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The Most Important Question Donald Trump Must Answer Tonight

Back in July in his column “Only Three of Twenty Presidential Candidates Are Message Carriers” CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie made the case that of the twenty candidates then in the 2016 presidential contest only three: Republicans Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and Democrat Bernie Sanders were “message carriers” for grassroots dissatisfaction with the status quo in Washington and in their own parties. 

Mr. Viguerie said “voting for them is a clear rejection of the status quo in their parties, and in the conduct of the federal government,” and as the campaign has progressed it has become clearer and clearer that a substantial Donald Trumpmajority of Republicans favor candidates who will change the status quo. 

While Senator Ted Cruz has introduced a steady stream of conservative bills and released a series of solidly conservative policy proposals on issues from tax reform, to economic revival and job creation, to defeating Islamism and protecting the American homeland from jihad, the question “change to what?” has remained largely unanswered by Mr. Trump. 

And Senator Cruz’s clarity in answering the question “change to what?” is one of the primary reasons Mr. Viguerie recently chose to endorse Senator Cruz for President over Mr. Trump. 

As Mr. Viguerie pointed-out in his endorsement, Ted Cruz has been a leader of almost all the conservative policy battles on Capitol Hill. Conservatives do not have to wonder whether if, when the chips are down, Ted Cruz will be right on the cultural issues. Ted Cruz has fought for, and will continue to fight for the conservative agenda:

Defunding Obamacare 

Defunding Planned Parenthood 

Stopping out-of-control spending 

Stopping amnesty for illegal aliens and securing the border 

Defeating ISIS and the doctrine of Islamic supremacy 

Eliminating the burdens of the Obama regulatory state 

Reining-in the IRS, the EPA and other out-of-control agencies 

And most importantly, he has fought to bring the federal government back within strict constitutional limits 

Because they share a similar message Cruz and Trump have yet to seriously clash on the campaign trail or at one of the debates, but as Senator Cruz has risen in the polls and eclipsed Mr. Trump in Iowa the two “message carriers” are set for an inevitable clash – perhaps for the first time in tonight’s CNN debate. 

Mr. Trump telegraphed where that clash might be headed in an interview with Chris Wallace on last Sunday’s Fox News Sunday by commenting “He'll [Senator Cruz] never get anything done. That's the problem with Ted,” and making the further point that Senator Cruz has clashed with some of his colleagues and the Republican leadership in the Senate. 

The problem with this line of attack on Senator Cruz is that, as Mr. Viguerie pointed-out in his endorsement, these clashes in the Senate have been all about Republican leaders keeping their campaign promises and “If Ted Cruz has made enemies among his Senate colleagues, it is for all the right reasons.” 

Mr. Trump often touts his skill as a negotiator, and goodness knows he’s right that Obama has been regularly out-negotiated by other world leaders, especially the Ayatollahs of Iran and those, like the Japanese and Koreans, who want free access to American markets while protecting their own domestic trade – but not everything in government and politics is open to negotiation, there are often principles at stake that conservatives believe should not be compromised or negotiated away. 

And let's not forget that former Speaker of the House John Boehner and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both claimed they could “get things done,” and we have seen what their idea of getting things “done” is; more deficit spending, a vast increase in the national debt, more legal and illegal immigration and the general advancement of the Big Business – Big Government agenda of the Silicon Valley – Wall Street – Washington Axis to the detriment of America’s working families. 

And their attitude that everything is negotiable is at its core is why conservatives have come to despise the current establishment Republican leadership on Capitol Hill and celebrate Senator Cruz as the leader of principled constitutional conservatives in Congress. 

To Mr. Trump we say, claiming that a President Cruz will never get anything “done” is not the same thing as saying what you will get done.  

Mr. Trump, with his flair for the dramatic and media savvy, remains an effective message carrier for grassroots frustration with Washington, but he has yet to tell conservatives what he would actually do if elected and answer the most important question of the campaign; “change to what?”

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