PLUNKETT: A top-tier presidential candidate is coming to the state. Where’s the Mississippi Republican Party?
Maybe you’ve heard.
There is a major GOP presidential candidate coming to the state of Mississippi on Tuesday. But if you are aware, you didn’t get that information from the Mississippi Republican Party.
Ted Cruz, a favorite among conservatives, has been drawing huge crowds on his “SEC Bus Tour” since the first GOP debate on Thursday night. Just yesterday in Alabama, 1400 people swarmed an event that was initially expecting 400 to attend, forcing the entire affair outside.
Cruz has surged in the post-debate polls conducted over the weekend, and is now solidly in the top tier of candidates.
The events in Mississippi, one in Tupelo and the other in Olive Branch, have been broadcast across media outlets for weeks. Yet, the Mississippi Republican Party is quiet. The last communications via the parties social media page promoted Chairman Joe Nosef’s appearance on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ and the news that the debate on Thursday was the highest-rated primary debate in history.
Back in December of 2014 the party hosted presidential hopeful Rand Paul with the theme that the state GOP was “reuniting” following the bruising Senate campaign between Thad Cochran and Chris McDaniel. They welcomed John McCain with open arms in June of 2014 as he campaigned for Cochran. They celebrated a visit by Jeb Bush to the state just a few months ago.
Where is the party support for Cruz?
Does this sound like a party that has “reunited”? Does is sound like a state party that truly cares about “reuniting”? Or does it sound like more of the same picking and choosing political favorites?
Keith Plunkett is the Policy and Communications Director for the United Conservatives Fund. He has worked on communications and policy issues with a range of public officials from aldermen to Congressmen, and a variety of businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He serves or has served as a board member of several non-profit, civic and political organizations. Contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Keithplunkett
Ted Cruz will campaign next week with Chris McDaniel, the insurgent conservative who mounted a high profile but ultimately unsuccessful primary challenge to Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran last year.
Cruz, the Texas senator and GOP presidential candidate, is planning a weeklong swing through the South. While in Mississippi on Tuesday, he’s set to stop in the northern cities of Tupelo and Olive Branch, and McDaniel is expected to accompany him during the trip and ride on Cruz’s campaign bus, Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier confirmed.
McDaniel initially edged Cochran in last summer’s primary election but fell just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff. The GOP establishment rode to Cochran’s rescue in that runoff, and McDaniel further alienated many Republicans when he challenged the results of the second election.
But he is a hero to the deeply conservative grass roots, an important part of Cruz’s base, and he will help Cruz rally supporters in a region that was friendly to McDaniel in the Senate race. Cochran’s victory — aided by a coalition of Magnolia State and D.C. heavy hitters — was seen as a major victory for the establishment — and a warning to tea party challengers eyeing challenges to incumbents.
Cruz, who is at constant odds with his party’s leadership, did not endorse in the Senate race but backed McDaniel’s calls to investigate the runoff results.
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced on Monday morning at Liberty University that he has thrown his hat into the ring for president in 2016. Cruz has become the first candidate of either party to officially declare his candidacy.
Opening his speech by stating, “I believe God is not done with America, yet”, he began with his family and his connection to his faith as he provided a detailed story about his parents. His mother, who grew up in Delaware and became a computer programmer, while his father was a Cuban teenage rebel fighter that fled the chaos at the age of 18 to America. Moving along, he mentioned his family problems from alcohol abuse to marital problems until his parents had a religious awakening that helped find their faith. “There are people who wonder if faith is real, I can tell you in my family there isn’t a second of doubt because if not the transformative love of Jesus Christ, I would have been raised by a single mother.”
Cruz, the first to officially declare his candidacy via Titter Monday at Midnight, his announcement included a 30-second video of “I’m ready to stand with you to lead the fight, will you join me.” A day before, it was reported by the Houston Chronicle of his official announcement for the presidency will occur on Monday.
Mentioning many conservative principles, Cruz told an energetic crowd of students using ‘Imagine’ at the beginning of each sentence laying out what America would be like if he takes office, as each sentence drew many loud applauses. “Imagine instead of economic stagnation, booming economic growth…Imagine abolishing the IRS…Instead of the lawlessness and the president’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, imagine a president that finally, finally, finally secures the borders…Instead of a federal government that seeks to dictate school curriculum through Common Core, imagine repealing every word of Common Core…imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel…Imagine a president who says we will stand up and defeat radical Islamic terrorism, and we will call it by its name. We will defend the United States of America.”
