From National Journal:
The foundation of a Cruz presidential campaign looks solid. He has brought in strong organizational talent. His alliances are multiplying in the early nominating states. And his standing among the grassroots has never been better. But one important area remains a source of concern: fundraising.
It’s a vulnerability Cruz is working to address. Earlier this month, the senator slipped away to Los Angeles for a series of meetings with top GOP donors, a trip that included a dinner at the California Club with a group of some 20 Republicans who served as bundlers for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt moderated the event, and said many of the attendees–whom he described as “Steve Forbes Republicans”–came away impressed. “There were blunt electability questions,” Hewitt said. By the time Cruz departed the dinner, he added, “they were all very, very pleasantly surprised.”
Hewitt declined to repeat Cruz’s argument for his own electability, but said: “He’s in the process of proving to people that he’s more Reagan than Goldwater. Opponents of his want to stick the Goldwater tag on him, so his challenge is proving that he’s more Reagan than Goldwater.”
The California swing came on the heels of a whirlwind tour through Manhattan in late November, which included a lengthy one-on-one meeting with GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. Cruz aimed in both trips to correct what he calls a media-driven “caricature” of himself–one that took hold last year after he spearheaded a strategy to defund the Affordable Care Act that ultimately led to a government shutdown.
Despite the recent coastal visits, Cruz’s charm offensive begins in his own backyard, with some of the same Texas donors who shunned him two years ago.
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