In the News
The Houston Chronicle speculates that the departure of Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., from the United States Senate to head the Heritage Foundation could elevate Sen. Elect Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to be the tea party leader in the Senate.
Cruz could fill Demint’s shoes
DeMint, the founder of the Senate tea party caucus, is departing from the Senate to lead the Heritage Foundation, one of the leading conservative think tanks, according to the Houston Chronicle. This leaves a power vacuum for conservatives in the Senate that might be filled by Cruz, even though he is a political novice who has not actually been sworn in as a senator. DeMint’s departure is being keenly felt, especially in a time when fiscal cliff negotiations require, in the view of conservatives, a strong hand to oppose President Obama’s drive to raise taxes. Cruz, a firm fiscal conservative, may fit that bill, according to some analysts.
Cruz was elected on the strength of the tea party
In an election year that did not see a lot of Republican success, Cruz’s elevation to the Senate, which first involved defeating Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst then winning the general election, proved to be a rare bright spot, according to Fox News Latino. The Washington Post noted that conservative leaders such as Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, and DeMint himself stumped for Cruz during his primary fight. Cruz’s candidacy was heavily supported by Texas tea party activists and his electoral success is seen as a victory over the Republican establishment, as represented by Dewhurst.
Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah could move to fill the void left by South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint, who announced plans Thursday to resign from Congress to take the reigns of The Heritage Foundation.
Higher-profile tea party favorites, such as Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, are believed to have presidential aspirations and to be uninterested in building a political power base in Congress.
But Republican operatives said the tea-party-affiliated senators that DeMint leaves behind are hardly eager for another activist member in their ranks to be deemed their leader and enforcer on key legislative votes.
“Each have their own brand with their own motivations and their own goals they’d like to accomplish,” a senior Republican Senate aide said.
The Republican senators “who share his viewpoints didn’t like competing for attention or being told they were his gang, so this is probably OK with a lot of folks,” a second GOP Senate aide added.
The bench of conservatives who could take the baton from DeMint is deep, and many were elected in 2010 and 2012 at least partly because of his support. They include Sen. Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, the former president of the Club for Growth who this year succeeded DeMint as chairman of the conservative Senate GOP Steering Committee, and Sen.-elect Ted Cruz.
The incoming Texas freshman ran an insurgent primary campaign against the establishment favorite, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and is therefore viewed as a natural to pick up where DeMint left off. He received significant financial support from DeMint and the Club for Growth. But Cruz has accepted the post of vice chairman for grass-roots outreach at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, an odd move if his goal is to play the role of rabble-rouser from within.
Texas Sen.-elect Ted Cruz advised the Republican Party to rebrand itself under a banner of “Opportunity Conservatism” during a sweeping speech Thursday night that will only stoke speculation about a 2016 presidential run.
Speaking before the conservative American Principles Project dinner at a downtown Washington hotel, Cruz said the GOP’s thumping in the 2012 elections was more the result of poor messaging and communication than the wrong ideology.
“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument,” Cruz said before pointedly lowering his voice. “We didn’t even make the argument.”
While the 41-year-old Cuban-American warned that Republicans need not abandon their principles in order to rebound electorally, he did suggest the party should retool its rhetoric on economic and cultural issues.
“We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder,” he said.
Ted Cruz, the Republican senator-elect from Texas who’s replacing retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, knows he doesn’t quite fit certain molds found in Washington.
“I’m something that’s not supposed to exist: An Hispanic Republican,” he said Thursday.
But it’s precisely that background and his grass-roots appeal that make him attractive to a Republican base that’s hastily seeking to adapt to the nation’s changing demographics.
According to election exit polls, 10% of the 2012 electorate was Hispanic, marking the first time the voting bloc reached a double-digit figure. In 2008, they represented 9% of the vote. President Barack Obama overwhelming won Hispanic voters, 71% to 27% over GOP candidate Mitt Romney.
Speaking to a crowd of conservatives at the American Principles Project gala in Washington, Cruz offered his own post-mortem analysis of the GOP’s big election loss. He said Republicans “didn’t win the argument” on the contraceptive debate and the so-called war on women.
