Ted Cruz

Renewable Cronyism

Featured image I take a more benign view than most conservatives of some of the dreadful budget compromises of the recent omnibus, because spending packages are always going to contain a lot of give and take. Better to look at the long game, to judge if any small victories or compromises may make possible better outcomes down the road. Such small details are as unsatisfying as cold peas, and often don’t pan »

Does Rubio’s Gang of Eight membership doom him?

Featured image It wasn’t long ago that conservative proponents of comprehensive immigration reform were insisting that the idea is popular among Republican voters. In 2014, the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin told us, “nope, immigration reform [isn’t] toxic” and that “the anti-immigration forces are loud but in the distinct minority” within the Republican party. To be fair, Rubin and others of the same view backed up their claim with poll data, but they »

High stakes in the coming Trump-Cruz clash

Featured image Earlier today, I speculated about the coming battle between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. I argued that the ideological clash will be between Cruz’s focus on the traditional conservative principle of limited government and Trump’s promise to use the government to do great things. Mark Krikorian, picking up from a column by Rich Lowry, puts the clash in stark, but not necessarily overblown, terms. He writes: Cruz believes our constitutional »

The Great Republican Revolt: who benefits?

Featured image I’ve never read anything by David Frum, or had a conversation with him, without thinking that I learned something. There’s plenty to learn from him in this long piece called “The Great Republican Revolt.” The revolt, Frum says, is founded on the belief that the Republican party no longer has the interests of “Middle Americans” at heart. It is not really a conservative revolt. Instead, it is populist: [These voters] »

The winner of the Rubio-Cruz immigration fight? Donald Trump

Featured image Open warfare between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz broke out during Tuesday’s debate. The topics were (1) intelligence gathering to protect the national security and (2) immigration. As I wrote immediately after the debate, it’s the immigration clash that will count most. Both issues matter greatly to Republican voters, but disagreements about immigration matter more than disputes about particular data collection methods. This is why Rubio was desperate to claim »

The shrewdness of Ted Cruz

Featured image The Washington Post reports on how the Cruz campaign’s use of “big data” is contributing to the candidate’s success. For example, according to the Post, campaign emails are tweaked based on the personality of the recipient. If a potential supporter is considered a “stoic traditionalist,” the message will be very direct and to the point. If he or she is labeled “temperamental,” the tone will be more inspiring. And so »

The Cruz paradox illustrated

Featured image With Senator Cruz emerging as a leader in the GOP race, it’s time to tune in and pay attention. My daughter Eliana wrote NR’s August cover story “The paradox of Ted Cruz.” Eliana observed in the piece: “The man who boasts of his ideological purity is perhaps the most obviously tactical candidate.” Today Eliana and her NR colleague Tim Alberta takes a look at Cruz’s disparagement of “neocons,” first on »

Ted Cruz and Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment

Featured image Remember when Ted Cruz refused to criticize Donald Trump over his position that Mexico is sending its worst citizens, including murderers and drug dealers, into the U.S? Cruz explained that he was following Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment — thou shalt not speak ill of other Republicans (Cruz has spoken ill of fellow Republican Senators such as Mitch McConnell, so he must have been interpreting the Commandment to apply to fellow »

Discipline in the 2016 race

Featured image John Sears, Ronald Reagan’s one-time campaign manager, once said “discipline is nine-tenths of politics.” And, as Tevi Troy reminds us: Candidate Reagan put Sears’ dictum into action, running a relentlessly focused communication operation that kept to its message of the day, often to the consternation of the reporters following the campaign. This approach continued into Reagan’s presidency. As the authors of All the President’s Spin put it: “Ronald Reagan’s administration »

Ted Cruz surges in Iowa

Featured image A new Quinnipiac poll of likely Iowa caucus-goer shows Ted Cruz surging into a virtual tie for first place with Donald Trump. Cruz comes in at 23 percent, just two points behind Trump. Ben Carson has slipped to 18 percent (from 28 percent in the previous Quinnipiac poll). Marco Rubio is in fourth place at 13 percent. The margin of error is +/-4 points. Cruz is the natural beneficiary of »

Cruz’s vulnerability

Featured image I wrote here and here about what I take to be Marco Rubio’s greatest vulnerability in the GOP presidential race — his sponsorship of immigration reform legislation that would have granted amnesty and a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants. However, one views the merits of Rubio’s Gang of Eight legislation, I think it’s beyond dispute that this represents a serious problem for his campaign. Not surprisingly, Ted Cruz is »

Rubio’s vulnerability, Part Two

Featured image I wrote here about Marco Rubio’s vulnerability on the issue of immigration. Ted Cruz, I contended, is especially well-positioned to exploit Rubio’s vulnerability. The Cruz campaign has, in fact, started to attack Rubio for sponsoring the Gang of Eight amnesty/path to citizenship legislation of 2013. And Rubio has fired back. Figuring that the best defense is a good offense, Rubio told reporters, “I don’t think our positions are dramatically different; »

Aspect of Dr. Carson’s personal story unravels [UPDATED and CORRECTED]

Featured image I like Ben Carson, though in the race for the GOP nomination he’s far down my preference list. Thus, I was happy to defend him from what struck me as an unfair attack by CNN on his “personal story” (having to do with manifestations of anger as a teenager). But now, the Carson campaign has admitted that the candidate’s story about applying [note, Carson never claimed to have applied] and »

At the Iowa state fairgrounds: Who turned them out?

Featured image The Iowa caucuses are in significant part about who can get their supporters to show up. Thus, one thing I wanted to watch for at yesterday’s Growth and Oppoertunity event was which candidates got supporters to the fairgrounds to cheer and hold signs. This metric would, it seemed to me, provide a rough measure of some combination of level of support and “ground game.” Unfortunately, neither Donald Trump nor Ben »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Ted Cruz

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Yesterday Dave attended the appearance of Texas Senator Ted Cruz in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The Omaha World-Herald’s report on Cruz’s appearance is posted here; Dave’s is below: I saw Ted Cruz for the second time this campaign season. The first time was before a very large crowd in Des Moines and »

Sentencing reform clears committee, but may not reach the floor this year [Corrected]

Featured image As expected, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (more accurately called the Drug Dealers’ Relief Act) has cleared the Judiciary Committee. That’s the bad news. The good news is that five members, including Ted Cruz, voted against it. The others were Orin Hatch, Jeff Sessions, David Vitter, and David Perdue. With five Republican members opposed, it seems unlikely that the bill will make it to the Senate floor »

Trump still rolling, empire yet to strike back

Featured image There’s another poll of the GOP presidential race out, a Washington Post-ABC News production. It tells basically the same story as its predecessors. Donald Trump continues to lead with a little better than 30 percent support; Ben Carson remains in second a little above 20 percent; Marco Rubio holds third place at about 10 percent. Despite Trump’s consistently strong showing, Nate Silver and the folks at FiveThirtyEight remain unimpressed. They »