For years, conservatives and Republicans have been asking themselves, who is the next Ronald Reagan?
Many have touted Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) as being the next Reagan for his uncanny ability to deliver inspirational and emotional political speeches, while at the same time pounce on Democrats without having to use divisive rhetoric to lay a smack down against them.
Even Jeb Bush, who is expected to announced a run for president in 2016, has praised Rubio, saying that his protégé is one of the “most gifted speakers” he has ever seen.
And then there is Senator Ted Cruz.
Cruz came into the U.S. Senate in 2012 and has quickly surpassed Rubio as being the conservative choice for president in 2016.
Cruz laughs at being called “crazy” or a “wacko bird” by Democrats and Republicans, who most likely fear that his influence within the Republican electorate is growing exponentially and could pose a huge problem for their personal political interests.
Cruz once told Shark Tank that he took the “wacko bird” remark as a “badge of honor.”
“I sort of take it as a backhanded compliment that they’ve invented a new caricature for me: ‘crazy.’ At the end of the day, that caricature doesn’t trouble me because it’s fundamentally false,” Cruz said. “The American people have a history of making up their own minds.”
Cruz dismissed the notion that some held that he was “too conservative” to have a chance to win the presidency, telling a group of Jewish donors that he remembers when Reagan was “portrayed” as being “stupid” and Vice President Dick Cheney as “evil.”
At the same donor meeting, Cruz said that in 1980, “the American people were told Reagan was a wild-eyed cowboy who’s going to lead us into World War III,” adding that, “People tuned in and watched the debate and said, ‘you know what? I agree with that guy.’ ”
“I don’t think I’m all that conservative,” he said. “And it’s interesting. Reagan never once beat his chest and said ‘I’m the most conservative guy who ever lived.’ Reagan said, ‘I’m defending commonsense principles.'”
Cruz can confidently talk of defending “commonsense principles,” as he has made a rock solid case for himself of sticking to principles and values.
Rubio, who has fallen from conservative grace for co-sponsoring the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill that would have granted amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, legitimized liberal Democrat Senators Schumer and Durbin, and received the seal of approval from President Obama, will have a tough time trying to convince Republican voters that he has regained his principles.
Cruz, on the other hand, who did not back Rubio’s bill, does not have to defend his conservative bonafides and will be able to soak up many of those votes that would have gone to Rubio in a Republican presidential primary race.