On Saturday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, received several standing ovations during the speech he made at the 4th annual Western Conservative Summit in Colorado.
On Sunday, he was the recipient of an even bigger prize: a victory in the conference’s straw poll for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, reports the Washington Times.
Cruz garnered captured 45 percent of the 504 total votes cast by those attending the three-day Summit.
John Andrews, founder of the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University, which hosted the event, said Cruz’s riveting address could very well be the start of a journey that ends up in the White House.
“We shall see what sort of crystal ball summiteers have in awarding that decisive nod to Sen. Ted Cruz, who was so magnificent from this platform,” Andrews said.
Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., placed a distant second in the straw poll with 13 percent of the vote.
Walker delivered the keynote address Friday.
Third place was shared by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and former Florida Rep. Allen West with 9 percent each.
West was the featured speaker at the Summit Sunday; Paul did not attend the conference.
On Saturday, Cruz made it clear that for the time being, his only political aspiration at the moment is to get things done in the Senate.
“At this point, 100 percent of my focus is on the U.S. Senate,” Cruz said.
“And the reason is simple: The Senate’s the battlefield. The Senate is where these fights are being fought.
So I’m devoting my time, No. 1, to trying to stand up for free-market principles and the Constitution.”
Cruz also said he’s convinced there’s a “real possibility for Republicans to retake the Senate and retire Harry Reid as majority leader.”
One of the highlights of Cruz’s speech was the introduction of Don’t Fund It, a national campaign designed to put an end to Obamacare by eliminating its funding from the Sept. 30 budget resolution.
Cruz also called for the end of the Internal Revenue Service, which he said would be possible by simplifying the tax code.
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