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Ted Cruz Is Strong for 2016

Image: Ted Cruz Is Strong for 2016
(Erich Schlegel/ Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 08:30 AM

For 2016, Republicans are understandably worried about Hillary Clinton’s massive political machine and finding the right candidate to win the White House.

But Republicans are fortunate in the high caliber of the pool of candidates when it comes to a potential nominee. The national swelling ranks of successful governors and national leaders from various backgrounds present us with some great options.

Ted Cruz leads the best of the best. Cruz would not only make a great president but would also be the best and strongest option to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton in 2016 is the most invincible political force since Hillary Clinton in 2008, as they said then and now say again. Undoubtedly, she is, and will be, a formidable candidate whose chameleon-style campaign will be attractive to many and dangerous to our country.

Ted Cruz has the ability to build and attract a coalition that will be vibrant beyond just expanding our grass-roots conservative turnout.

Cruz is a leader who is not afraid to stand on principle, speak out for what he believes and ruffle more than a few feathers when it comes time to standing up and fighting for the future of our Republic and everything that has made America the greatest country in the history of mankind.

He’s the candidate many in the mainstream media and Washington chattering class love to hate. He is demonized by many while revered by so many more throughout the heartland of America. He speaks his mind, stands his ground and is willing to fight the fight.

Cruz is grounded by a loving family, his Christian faith, his conservative principles and a moral compass that is all too often lacking in political life.
Cruz is a movement conservative.

When I hear him speak, I am often reminded of one of my first political heroes, Phil Crane. I will never forget when I first met Crane while still a college student when he told our group, “I would rather stand on my principles and lose, than lose my principles and win.”

Well, Ted Cruz is willing to stand on his principles and because of that, I think is uniquely qualified and positioned to win.

First, Cruz the candidate. A son of a Cuban immigrant, Cruz’s upbringing and historical perspective is an important factor in his current thinking. It’s hard to imagine a speech where Cruz doesn’t reflect and draw on his family’s experience and desire to seek freedom and liberty. Escaping an oppressive regime, his family epitomizes the American dream.

His father, Rafael, labored to put food on the table, became a born again Christian and is now a minister. Ted’s mother, Eleanor, was one of 17 children, was the first to go to college where she majored in mathematics and was an early entrant as a woman in the field of computer science.

Ted Cruz graduated from some of America’s greatest universities, worked his way up in public service, and ultimately get elected to the United State Senate.

Cruz and his wife Heidi have two lovely daughters — Caroline and Catherine — a strong faith and a work ethic that is second to none.

Heidi is perhaps the most telegenic and articulate spouse of any potential 2016 candidate. Don’t underestimate what a visible Heidi could do to endear her husband to voters, especially women.

I’ve had a chance to meet Cruz several times over the last few years. I had the unique opportunity to sit with him one on one for well over an hour talking about politics and America. It’s impossible to spend any time with Cruz and not leave impressed. I would have to add, even inspired.

This is a man who believes wholeheartedly in American exceptionalism. A man who understands the challenges American faces and is willing to step into the arena and fight to preserve our liberty and our constitutional framework that has made our country what it is.

When you combine his life experiences, his faith, his family, his education and his principles, you find a well-rounded man who is destined to do great things in service of our country.

When we look at the nominating process for Republicans and the core of our voters and activists, few candidates bring such a unique coalition together. He is a solid, consistent and bold conservative leader who believes in a strong America and a limited government.

Conservatives of many stripes have been looking for a home, a candidate that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. We have that in Ted Cruz.

For the primaries, no other prospective candidate in the field better combines all facets of the “three-legged” stool that can attract, appeal to and represent the economic, social, and national security conservatives.

Tea party members across this country are a growing force within the Republican Party.

Frustrated with the status quo, they have joined our party ranks and have a very influential if not dominating voice in many states across the country. They participate at every level of the process and have become a key to many winning campaigns. Cruz represents their views and passion better than most.

The Christian right continues to be an active and import part of our base. Since 1988, they have fully integrated into the party structure and have completely become the backbone and foundation for many candidates and states around the country. Cruz is a devout Christian who can articulate his faith and values better than most.

Traditional conservatives and limited government conservatives have been looking for a principled leader for years.

Ted Cruz reaches this constituency and can pull in the Reagan Democrats better than most.

