The following was written by Joshua Green and published by Bloomberg:
As Iowans finally prepare to caucus Monday evening, the state’s Republican voters and the dozen candidates jockeying for their support agree on one big thing: Barack Obama’s presidency has been disastrous for America and the next president’s mission must be, in front-runner Donald Trump’s trademarked phrase, to “make America great again.” But the two leading candidates, Trump and Ted Cruz, are offering these disaffected voters two very different solutions for how they would achieve this.
As he’s crisscrossed Iowa, Trump has touted his own personal strength and resolve as the only thing that can sweep away the entrenched political order in Washington. “When somebody doesn’t treat you properly, you gotta be tough, you gotta be strong,” he said at a rally on Friday. “That goes for the country.”
By contrast, Cruz tells voters at every stop—with eerie, metronomic precision—that redemption can only be achieved through his own brand of conservative purity. At a packed Ames rally on Saturday, Cruz rattled off the government agencies he would abolish and the hard-right policies he would champion as president, imploring Republicans to nominate a “strong conservative,” and not “a Bob Dole, or a John McCain, or Mitt Romney” if they wanted retake the White House.
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