Cruz mentioned Obamacare, as Monday’s anniversary marks its fifth year into law. Gaining national media attention for his 21-hour filibuster on the Senate floor, Cruz and his vocal opposition of the law led to a tense standoff between Republicans and Democrats. Liberty University is also known for filing a lawsuit once President Obama signed Obamacare into law. Cruz mentioned the failures since it was signed into law of “joblessness, millions forced into part-time work, millions forced into part-time work and millions losing their health insurance and doctor.” Cruz ended by repealing “every word of the Obamacare” come 2017.
Ending his speech, Cruz stated his full announcement with “God’s blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation and I believe God isn’t done with America yet. And that is why today, I am announcing that I am running for president of the United States…We will get back and restore that shining city on a hill that is the United States of America.”
A conservative shooting star and firebrand to the Tea Party coalitions, Cruz a first-term senator is seen as a figure who is outspoken, passionate and energetic of his conservative positions to fight against Washington’s status quo. Disliked by some of his colleagues due to his constant pushback against establishment republicans. In 2013, he is known for the 17-day government shutdown as many democrats and some republicans saw this approach of destroying the country due to his battle to defund Obamacare.
His early announcement now puts Cruz in the advantage as he can seize the attention of the tea-party coalition as well as the big donors. Debuting his campaign announcement at Liberty University, an evangelical university, Cruz is also looking to gain traction of evangelical voters with his Christian conservative message to cut through a crowded field. Evangelicals are looking into former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee as their contender as well as former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Cruz, if he wins the nomination and the presidency in 2016 is set to become the nation’s first Hispanic president. Although Cruz was born in Canada, stated by the constitution, he is able to run for president since his mother is a natural born US citizen which meets the standards to run. If Cruz fails to win the nomination or drops out, Cruz will still retain his Senate seat through 2019.
Steve Deace, a nationally-syndicated talk show host wrote an article that would put a knot in any conservative’s stomach for 2016, especially Ted Cruz. In 2012, the rules were changed at the convention to pave the way for the establishment for 2016. Here’s what Steve Deace’s “Little Birdie” from inside the RNC tells him.
“Look closer at the rules and you’ll see this is tailor-made for Jeb Bush 2016,” he told me. “Under the new rules, which were driven down our throats by Bush family loyalist Ben Ginsberg and the establishment at the 2012 convention, states aren’t allowed to have ‘winner-take-all’ primaries until after March 15th. That means all those southern states that go prior to that will have to proportionally-allocate their delegates……all Jeb Bush has to do is wait it out. Get to the more liberal states like New York and California, which show up later on and have huge delegate numbers that are winner-take-all. Sweep the majority of those in the spring and he’s won the nomination. And yet again we would’ve nominated a candidate who is weak where we have to win, and strong where we’ll probably lose.”
You can listen to Steve Deace as he joins me on Conservative Report Radio discussing more about his article and much more.
Steve states that the “Southern Super Tuesday” offering is a ruse for conservatives. Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas , Mississippi and Tennessee are planning a March 1st primary which forces delegates to be counted proportionally and not winner take all.
If conservatives don’t push their Secretary of State in these southern states, to push the primary date to March 15 making it “winner take all”, it will make a conservative harder to get to the magic number and easier for the Establishment candidate to reach it.
Asking Deace if it’s possible for conservatives to have a game plan in liberal blue states in the primary, Steve explains that demographics and the cost of media will make it nearly impossible for a conservative to win these states.
My conservative consultant friends have also confirmed that there is no room for error regarding Ted Cruz. He must win Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada; raising the momentum and money-drive from a united Conservative march to the nomination.
A friend of mine named “Michael from Texas” tells me this:
I think the election will be effectively over before March 15 notwithstanding winner take all. Cruz will have shined in nine debates by then. He will win Iowa and South Carolina. He is more Hispanic than Jeb is (!), so don’t count him out for Florida, either.
This really will be a Jeb vs Cruz battle on March 1. Guess which one won’t have to defend liberal stances on immigration and education?
If I’m wrong then we’re already lost. I’ll be with the Amish tuned completely out in November 2016.
We have all heard the window dressing. We need someone with experience, We need a governor with governor accomplishments. Why aren’t the most important questions asked? The most important question is: Who best represents our values, articulates conservatism and excites the conservative base the most? I think my friend Michael from Texas nails it. It’s hands down Ted Cruz. Who else comes even close? I also believe that excitement and momentum will rule the day and unite conservatives and the cream will rise to the top.
