Sounding positively Reaganesque at times, Senator Ted Crux lit up the crowd at the Iowa State Fair — a traditional sounding board for presidential candidates — by giving a barn burner of a speech that alternated between heavy criticism of the president and offering a vision of a bright future once conservatives take back the country.
Oh…did I mention he spoke coherently and passionately for 20 minutes — without the use of a teleprompter?
To regain the majority in Washington, Cruz said conservatives needed to champion economic growth and contrast their proposals with Obama’s economic record; protect constitutional liberties, from First Amendment protections of speech to Fourth Amendment protections of privacy; and stand up more to foreign leaders like President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
“It reminds you of a new diet that’s really quite popular in Washington these days. It’s called the Obama diet,” Cruz said after mentioning both the butter cow and a pork chop on a stick. “You just let Putin eat your lunch every day.”
Like other leading Republicans, Cruz cast his economic pitch as positive for minorities and the working poor – those he said have been hurt the most by the economy over the last five years.
Cruz, for instance, said that work requirements in ObamaCare were making it harder for people to find full-time work, and pushed back once more on the blame the GOP has received for last October’s government shutdown.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also sought to offer a more inclusive message with a new anti-poverty plan, ahead of the 2016 campaign.
Still, Cruz wasn’t shy in knocking the president for a variety of issues, including the IRS’s improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups and National Security Agency surveillance techniques.
He also placed the blame for the recent border crisis on Obama, called for a repeal of the Common Core education curriculum and even found a way to get in a shot at the rumored front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016 – former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“We are seeing the consequences of the Obama/Clinton foreign policy playing out across the globe,” Cruz said. “It seems like the whole world is on fire right now.”
Cruz will also speak at the Family Leadership Summit this weekend.