Roger L. Simon

Cruz Cruises in Americana Setting

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Is there a more perfect Americana setting than Peterborough, New Hampshire? Maybe a few, but you could count them on half a hand.

Ted Cruz delivered his message early this afternoon in that town’s traditional town hall, whose interior resembles Dartmouth’s Webster Hall but is smaller and, again, more perfect, stunning really in its clean aesthetics.

The event attracted media ranging from Fox’s Bret Baier to Mother Jones’ David Corn, who was scribbling away, clearly eager to refute every word coming from the Texas senator. IMG_1143 2

As with Rubio earlier in the day, I had to admire the skill of Cruz’s well-honed stump speech. But from what I’ve been hearing, Rubio has been drawing the bigger crowds. (They just changed the venue of his Super Bowl party to a sports academy because of a plethora of rsvps.) Whether that translates into votes, we will find out shortly.

IMG_1141In his speech, Cruz made much of his opposition to eminent domain, clearly to get at Trump. The Texas senator’s position is popular in New Hampshire, but when a questioner sought to push him to an extreme on the issue, Ted backed off, noting that there were instances where eminent domain would be necessary, like the Keystone pipeline.

So in the end he didn’t sound so far from Trump — which lends credence to what I’ve been saying for awhile. Almost all the Republicans are quite close to each other on the issues. What we are watching is largely a battle of personalities and “experience. ”

One of the most amusing moments in Cruz’s speech came when he said he agreed in some ways with Bernie Sanders — that Washington is broken.

But when something is broken, Ted quipped, what you don’t need is more of it.

Touché.