Skip to comments.Ted Cruz rides momentum into Iowa
Posted on 08/02/2014 11:37:18 AM PDT by SoConPubbie
Sen. Ted Cruz arrives in Iowa this weekend riding a wave of political momentum after clashing with GOP leaders in Washington over immigration legislation.
Cruz, a Republican from Texas, is emerging as a favorite of conservative activists, who every four years play an outsized role during the Iowa caucus, the first contest of the GOP presidential primary.
He bolstered his reputation as a Tea Party rebel over the last two weeks by repeatedly meeting with House conservatives who forced GOP leaders to rework an emergency bill aimed at stopping unaccompanied minors from streaming across the Texas border.
Anti-establishment conservatives in Iowa are applauding Cruzs role.
Whenever we need a voice in Washington, he seems to be the most eager to stand up for we out here in the grassroots, said Steve Deace, a conservative radio host based in Iowa. The more people disdain him in D.C., the more theyre going to improve his chances in 2016.
The anger and disenchantment with the GOP [establishment] within the conservative grassroots is even worse than I thought it was, he added. A lot of these people out here want to be for whoever Washington, D.C. is against.
Cruz this weekend will attend an event sponsored by local Republican powerbroker Bruce Rastetter, who has hosted other GOP presidential hopefuls such as Sarah Palin and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, according to The Des Moines Register.
Deace said Rastetter is a major GOP donor who prizes electability above all else.
Rastetter just wants to support people he thinks can win. A guy like Rastetter is not going to meet with Cruz unless he thinks hes a serious player, he said.
Recent polls by Fox News and CNN show the field of likely contenders for the GOP nomination is tightly packed, with Cruz coming within a few points of the frontrunners.
One of the persistent knocks on Cruz from GOP strategists is that he would not be electable in a general election against Hillary Clinton, the Democrats expected nominee.
Cruz will make a return trip to Iowa the following weekend to attend the Family Leadership Summit in Ames. Other presidential hopefuls, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Jindal are also scheduled to attend that conclave of social conservatives
GOP strategists say the recent battle with party leaders over the border legislation will help Cruz distinguish himself from the field.
Obviously this is a critical issue for Ted Cruz and a way to springboard to a larger agenda, said Ford OConnell, a strategist who worked on Sen. John McCains (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign. It certainly gives him a launching point and a second life after the shutdown to re-inject his name in the conversation.
Cruz took on members of his leadership, such as Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who endorsed speeding deportation proceedings as a way to deal with the estimated 57,000 illegal immigrant children apprehended at the southern border.
Cruz argued in private meetings to conservatives that this approach would prove ineffective because the underlying reason for the migratory surge was President Obamas 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
House conservatives agreed and tanked a bill that that didnt address DACA directly, although House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had promised a vote on a separate measure dealing with the presidents controversial order.
With Cruz heading to Iowa Friday, GOP leaders regrouped and passed the bill after strengthening language to appease the Texas senators allies in the House GOP conference.
Cruz sprang into the national political spotlight in the fall of 2013 when he led a revolt of House conservatives against a government stop-gap spending measure because it would have allowed the implementation of ObamaCare. Since then, he has kept a relatively low profile.
The unfolding immigration crisis at the Texas border gave him another opportunity to mobilize conservatives and battle leaders over an issue that Tea Party voters care deeply about.
There are a lot of Republican voters who are not pleased with the Republican leadership. So theres value for Cruz not just standing up against President Obama, which every Republican is doing, but theres value at times in standing up to the party itself, said Matt Mackowiak, a GOP strategist. Thats particularly true in the presidential campaign. Its a great way to differentiate yourself.
Mackowiak said Cruz has strong credentials among conservative activists in Iowa because he has battled his party over two hot-button issues, the Affordable Care Act and immigration reform.
Cruz also played a leading role in battling against the 2013 comprehensive Senate immigration reform bill, which Rubio, his rival, co-authored. Rubios standing in presidential primary states plummeted in the wake of his high-profile support for the Senate bill.
But Romney was electable, right?
I was pretty sure from reading FR that Iowa caucuses are a tool of the GOP-E. It's so hard to keep up with the memes these days!
Anyone who votes for Romney this time around should just be honest and wear an Sh*t For Brains T-shirt.
As good as November 2014 will probably be, November 2016 is shaping up as even better.
I’m not surprised the gop-e wants to kick off the presidential campaign in a state that kept sending Tom Harkin to the Senate.
"Free Republic is here to continue fighting for independence and freedom and against the unconstitutional encroachment of ever expanding socialist government...
We believe in the founding principles with all our hearts and mean to defend them to our dying breath..."
So much for an “outsized role” for conservative activists, eh?
“So theres value for Cruz not just standing up against President Obama, which every Republican is doing, but theres value at times in standing up to the party itself, said Matt Mackowiak, a GOP strategist.
IF every Republican WAS opposing Obama we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in right now Matt Mackowiak! You seems grossly misinformed to say the least!
God bless Sen. Cruz and may his tribe increase!
I’ve always been surprised at Harkin’s strength in Iowa. I don’t really understand why it’s not more Conservative. I’ve also questioned the caucus system that’s used in the presidential nomination process but what can I say after our recent Mississippi Republican primary.
Harkin’s strength comes from industrialized and Catholic eastern Iowa.
The Republican Party at its founding was not conservative. Neither was the Republican Party that was part of the Progressive Movement. The Iowa GOP has mostly been home to ‘moderates’, with a few exceptions like H.R. Gross and Steve King.
Iowa caucuses do NOT pick pledged delegates to the national convention. They are local organizational meetings. (How do parties in other states pick local party officials?) All the attention is for a casual, non-binding presidential preference poll.
Yes, but the GOP-e never started the IA caucuses. It just works to their Dole-like benefit.
There was a Senator Jack Miller who was conservative too, but he got booted out with Nixon’s big win in 1972.
Progressives believe that there is “No Progress without taxation.”
Unlimited taxation was an early goal of ambitious politicians in “both” political parties in a various pockets of Socialist Movements in America.
Minnesota was a hot-bed originating State for the “tax ‘em until they die” Progressives back in Progressive Teddy Roosevelt’s day.
Iowa is just downstream from Minnesota - - - .
The first, (in a National Election cycle), true American Primary State is South Carolina.
Unfortunately, TEXAS is one of the last.
Yes. Democrats reformed the Iowa caucuses starting in 1972 in order to blunt the influence of THEIR establishment-types, yielding McGovern and Carter.
“You can’t cheat an honest electorate.” Reform all you want. As long as enough people want to ‘legally’ steal from and coerce others, no nominating system is going to make a difference.
Coming from the state that’s home to Senator Thad Cochran, GOP-E Grand Wizard Emeritus, that’s rich.
How do you figure? Santorum won the caucus, Romney came in second, and Ron Paul got all the delegates? Huckabee won in ‘08.
As I recall, Romney claimed victory with a false lead for the first few days. Most never knew Santorum led, and he did nothing in NH and didn’t even get on his own VA ballot. I could support Santorum again if he ran though.
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