DES MOINES, Iowa — In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News backstage at the Iowa Freedom Summit, potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) detailed the pathway to victory for Republicans in 2016—and he explained a new phrase he started using in his speech minutes earlier.
Cruz introduced a new major theme, the “Miracle of America,” in his speech to the thousands of Iowans gathered at the event hosted by Citizens United and Rep. Steve King (R-IA).
“What I want to talk to you about today is reigniting the Miracle of America,” Cruz said in his speech in the Hoyt Sherman Place theater in downtown Des Moines. “This country was built on an extraordinary miracle. The Miracle of America began with a revolutionary idea—which was that our rights, they don’t come from government. They come from God almighty. The Constitution, as Jefferson says, serves as chains to bind the mischief of government.”
He used the phrase, “Miracle of America, many more times throughout the speech, and after almost every line, Cruz earned loud applause from the thousand-plus in the room.
When asked to explain the meaning of the phrase during his exclusive interview with Breitbart News backstage, Cruz said that it signifies the “extraordinary challenge” Americans are facing over the next two years—and the importance of how big of a deal it is to actually fight for those values laid out by America’s founders. Cruz said:
We’re facing a time of extraordinary challenge right now and over the next two years. Americans need to come together to reignite the ‘Miracle Of America.’
The Miracle of America consists of the principles this country was founded on, first and foremost that our rights come from God Almighty—not from government—and that the Constitution serves, as Jefferson puts it, as chains to bind the mischief of government.
Secondly, the unlimited opportunity of free men and free women to achieve their dreams—if you’re single mom waiting tables, if you’re a teenage immigrant washing dishes, the miracle of America is that you too can achieve your heart’s desire with hard work and diligence. Anything is possible.
Third, American exceptionalism—that we are a unique nation, the indispensable nation on earth, a clarion voice for freedom that we will speak for liberty, for truth. That we will be as Reagan put it, a shining city on a hill.
In his interview with Breitbart News, Cruz said that Americans nationwide “want to believe again” in that “Miracle of America”—but can’t because of President Barack Obama’s “failures” and the obstacles put in place by the permanent political class. He went on:
All across our country are millions of hardworking men and women who want to believe again in the miracle of America and yet, under the failures of the Obama agenda, that miracle to many seems to be slipping away. Every one of us wants a better future for our kids and our grandkids, and the singular challenge of this next election is to bring together a broad coalition of Americans unified behind the broad proposition that we will together reignite the miracle of America for this generation, the next generation, and generations to come after that.
Cruz has indicated in previous interviews with Breitbart News, notably last weekend at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention in Myrtle Beach, that he is seriously considering a run for the presidency. When asked in this interview what puts him in a better position than any other potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate to restore that “miracle of America,” he implored Iowa caucus-goers and grassroots activists nationwide to actually vet the records of GOP candidates. Cruz elaborated:
In my remarks today at the Freedom Summit, I talked about the special role that Iowa plays—that the caucus-goers in Iowa play, which is to look candidates in the eyes and to test them. To press them. In any Republican primary, candidate after candidate will claim to be conservative. Scripture tells us ‘you shall know them by their fruits.’ What I urge the Iowa caucus-goers to do is to ask every candidate: don’t tell me you’re conservative. Show me. Show me where you’ve stood up and fought for principle. Show me where you’ve led. Show me what you’ve accomplished.
If you look at the great challenges of the day, whether it is repealing Obamacare, stopping the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, or fighting to prevent the debt ceiling being raised and trillions more in debt being added, or fighting to protect the Second Amendment and right to keep and bear arms, or fighting to protect religious liberty, or fighting to defend life and marriage, or fighting against the nation of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, or fighting to repeal Common Core, or fighting to defend Israel.
The question Iowa caucus-goers should ask every candidate is: what have you done? How have you led? A former boss of mine used to say, ‘if I’m ever accused of being a Christian, I’d like for there to be enough evidence to convict me.’ I think the same thing is true for being a conservative. Iowa caucus-goers will take very seriously their responsibility to scrutinize the actual records of every candidate and ask, ‘When have you stood up and walked the walk and followed through and led in defending conservative principles?’
Cruz said that the 2016 presidential election is going to be an “epochal fork in the road” for Americans—they can choose to continue down the same unsustainable path of big government and debt, or they can reverse it by electing someone like him president.
“This next election is an epochal fork in the road,” Cruz said. “It’s now or never. We have not yet reached the point of no return, but we are close. When President Obama was elected, the national debt was $10 trillion. Today, it’s over $18 trillion. It’s larger than the size of our entire economy. There comes a point when the hole is too deep. There comes a point when we cannot turn it around. We’re not there yet. But I believe if we have four or eight more years along this path, we risk doing irreparable damage to the greatest nation in the history of the world.”
Cruz said he believes that the 2016 election will closely resemble the 1980 election, the year Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter. He notes, correctly, that Reagan was despised in Washington—and that the so-called Reagan Revolution came from the people, not the politicians. He continued:
For that reason, I believe 2016 is going to be an election like 1980. I think President Obama bears uncanny resemblance to Jimmy Carter—same failed economic policies, out of control spending and taxes and regulation, same economic stagnation and misery and malaise, same feckless and naive foreign policy. In 1980, the Reagan revolution didn’t come from Washington. It came from the American people. It came from the grassroots. It came from people like those here today. It came from people like those gathered last week in South Carolina. Millions of men and women who said we cannot keep going down this road. We have to get back to the free market principles and constitutional liberty this country was built on. I am profoundly optimistic because of the men and women gathered here today. I think the same thing that happened in 1980 is happening right now. The hope for America, the hope to reignite the miracle of America, is millions of grassroots activists all across this country standing up and saying we want to, once again, realize the promise of America.
Cruz said the 2016 GOP nominee must be a conservative, like himself, and not an establishment Republican like Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, or Chris Christie, because an establishment Republican would lose to the Democrat—most likely Hillary Clinton. Cruz said:
I agree with President Reagan that the path to victory at the ballot box lies with painting with bold colors and not with pale pastels. In past elections, we have tried running to the mushy middle. It doesn’t work. If we nominate another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole or a John McCain or a Mitt Romney—all of whom are good, honest men of decent character, but they did not win. Their electoral strategy was not successful and if we nominate another candidate in the same mold, the same voters who stayed home in 2008 and 2012 will stay home in 2016, and Hillary Clinton will be the next president. The path to victory lies with drawing a line in the sand, drawing a bold, clear contrast and painting a positive, optimistic, hopeful vision that we can get back to a better way. We can get back to principles that have made America the greatest country in the history of the world. That’s the path to victory, and it’s also the path to turning the country around once we win.