Cruz believes in a strong defense and realizes America plays a unique role on the world stage. A strong supporter of freedom-loving people around the world, he has repeatedly stood up for the universal values of freedom and liberty for all. A strong supporter of Israel, he is willing to stand with our allies and ensure a free and democratic society worldwide. Ted Cruz represents this wing of the party better than most.

Finally, Cruz understands the grass-roots of the conservative movement and inspires their passion, commitment and energy necessary to win the Republican nomination.

One only has to look at his race for U.S. Senate, where he came from nowhere to win the nomination and represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. He took on the well-funded establishment candidate, with virtually every political leader united behind his opponent — he ran a campaign against all odds and won.

He’s the quintessential grass-roots candidate, who connects with our poll worker, Women’s Federation member, phone-bank volunteer, and the local precinct worker better than most.

But can he win the general election?

Ted Cruz is a candidate who could capture the GOP base — and potentially achieve conservative turnout not seen in a presidential year since George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004, when Bush netted 11 million votes over his 2000 results, mostly from conservatives.

As a Latino of Cuban-American roots, he is uniquely positioned to win a large percentage of the Latino/Hispanic vote which shares his values and heritage. It’s not hard to imagine that a Ted Cruz candidacy that could bring as much as 40 percent or more of the Latino vote nationwide, as he did in his U.S. Senate race. As the first Latino candidate to have a real shot at the White House, I think his appeal would be unique.

Cruz personifies the Reagan Democrat. A man of faith, anti-communist, self-made, hard-working, and no nonsense political leader who can resonate with the average American voter. 

The culturally conservative voter who shuns politics and partisanship is yearning for a political leader who speaks his mind and say what the “silent majority” is thinking. Ted Cruz can walk on any factory floor, stand at any manufacturing plant gate, join a hunt at any deer camp and share a beer with any working American and make them realize he’s their guy.

But the most intriguing storyline could be that Cruz, after being able to connect with the average American voters in unfiltered ways like the debates and long interviews, might just have a surprisingly strong appeal to independents.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Independents don’t go into the ballot box with a check list of “issues” and litmus tests, which is precisely why they can swing from Democrats to Republicans or vice versa.

Independents want someone who consistently stands on principle, and as much as anything, someone who doesn’t take orders from anyone or any political party. They want someone honest to say that it’s not just the other side that has made mistakes. Cruz is the only guy in the potential 2016 party who says that while he embraces the principles of the Republican Party, his party hasn’t always lived up to those principles.

The fact that independents hate the special interest-connected “establishment” leaders of both parties, means that Cruz has unique selling point; he might be “conservative,” but he is truly independent from any negative influences within our party and sides with a majority of the American people.

For a winning coalition, Cruz doesn’t need to win independents, but he could be more than competitive enough to win overall.

Other than Obama in 2008, no presidential candidate has simultaneously won independents and the overall popular vote since Clinton did it in 1996. There’s a simple reason: When you soften your image and attempt to hide your genuine principles, you might appeal to independents, but you dampen enthusiasm in the base. Romney won Independents by a big 5-point margin but lost 5 million conservatives who had voted for McCain in 2008.

But if Cruz gets 2004 level conservative turnout, the Hispanic vote, and maximizes evangelical turnout and is competitive with independents — he’d beat Hillary.

Heidi Cruz is as smart and as articulate as her husband. She can dazzle donors as well as act as a surrogate on TV or to key constituencies. Plus, Heidi comes out of the world of politics — they married after meeting during Bush's 2000 campaign — so she's relaxed in stressful political situations where other spouses might recoil or wilt under the pressure.

She has the class of Ann Romney, the elegance of Laura Bush, the loyalty of Nancy Reagan, and the tenacity of Hillary Clinton.

As the campaign unfolds, I believe we need a bold leader, a man of character, passion, and principle that is willing to fight the fight.

Like Reagan, he has a clarity of vision, a unique ability to communicate and connect with the average American voter and the focus and drive to get it done. In an endeavor like this, never underestimate a candidate’s character, will and drive. Ted Cruz has the “fire in the belly” to go the distance.

Saul Anuzis served as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 2005-2009 and was a candidate for chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2009 and 2011. He also worked with Newt Gingrich at American Solutions, and on Jack Kemp's 1988 presidential campaign, and serving as chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Dick Posthumus.

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If Ted Cruz gets 2004 level conservative turnout, the Hispanic vote, and maximizes evangelical turnout and is competitive with independents — he’d beat Hillary.
ted, cruz, 2016, hillary
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2014-30-30
Tuesday, 30 Dec 2014 08:30 AM
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