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Presidential Horse Race 2016: The Ted Cruz ad that will win the 2016 Election

Sitting in an otherwise dry and lifeless Political Science class at Ucla was not always my idea of fun during my college years, but one subject I do recall as being entertaining and relevant was our discussion of political ads.

Advertisements come in many different forms, ranging from straight positive appeals to the voter to vicious attack ads designed to bring down an opponent’s favorability numbers with the public. Still others plant a seed in people’s minds about a key issue or candidate (think about the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth ad here).

Ted Cruz InvasionThen there are those that visually convey a message. Those rare moments are pure magic, since not only do viewers grasp what the candidate is trying to say, they’re seeing it play out on the screen at the same time.

Such is the case for Ted Cruz’s latest ad, titled “Invasion.” If you haven’t seen it yet, click the link. This is the type of spot that’s a game-changer.

The ad’s brilliance is in its simplicity. Pictured are a bunch of people in business attire and dress shoes wading across a river and running away from a border fence. It’s jaw-dropping.

Cruz speaks while the video runs, “I understand that when the mainstream media covers immigration it doesn’t often see it as an economic issue. But I can tell you, it is a very personal economic issue. And I will say the politics of it would be very very different if a bunch of lawyers or bankers were crossing the Rio Grande. Or if a bunch of people with journalism degrees were coming over and driving down the wages of the press, then we would be seeing stories about the economic calamity that is befalling our nation.”

It’s said Lyndon Johnson clinched the 1964 Election with the famous “Daisy” ad. Likewise, Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America Again” ads were just as devastating to Walter Mondale’s hopes of winning the 1984 Election.

Ted Cruz has taken the most salient issue in the Republican primary campaign and broken it down to its essence. The party establishment doesn’t worry about illegal immigration because the people who are flooding across the Mexican border aren’t competing for their cushy jobs on K Street.

Likewise, the Chamber of Commerce welcomes aliens and their cheap labor to pad profits of the business class at the expense of American workers.

But to the Americans who do the real working and living in the country, illegal aliens are a way-of-life-threatening issue. That’s why survey after survey exposes the rage ordinary people feel towards the political class.

Ted Cruz understands the raw emotion of the people and intends to do something about it. His “Invasion” ad will no doubt further his quest to do just that.

Donald Trump’s dissing of the George W. Bush legacy is only helping him

For those still wondering how Donald Trump has remained the leader in Republican presidential race polls going back to last summer, he again provided the answer on Wednesday morning.

Sarah Westwood of the Washington Examiner reports on Trump’s appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program: “Trump…lashed out at the last Republican to hold the White House, and said the George W. Bush administration was the point at which America needed to be made great again.

“’I was very unhappy with the Bush years,’ he said. ‘I was very unhappy when Bush went into Iraq.’”

In the interview Trump also questioned Ted Cruz’s ability to build a wall on the Mexican border, but the discussion stayed short of a Trump-like attack on Cruz’s character. In this sense, he’s honoring the détente that seems to exist between the two frontrunners.

What The Donald said about Bush and Iraq isn’t new or particularly controversial – at least by his standards. But it does provide some insight into his popularity and why the Republican establishment has failed over and over again to cut into his lead.

To Jeb and the rest of the establishment, Trump’s continued jabs at George W. Bush are akin to heresy. These folks are the ones who still put the Iraq War forward as a great success that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton ultimately ruined by pulling out of the conflict too soon.

They reason if we only had thousands of American troops still there, ISIS wouldn’t exist and everything would be peachy in the region.

The only problem with this line of thinking is it doesn’t gel with the views of the American public – including many within the Republican Party itself. George W. Bush’s post-presidency approval numbers have risen, true, but most people still see Bush’s war as a costly and expensive overreach.

No matter how hard they try, the Republican elites can’t convince Americans that Obama and Hillary are solely responsible for the mess that is today’s Middle East (likewise, Hillary can’t credibly argue Bush deserves all the blame either). George W. Bush led the invasion. He certainly is complicit in what came after, especially since he’s the one who upset the balance.

