The New York Observer excerpted some choice lines from Ted Cruz’s meetings with various prominent Jewish leaders in New York City this week.
He’s definitely doing prep work for 2016 and, thanks to gross mischaracterizations of him by both Republicans and Democrats, he is probably quite underestimated all around. He is also smart enough to turn this to his advantage in these early stages of the election cycle. Responding to a question inspired by one of the more popular narratives — he can’t win — that Democrats and moderate Republicans are eerily in sync on, Senator Cruz had this to say:
Mr. Boteach said, “You are arguably the strongest U.S. Senator when it comes to Israel. But if you run, can you win? You’re seen as a champion of the tea party. And the media tends to caricature.”
Mr. Cruz replied, “Historically, the media has had two caricatures of Republicans. We are either stupid or evil.”
“Sometimes both!” volunteered one of the lunchers.
Mr. Cruz laughed and continued. “Reagan was stupid, according to the media. George W. Bush, Dan Quayle, stupid. Nixon was evil, Cheney was evil. I sort of take it as a backhanded compliment that they’ve invented a new caricature for me—crazy. At the end of the day, that caricature doesn’t trouble me because it’s fundamentally false. The American people have a history of making up their own minds.”
Mr. Cruz said that as groups who might be skeptical—like the one in this room—come to know him, doubts will be dispelled and stereotypes will be shattered.
He is right about this and the will guarantee that his detractors will expend a lot of effort trying to falsely define him.
Cruz surprised some by saying:
I don’t think I’m all that conservative. And it’s interesting. Reagan never once beat his chest and said, “I’m the most conservative guy who ever lived.” Reagan said, “I’m defending common sense principles—small businesses, small towns.”
The senator is correct about this as well. The Democrats were hijacked by ’60s era radicals and have been drifting ever-leftward for at least forty years. Republican moderates, driven by a desperate need to be liked, tend to get caught up in the wake of the Democrats and drift along with them, even if slowly and behind them. So, relative to a political class that is moving away from the American people, Cruz might seem uber-conservative. Real conservatives, however, don’t have a malleable set of political principles to work with. We’re where we have always been on the political spectrum, and a lot of the American people have always been here with us.
When you look at a red/blue map after the last election, the Democrats are ideologically and geographically at the outer edges of America. They’re literally a fringe party right now.
Ted Cruz isn’t an extremist, no matter how many times Democrat hacks and the John McCain crowd say he is. He’s aligned with regular Americans who are tired of Washington raiding our wallets.