WASHINGTON — Rising Republican star Ted Cruz made his first visit to the Capitol as senator-elect from Texas on Tuesday, telling reporters that he is willing to find common ground with Barack Obama if the president is genuinely “serious about solving the deficit and the debt and that he wanted to get people back to work.”
“On the campaign trail, the president said that he wanted to bring people together, that he wanted to get serious about solving the deficit and the debt and that he wanted to get people back to work,” Cruz said after meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “And if he’s serious with that, then I think and believe that Republicans are ready to work with him.”
Asked where he sees common ground with Obama, Cruz responded: “It depends if we have the president from the campaign trail or the president from the last four years in office. I can tell you, speaking personally, and I obviously can’t speak for anyone other than myself, if the president is serious about tackling the grave fiscal and economic challenges in this country, about reducing our debt and deficit and getting people back to work, I will happily work with him.”
The most important issue in this election is the economy and jobs. Unfortunately, President Obama has demonstrated time and again a fundamental misunderstanding of how the economy works, the sources of its problems, and how to restore rapid growth. The question voters need to answer between now and Election Day is, if things continue on their current course, will you be better off in the future? If the answer is no, you should vote to change course.
The economy today is stuck in malaise.
- About one-fifth of the workforce today is unemployed, under-employed (i.e., working part-time rather than full-time), or has stopped looking for work.
- The median household income has fallen by $4,000.
- The economy has created about 400,000 more jobs than it has lost since the president’s inauguration.
- Average annual GDP growth since 2009 has been 1.5 percent, compared to the post–World War II average of 3.3 percent.
America deserves better, and past presidents have succeeded where President Obama has failed. Under President Reagan, for example, the U.S. confronted a severe recession in 1981–82, where unemployment soared to 10.8 percent. But in 1983, unemployment dropped 2.5 percentage points and GDP growth was 4.5 percent. In 1984, Reagan’s reelection year, unemployment fell another 1.1 percentage points while GDP soared to an eye-popping 7.2 percent. Meanwhile, GDP growth in year three of the Obama presidency was 2.4 percent, and so far this year it has been a paltry 1.7 percent.
Every four years, we hear the same line: No election in history has ever mattered more than this one. This election, however, truly will determine whether our nation’s path veers toward greatness or continued decline.
Part of the reason many Americans are so cynical is that they’ve heard it all before, and nothing seems to change. That’s because America’s problems are not Democratic or Republican problems. Politicians from both parties have failed to lead and have put us in the mess we’re in.
America is at a crisis point. Alarmingly, our nation’s debt has surpassed its gross domestic product. We’re on the same road Greece is on, but there is a big difference. There are nations that can bail out Greece. The truth is, there isn’t anyone who can bail out America.
That’s why all across this country, we’re seeing a great awakening rising up to take our country back. Whether you call it the Tea Party, conservatism or just plain common sense, Americans are standing up for liberty, the Constitution and limited government.
Ted Cruz joins Richard Mourdock and Deb Fischer as its latest victors.
On July 31, former Republican senator Bob Bennett made a bold pronouncement on the Fox Business Network. “I do feel that the Tea Party wave is receding,” he said, “and it’s not going to be nearly as big a factor in this election as it was in 2010.” There was a tone of hopefulness in Bennett’s prediction. In 2010, the three-term Utah senator had been one of the Tea Party’s top Republican targets, losing his renomination with a humiliating third place finish at the state GOP convention.
The upset victory of Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, whom Conventional Wisdom had destined for the November General Election, continues to reverberate across the Lone Star State. The strength of the Texas Tea Party apparently took everyone – except for the Cruz camp – by surprise.
“I spoke with Ted Cruz after the AP (Associated Press) called the race and congratulated him on his remarkable victory,” said Texas Senator John Cornyn during a telephone conference with Texas and national media on Wednesday, July 31. “I told him I looked forward to working with him as I am confident he will win in November senatorial race.”
Texas U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz will be among the “headliners” addressing the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Wednesday that the former state solicitor general will address the Aug. 27-30 convention along with four other conservative notables, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.