Texas Senator Ted Cruz spoke today at the Iowa GOP “Summer Picnic & Luncheon” held at the Iowa GOP headquarters in Des Moines. The event got off to an interesting start, as some 3-4 dozen protesters made their way to the front door of the building and nearly pushed their way in. They were held at bay for some time before the police arrived and the protesters moved to another door. Eventually they were forced off the property. For those of us inside the building, this all was perhaps a bit amusing but caused no real disruption.
Cruz began his remarks by saying that these are “not ordinary times”, and that “the future of this great nation” was in jeopardy. He spoke at some length on two subjects, the first being the defense of the Constitution and the second was “championing growth and opportunity”.
He talked about Rand Paul’s filibuster over drone strikes and his participation in it, noting that the outcome was a successful insofar as it provoked the DOJ into finally conceding that the government didn’t have the right to kill American citizens on American soil. He mentioned the battle over Second Amendment rights as well.
He introduced Senator Charles Grassley, who was in attendance, and credited him for his “relentless” attempts to conduct oversight of the Obama Administration.
He spoke of the “crushing” debt the country now has, and blamed both political parties for this (which got an ovation from the crowd). He said “we need to abolish the IRS”, observing that such a thing is “crazy talk” in Washington, D.C. He later referred to himself as a “proud Wacko-bird”, alluding to John McCain’s characterization.
He asserted politicians can’t win the fight. The American people must demand it. He said there would be what he called an “epic battle” this Fall, where there would be an opportunity to de-fund Obamacare. He said all that was needed was 218 votes in the House and 41 votes in the Senate and no continuing resolution funding Obamacare would pass. He said that he couldn’t make this happen but the people can. He said to “stop talking and start acting”.
Near the end of his speech he told his Father’s remarkable story and introduced him to the crowd, calling him “his hero”. The crowd responded with a standing ovation.
Cruz is an impressive man. He spoke without notes, he was articulate, occasionally funny, and spoke with what I would call a controlled passion. It’s easy to see why James Carville said a few months ago that Cruz was “the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years.”
It will be interesting to see if a first-term Senator really can make a successful Presidential bid, assuming that’s what he’s contemplating.
Perhaps someone who is fearless is what the voters want.
Update: Some video from yesterday’s event.
Here is an excerpt of his speech discussing our national debt and the economy.
Here is video of the press avail he gave after the event.