then said 2010 was different due to conservatives being powered by the Tea Party because they ran on positive ideas of economic freedom and fiercely and unambiguously against Obamacare in what turned out to be a “tidal wave” election for Republicans. He was perplexed that consultants would like to go back to the “least bad alternative” strategy in 2014.
As he has repeatedly emphasized while he has taken the “bold colors” approach instead of the “pale pastels” approach to politics, Cruz said that the rise of the grassroots is a paradigm shift that is scaring Washington’s ruling class. And, unlike the Obamacare website, it has been beta tested with the Reagan revolution.
He said Reagan never said, “I am almost exactly like Jimmy Carter! Except I’m imperceptibly teeny-weeny more conservative…”
He reminded the audience that Reagan said:
President Carter and I have a different visions of this country and our future. If you believe in freedom, in standing on your own feet, if you believe that government is not the solution, government is the problem, then stand with me and that is how we saw an epic transformation.
And Cruz said such boldness has already paid dividends on numerous occasions.
Because of the grassroots, Cruz said Obama had to admit in writing that the Constitution limits his authority to target U.S. citizens on American soil. He said the grassroots defeated the Obama administration’s all-out push for gun control after Newtown even when the “conventional wisdom” was that more gun control was “unstoppable” and he mentioned his work on an law enforcement alternative bill that he had worked on with Iowa’s Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) that received 52 votes before Democrats filibustered it.
“No administration in history has tried to come after the Second Amendment like this administration,” Cruz said. He also told attendees to keep their cell phones turned on to “make sure President Obama hears everything that we say tonight.”
He also blasted the Obama administration for their “complete disregard of religious liberty” and mentioned stories of “servicemen and servicewoman” that “cannot share their faith with others or risk discipline.”
He said the “idea that the men and women who risked everything to defend our liberty check their constitutional rights at the door” is “anathema to who we are.”
On immigration, Cruz said because the grassroots refused to support amnesty, the Senate’s immigration bill has stalled in the House. Obama’s potential invasion of Syria was stopped dead in its tracks. And Cruz noted the defunding Obamacare effort made Democrats take a lot of stupid votes that exposed their hypocrisy and would come back to haunt them.
He emphasized that nothing matters more in 2014 than an “energized” and “active” grassroots.
Cruz also said the ideas of “growth and freedom” unify the evangelical community with the liberty movement and can bring together Main Street, the business community, and the Tea Party. And he emphasized that the “biggest lie in all of politics is that Republicans are the party of the rich” and urged Republicans to make the case to Hispanics and African Americans about how the free market is the best way for economic mobility and how terribly the Obama administration’s policies–like Obamacare–have disproportionately hurt poor Americans.
Gopal Krishna, of the Iowa Republican Party, said in introducing Cruz that the dinner’s “record attendance” and “record media coverage” proves that he is a “soaring eagle” in Iowa.