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Ted Cruz: I'm Not 'All That Conservative'

Image: Ted Cruz: I'm Not 'All That Conservative'
(Gary Cameron/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 05:29 PM

Media reports about Sen. Ted Cruz’s whirlwind effort this week to court high-powered Jewish donors in New York have highlighted claims that the Texas Republican is "too conservative" to be elected president.

After Cruz met privately with Sheldon Adelson, a source close to the billionaire casino magnate told The New York Observer on Monday that Adelson likes Cruz but believes he is "too right wing" and a longshot for the Republican nomination in 2016.

Adelson later called the Observer to dispute its characterization of his reaction to Cruz, who pointed to a long tradition in which critics seek to paint conservatives in the most negative light possible.

Speaking to Jewish donors at a private kosher lunch, Cruz noted that detractors portrayed President Reagan as "stupid" and Vice President Dick Cheney "evil."

"I sort of take it as a backhanded compliment that they’ve invented a new caricature for me: ‘crazy.’ At the end of the day, that caricature doesn’t trouble me because it’s fundamentally false. The American people have a history of making up their own minds," Cruz said.

In October 1980, "the American people were told Reagan was a wild-eyed cowboy who’s going to lead us into World War III," Cruz added. "People tuned in and watched the debate and said, ‘you know what? I agree with that guy.’ "

Cruz then made a comment that surprised at least some in the room.

"I don’t think I’m all that conservative," he said. "And it’s interesting. Reagan never once beat his chest and said ‘I’m the most conservative guy who ever lived.’ Reagan said, ‘I’m defending commonsense principles.'"

Cruz’s political skills will certainly be put to the test in attempting to win Adelson’s support. The Texan has been sharply critical of efforts by Democrats and Republicans to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.

Adelson, by contrast, has become one of the most outspoken GOP supporters of legalization, calling in an article he wrote at Politico for the United States to institute "a process in which all undocumented immigrants receive permits to legally work here. Let’s provide them with the opportunity to get driver’s licenses and bank accounts—simple things that we all take for granted."

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Media reports about Sen. Ted Cruz’s whirlwind effort this week to court high-powered Jewish donors in New York have highlighted claims that the Texas Republican is "too conservative" to be elected president.
conservative, president, jewish, donors
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2014-29-26
Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 05:29 PM
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