At the Values Voter Summit on Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a potential 2016 presidential candidate, emphatically told conservatives that they will only reverse the damage that radical Democrats have done to the country if they do not run away from their values in a country that is still right of center.
Cruz believes morning in America will await if Republicans unashamedly embrace their values. He has said that when Republicans like Ronald Reagan do, they win. And when Republicans try to be softer versions of Democrats, they lose, because values voters stay home.
“There are people in Washington who say Republicans have to abandon values,” he said of liberal Republicans who want to appeal to the mainstream press. “Our values are who we are. Our values are why we’re here. Our values are fundamentally American.”
Chief among those values, according to Cruz, is religious liberty. He said “America begins with the fundamental premise of religious liberty” as the rights of citizens “come from mighty God” and not from government, so they cannot be taken away. He spoke about the “victory for religious liberty” in the Hobby Lobby case and said America “remains a center-right country built on Judeo-Christian values” that values and cherishes its Constitutional liberties.
“And anyone who tells you differently is lying to you,” he said.
Cruz depicted how the left has moved more away from the American mainstream, saying “the modern Democrat Party has become an extreme, radical party.” Cruz denounced the federal government for “suing the Little Sisters of the Poor to force Catholic nuns to pay for abortion-inducing drugs” and said, “we ought to invite Hillary Clinton to spend a day debating the Little Sisters of the Poor” on the side of the federal government.
“As for me, I’ll stand with the nuns,” Cruz said. “If you’re suing nuns, you’ve done something really wrong.”
He mentioned that when Democrats introduced legislation in the Senate to repeal the protections of religious liberty in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, not one Democrat stood for religious freedom. He said even though the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) stood against a Constitutional amendment to repeal the free speech protections in the First Amendment, zero Democrats stood with the late Kennedy this year in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) Senate. He joked that when his father turned on C-SPAN and saw him making a speech on the Senate floor with a picture of Kennedy, he thought Cruz had gone “native” in D.C.
“If you want to defend the First Amendment, our free speech, our religious liberty, vote Harry Reid out,” Cruz said to a rousing standing ovation.”
In contrast, Cruz said that what conservatives stand for are more mainstream in these “dangerous, extreme, radical times” in which Americans are more pessimistic about the future. Cruz said that it is un-American for so many Americans to think their children will not do better than they have.
“We offer a choice, not an echo,” Cruz said, echoing Reagan, of how to appeal to more Americans.
In order to win, Cruz said that conservatives must paint in ‘bold colors” and not “pale pastels.”
“We stand for life. We stand for marriage. We stand for Israel,” he continued. “We bring back jobs and opportunities and unleash small businesses to make it easier for people to achieve the American dream.”
And when conservatives win, Cruz said conservatives should not relent.
“In 2017, with a Republican president in the White House, we’re going to sign legislation repealing every word of Obamacare,” he said.
That’s not all Cruz wanted to get rid of.
“Abolish the IRS,” he thunderously said. “Repeal Common Core.”
Cruz also revealed a story about his parents that highlighted the importance faith has had in his life.
Cruz said his father’s colleague asked his father to attend a Baptist Church, and his father accepted the invitation and “gave his life to Jesus.” He soon “bought an airplane ticket and flew back to Calgary to rejoin my mother and to rejoin his son.”
He also discussed Saeed Abedini, the jailed pastor who has been converting Iranian prison guards to Christianity. He spoke at length about Mariam Ibrahim, who refused to renounce Jesus Christ even though she was sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man; Andrew Tahmooressi, the American marine jailed in Mexico; Leopoldo Lopez in Venezuela; Kenneth Bae in North Korea; and Alan Gross in Cuba.
Cruz pivoted to American exceptionalism and how precious the country’s freedoms and liberties, especially religious liberty, are in a more dangerous world. He said from the Revolutionary War to the Cold War, in which America prevailed without firing a bullet, Americans have experienced God’s providential blessings, and that is why he is still optimistic about America’s future.
“I’m convinced God isn’t done with America yet,” Cruz said. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.