Senator Ted Cruz, along with Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, has been the face of Republican pushback against Obamacare, amnesty for illegal aliens, Obama’s domestic surveillance program and a host of other Obama and big government establishment Republican-supported policies.
And unlike Senator Marco Rubio, whose abandonment of conservatives in favor of the hated Gang of Seven amnesty for illegal aliens bill caused him to precipitously drop out of favor among prospective Republican presidential nominees for 2016, actually standing for conservative principles has begun to make Cruz a credible frontrunner in the key early state of Iowa.
"Cruz is a phenomenon that I haven’t seen the like of in a long time, probably ever," Bob Vander Plaats, CEO of The Family Leader, and an influential voice in Iowa’s Republican caucuses, told TheIowaRepublican.com.
Dane Nealson, the chair of the Story County GOP (who worked on the presidential campaigns for Tim Pawlenty and Rick Perry) said of Cruz to TheIowaRepublican.com, “He’s the best shot I’ve seen so far to unite the factions.”
Nealson may be on to one of Ted Cruz’s strongest selling points: he attracts supporters who backed Rick Santorum, Tm Pawlenty and Rick Perry in 2012 without changing his positions or pandering.
Kevin Hull writing for TheIowaRepublican.com says, “Much of Ted Cruz’ allure is his willingness to stand up for conservative principles. He is leading a charge in the U.S. senate to defund Obamacare. When he mentioned that during his speech, Cruz received an extended standing ovation. The same thing happened when he said we should abolish the IRS. These are not new lines that are exclusive to Ted Cruz. The difference is, when he says them, you actually believe he will fight for those stances.”
Hull sees Ted Cruz as being “popular with libertarians, social conservatives and making waves with mainstream Republicans,” and says “Ted Cruz is exciting Iowa Caucus goers in ways that few candidates ever have. Although he’s a first-term U.S. senator, Cruz’ accomplishments as solicitor general of Texas adds some hefty and impressive experience to his resume.”
Craig Robinson, founder and editor of the influential Iowa Republican blog told The Washington Examiner’s Byron York, “While [Santorum] delivered a good speech, [at the Family Leader’s Ames, Iowa even] he was upstaged by Cruz, who from everything I’ve seen has become the great conservative hope for Iowa conservatives,” Robinson went on to tell York, “You could sense the crowd’s anticipation before Cruz spoke. The energy in the room as he spoke was unmatched by any other speaker that day.”
“Cruz has only been to Iowa twice,” Robinson concluded, “but in the limited time he’s been in the state he’s done everything right.”
Robinson’s fellow blogger Kevin Hull was even more enthusiastic, writing that “Cruz followed up a very impressive appearance at a pastors’ conference in Ames last month with a home run speech at the Family Leadership Summit. He is hitting all the right notes and taking the steps necessary to build a strong presidential campaign.”
“We are two and a half years away from the 2016 Iowa Caucuses,” says Hull, “ but we already have a frontrunner in the race. His name is Ted Cruz.”