With that said, I’d feel a whole lot better if we southern conservatives mounted an organized effort to get our secretary of state to move the primary calendar date to March 15, then we can give the establishment a beating they’ll never forget.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), a tea party favorite and potential contender for president in 2016 walked out to address a completely packed audience on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Greeted by enthusiastic applause that went on for several minutes, he showed his appreciation to the crowd with his first words: “Wow! God bless CPAC!”
Cruz shared several original jokes, including that Hillary Clinton couldn’t be here at CPAC today because she couldn’t find foreign money to pay for it.
Cruz spoke about what candidates will often say to get elected and urged voters to “Demand action, not talk.” Continuing along those lines, the junior senator from Texas essentially encouraged us to ask candidates, put simply, prove it.
If a candidate tells you they oppose Obamacare, terrific! When have you stood up and fought against it?
If a candidate tells you they oppose Amnesty, terrific! When have you stood up and fought against it?
Continuing this line of questioning, Cruz hit every major concern issue within the Republican base. The First amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, pro-life, marriage, standing with Israel, opposing Iran in acquiring nuclear capacity and Common core. “Actions speak far far louder than words. We need to look to people who walk the walk, and talk the talk.”
Cruz believes that the greatest divide in our nation is not between two political parties.
Biggest divide we have in this country is between career politicians in Washington and the American people.
The party matters only if we stand for liberty and the constitution and the American people.
After much applause and approval from the audience, Cruz ended his speech by asking the audience if they stand for principle to text “constitution” to 33733.
Following his speech, he then took a few Q & A’s from Sean Hannity, as both joked together. Hannity did an impression of President Bill Clinton while asking Cruz his opinion to describe the former president. Cruz replied, “Youth outreach.”
Moving on to more serious questions, Hannity asked what would be his top five issues as a president?
- Repeal Obamacare
- Abolish the IRS
- Stop the EPA
- Defend the Constitution
- Restore global leadership
The inevitable question of gay marriage was asked, and Cruz responded that he believes the power belongs with the state to decide, not the federal government. Bringing up the liberal media, Cruz was asked if he is eligible to be president, since he was born in Canada. Since his mother is a U.S. citizen by birth, as per the constitution, Cruz can run for president. Hannity’s final question: Why does Ted love America?
“This country is the greatest country in the history of the world. A haven for freedom. Speaking of his father’s journey fleeing communist Cuba, “He came to America. No nation on earth has allowed people to come with nothing and achieve anything!”
NOTE: Story has been edited for content after publication.
FreedomWorks hosted Free the People event the last few days in Salt Lake City, Utah and one of the speeches delivered was just epic. As he described his time living in Cuba, Rafael Cruz the father of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, spoke about the tough times he experienced under Fidel Castro and his dictatorship. He passionately spoke about America’s exceptionalism and why we should not apologize for being so. He discussed the comparisons between Castro’s socialism policies with Barack Obama’s actions.
Cruz was a man who was tortured and imprisoned under Castro and managed to escape and make his way to the United States. “I was in prison,” he said. “I was tortured, but by the grace of God I was able to leave Cuba on a student VISA and came to the greatest country on the face of the earth.” He goes into detail about how his mother was an elementary school teacher who was fired because she refused to teach Marxist policies to her students. Under Fidel Castro, Cuba began indoctrinating school children, lowering wages, confiscating property, and redistributing wealth. Cruz knew he wanted more and realized he had endless opportunities in the US.
Rafael also mentions how Castro spoke about “Hope” and “Change” and got everyone around him energized and excited about what he was saying. They all would soon see what this hope and change was all about in the form of socialism.
Cruz talks about once being here in the US, working his way through college at the University of Texas and embracing the opportunities America would present him. He later started a business and became very engaged with politics as he campaigned for Ronald Reagan to help get him elected. He was a fan of free markets and limited government. His time in Cuba gave him a first-hand experience of what socialism looks like, so these types of policies are easily recognizable to him. He seen that happening in the 1970’s, which is why he worked so hard for Ronald Reagan.
“Outside of the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are the greatest two documents that have ever been penned. I think the most ominous words I’ve ever heard was in the last two State of the Union addresses, when our president said, “If Congress does not act, I will act unilaterally,” he said. “Not much different than that old bearded friend I left behind in Cuba.” – Rafael Cruz
Rafael Cruz gave a very passionate speech about American exceptionalism without any notes or a teleprompter. He touched on what occurred during Fidel Castro’s time with his “Hope” and “Change” promises and how he curtailed freedom of the press and instituted socialized medicine. His words were carefully chosen, yet passionately spoken. He certainly passed some great qualities onto his son. We will just wait and see how far Ted goes with them.