Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ted Cruz Tilts 2016 GOP to the Right

Hey, I can dig it, especially if he slows down the RINO momentum.

At LAT, "Ted Cruz's entry into 2016 race puts pressure on Republicans":
Sen. Ted Cruz jumped into the 2016 presidential race Monday in the same way he intends to run his campaign: upstaging rival Republicans with a splashy, impassioned speech that sought to drag the national conversation further to the right than many in his party want to go.

The Texas senator’s chances of winning the White House are narrow, polls suggest. And his aggressive tactics and brash style during two years in the Senate — including nudging the GOP toward the 2013 government shutdown — have alienated many of the Republican leaders whose support he probably needs to become the nominee.

But in addition to raising his political profile, Cruz’s candidacy is certain to play a role in the GOP primaries as he becomes a spoiler and potential kingmaker, forcing establishment favorites — such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — to confront tea party preferences on immigration, same-sex marriage and social welfare programs.

Cruz's zeal for small government and a muscular national defense reflects the views of many Republicans. But GOP strategists acknowledge the divisive firebrand may drive the debate too far to the right for mainstream political tastes — just as many party leaders say he has done during his short time in Congress. He could force his 2016 opponents to embrace positions in the primary that they might regret when facing the Democratic nominee.

“He's going to raise important questions that other candidates are going to have to answer, especially on social issues,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles. “Are you pro-life? Pro-marriage? Ted Cruz has been very bold and he sort of puts pressure on people like Jeb and Rand [Paul] to speak about the issues.”

But Aguilar warned that Cruz's stances, such as his opposition to President Obama's program to defer deportation for millions of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, could alienate voters in the general election if embraced by other candidates.

Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, makes no apologies for his goal to shake up the mainstream. He has said repeatedly that he wants to be seen as the “disruptive app” of GOP politics.

“It is the time for truth,” Cruz told an enthusiastic crowd of Liberty University students Monday. “It is the time for liberty. It is the time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States.”

It was no accident that he chose to launch his presidential bid at the religious campus founded by the late pastor Jerry Falwell. Not far from the historic Civil War site of Appomattox, Liberty University has been a popular destination for Republicans seeking to bolster their conservative credentials. It also boasts an alumni and donor network that extends far from the campus, nestled near the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

Cruz appeared onstage in a massive sports arena amid waving American flags and Christian rock music. He emphasized his family's personal struggles and Christian faith, calling on “courageous conservatives” to join him as he seeks to ignite the same grass-roots movement that propelled him to the Senate in 2012.

“The answer will not come from Washington,” he said. “It will come only from men and women across this country, the people of faith, the lovers of liberty.”
Still more at that top link