While Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and some other potential contenders for 2016 opted out of the Iowa Ag Summit this weekend, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was roundly applauded by both the crowd and the media for rejecting the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), an ethanol subsidy that contributes significantly to Iowa’s farming economy.
“Look, I recognize that this is a gathering of a lot of folks who the answer you’d like me to give is ‘I’m for the RFS, darnit,’ that’d be the easy thing to do,” Cruz said. “But I’ll tell you, people are pretty fed up, I think, with politicians that run around and tell one group one thing, tell another group another thing, and then they go to Washington and they don’t do anything that they said they would do. And I think that’s a big part of the reason we have the problems we have in Washington, is there have been career politicians in both parties that aren’t listening to the American people and aren’t doing what they said they would do.”
The crowd responded with what some in attendance described as the strongest applause of the day. Per an earlier report by Breitbart’s Sarah Rumpf, some Beltway media outlets were listening and nodding in approval, as well. Cruz’s handing of the issue ‘”drew praise from a number of conservative media outlets.”
Joel Gehrke at National Review noted that Cruz had “managed to turn a disagreement with a crowd of Iowa businesses and farmers into an applause line,” and noted that the audience’s applause after his comments about the RFS gave Cruz “the warmest welcome so far” that day.
Hot Air blogger Jazz Shaw called the question of whether to support the RFS “a test of character for the nascent candidates on a matter of vital interest,” and praised Cruz’s strong and independent voice on the issue, describing his comments as a “potential game changer”….'”
I’ve expressed doubts in the past about the long term viability of Ted Cruz on the national stage, particularly given the horribly effective way the media has sold the “crazy wingnut” stories to the public. But this guy has demonstrated the kind of intestinal fortitude that is far too often lacking in GOP leaders, and he certainly showed those qualities once again in Iowa. Take this as a benchmark for the coming campaign.
Reached for comment, the Cruz campaign issued the following statement: “Ted Cruz is straightforward about what he believes, whether he is in Iowa, Texas, or Washington DC. We need more leaders who tell the truth about what they will do and the response to that kind of honesty is very positive.”