Tags: Tea Party | Ted Cruz | Ted Cruz | tea | party | patriots | anniversary

Ted Cruz Is Superstar at Tea Party Anniversary

Image: Ted Cruz Is Superstar at Tea Party Anniversary

By John Gizzi   |   Friday, 28 Feb 2014 11:10 AM

At the fifth anniversary celebration of Tea Party Patriots, one of the nation's largest conservative grass-roots organizations, the group's biggest political hero was Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Although Cruz's conservative GOP colleagues Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah were given warm welcomes by the hundreds of tea partiers at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Texan drew the loudest applause for his remarks and was mobbed by the largest flock of autograph-seekers.

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"We are making the case for the American people, and let me tell you, I'm absolutely convinced we are going to repeal every single word of Obamacare," Cruz said to a prolonged ovation.

At a briefing with reporters following his address, Cruz told Newsmax that he is not concerned that a national leader has not yet emerged for grass-roots conservatives as Ronald Reagan did in the late 1970s.

Emphasizing his opinion that the tea party movement "emerged from the people, and the American people are its leaders," Cruz said, "I also see an abundance of leaders stepping forward." Although he did not name them, the senator said he considered "anyone who is standing up for the Constitution" as a leader.

"It would be wonderful if 10, 12, or 15 leaders would stand up and make the case for getting back to the Constitution and the fundamental principles that made America great," said Cruz, who is frequently mentioned as a Republican presidential candidate in 2016.

Cruz also praised House Republicans for providing what he called "the only oversight" of the Obama administration.

Cruz recalled how earlier in the week, he had offered a measure in the Senate Judiciary Committee to "make it a criminal offense to target and harass someone because of political views." All the Democrats on the committee voted against his bill, Cruz said.

Noting that it has been nine months since the revelations of the IRS' targeting of conservative tea party groups and President Barack Obama saying he was "embarrassed" by the IRS behavior, Cruz pointed out that "there has been no one indicted so far. The Democrats are now openly embracing the notion that the IRS should not be held accountable."

Cruz held back on saying who he voted for by absentee ballot in the Republican Senate primary next Tuesday. Candidates include fellow Texas Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Steve Stockman, a tea party-backed insurgent.

"I'm not involved in the race," Cruz told reporters. "I tend to stay out of incumbent primaries. I trust the grass-roots."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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