Trump isn’t intimidated by the establishment’s horror at the mere questioning of Bush’s legacy. In fact, he seems to feed off the anger of the party elites whenever they protest something he’s said or done. You can see it on his face.

The establishment would much rather turn back the clock to 2008 and 2012 when almost all of the Republican candidates (except for Ron Paul, of course) toed the line on rubber-stamping Bush’s foreign policy. If John McCain had won, does anyone doubt there would still be a major U.S. presence in the region today?

How about Mitt Romney?

Truth is, the Republican Party has been doubling down on an unpopular Bush legacy for years and Trump has been smart enough to part with it.

Karl Rove would beg to disagree – but no one listens to Rove anymore anyway.

The Donald also remains confident he’ll win in the end, too. Bob Cusack of The Hill reports Trump said during an interview at Trump Tower in New York, “’I’ve been a closer all my life. It’s what I do — I win. Other people don’t win. I know more about winning than anyone.’

“’I close. Other people don’t close,’ the GOP front-runner added.

“The confident statements go much further than when The Hill interviewed Trump in July during his surge to the top of the Republican field. Asked then if he would win the party nod, Trump dodged the question, saying such a prediction would be ‘presumptuous.’”

Trump insists he’ll win because he is the most electable candidate – and he’ll expand the electoral map where Republicans can compete, most notably in Pennsylvania and his home state of New York.

The voters will soon answer whether Trump is right in terms of his electability – but they’ve already decided on the veracity of his opinions of George W. Bush. It’s a decided yes.

Cruz keeps it positive in Iowa, won’t answer Trump’s birther claim

In the above referenced Trump MSNBC interview, The Donald declined to expand on his recently calling into question Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be president (due to Cruz’s Canadian birth). But the controversy remains.

Would Ted respond?

Rebecca Berg of Real Clear Politics reports Cruz said in Iowa, “As others have thrown rocks and others have tossed insults, I haven’t reciprocated. And I don’t intend to start now.”

Berg highlights The Donald’s statements from last September where he indicated Cruz already passed the citizenship test. Bringing it up now doesn’t make much sense in that context.

Trump may be feeling the heat in Iowa, or again, he might be providing another opportunity for Cruz to take the high road on an issue that isn’t going to matter to many people (since it’s already been settled legally).

Cruz has largely avoided directly criticizing his rivals (except for Marco Rubio on foreign policy and immigration), so it shouldn’t be hard to stay on message against Trump’s birther claim. There’s simply no reason to get down into the mud when what he’s doing appears to be working so well already.

Ted’s “Invasion” ad is a perfect example of his philosophy. It focuses on the pro-amnesty elites and negligent media, not his opponents.

Trump can do his thing and Cruz will go his own way. I think Ted’s is a very smart strategy.

Rubio ditches coach, flies private jet in style

Finally today, everyone knows campaigns engaged in tough election fights need to save money wherever they can. Many a candidate has lost an election before the voting even starts by expanding his campaign operation beyond reasonable limits.

If you don’t believe it, ask Jeb Bush.

Now comes news Marco Rubio’s been doing a little luxury spending of his own. Shane Goldmacher of Politico reports, “After spending most of 2015 bragging about its thriftiness when it came to flying commercial and coach, Marco Rubio quietly has been using a private jet almost exclusively for his campaign travel for nearly two months and plans to continue to do so through the primaries.

“The jet-setting represents a dramatic about-face for the Rubio campaign. As recently as last September, Rubio campaign manager Terry Sullivan bragged that ‘Marco flies 95 percent commercial, always coach.’”

Maybe Marco got stuck in the middle seat too many times and decided to upgrade to more comfortable travel accommodations.

But doesn’t every candidate do the same thing? Not like Marco, apparently.

“While most campaigns that can afford it do use private planes at least some of the time, few made the point that Rubio’s did last year of emphasizing that they don’t,” Goldmacher added.

The Rubio campaign says the added flexibility afforded by the plane allows them to schedule more fundraisers… but isn’t some of that additional money going just to pay for the plane?

How a candidate allocates resources gives some indication on how he’ll handle your tax dollars in office. If Rubio ends up the president, count on him to live it up a little bit at our expense (like Obama).

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