Ted Cruz told the RedState gathering in Jacksonville, Florida on Friday morning that he knew winning the Republican Senate primary in Texas would be a tough battle. “At the beginning of this race,” he recalled with a chuckle, “I was at 2 percent in the polls, and the margin of error was 3 percent.” He wasn’t sure whether he would be addressing RedState as the winner of the runoff election or not, so he had two different speeches in mind. Happily, he won the runoff by a healthy margin, so he got to give Speech Number Two.
Cruz has been a fixture at every RedState Gathering since they began in 2009. “The most fundamental thing I want to say to you,” he told the 2012 assembly, “is that we did this together. We are engaged in a common cause, a common endeavor.”
He testified to the amazing power of grassroots activism, and the importance of maintaining a clear conservative vision. Cruz has been described as a conservative “rock star,” but he insisted “the ‘rock star’ in all this is the people.”
He sees this endeavor as a struggle “to save the Republic, to champion liberty.” It is not a victory that Cruz believes can be won through half-measures and appeasement to the dying Establishment. He rejected the old Nixonian wisdom of running to the right in primaries, then lunging for the “center” during the general election, as “nonsense,” because in the process “you destroy the reason for anyone to vote for you.”
Cruz has no intention of becoming distracted from his conservative mission, praising President Reagan as one of his greatest heroes – along with Cruz’ Cuban expatriate father – because Reagan “didn’t even hear the noise” from the media and political opponents. Cruz said he would focus on two top priorities in the United States Senate: “lead the effort to repeal every single word of ObamaCare, and lead the fight to dramatically reduce the size, power, and spending of the federal government.” He finds himself in agreement with military analysts who say “the greatest national security threat to this country is the national debt.”