Ted Cruz for President

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Bumped to the top through Tuesday. Originally posted on February 27, 2016.

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Oklahoma's presidential preference primary is this coming Tuesday, March 1, 2016, and I urge my fellow Oklahoma Republicans to join me in voting for Sen. Ted Cruz for President.

I've voted in every Oklahoma presidential primary -- the first one was held in 1988 -- and usually most of the good candidates are gone by the time it's our turn to vote. Only rarely have I been able to vote for the candidate I felt was the best choice. This is one of those rare, good years.

I want a president who understands what made our country a peaceful, prosperous, and powerful nation, what factors have undermined that peace and prosperity, and what the President can do to get us back on the right track. (It's also important to have a president who understands what is beyond his authority to affect.) I want a president with a clear understanding of the goal, a sense of urgency to take action, the strategic sense to plan the steps needed to reach the goal, the ability to persuade with clarity and conviction, and the mental agility to respond to attacks and adjust to changing circumstances, without compromising his principles.

Ted Cruz has demonstrated all of those qualities during the course of a distinguished public career. As the Director of Public Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, Ted Cruz built bipartisan support for measures that removed regulatory barriers to e-commerce, expanding consumer choice and opening new global markets to American small businesses. (You like ordering contact lens refills and wine over the Internet? Thank Ted Cruz.)

As Solicitor General of Texas, Ted Cruz represented the rights of Texans and all Americans, arguing nine cases at the U. S. Supreme Court (8 as SG, 1 as a private attorney) and submitting amicus briefs in many others. In the Medellin v. Texas case, Cruz successfully defended Texas's right to put a brutal murderer to death, despite an attempt by the World Court, with the Bush administration's approval, to stay the execution because the murderer was a foreign national. Cruz's amicus brief in the D. C. v. Heller gun-rights case, filed on behalf of 31 states (including Oklahoma), helped to put the Supreme Court on record that the 2nd Amendment guarantees the individual's right to keep and bear arms.

As a U. S. Senator, Ted Cruz kept his promise to oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. Working with allies in the Senate and the House, Cruz used the amendment process to expose the the Gang of 8's assurances as hollow. When he offered to write their assurances into the bill as amendments, the open-borders bunch in the Senate showed their true colors and voted them down, which gave opponents the ammunition they needed to stop the bill in the House.

Cruz's push to defund Obamacare, using Congress's power of the purse as an effective check on the President's power, helped propel Republicans to a majority in the Senate at the 2014 election, even though it panicked Senate GOP leadership, who waved the white flag before the battle had even been engaged.

Cruz has shown political courage and an ability to persuade voters to look at issues from another point of view. While campaigning in Iowa, he held firm in his opposition to subsidies for corn ethanol, while also calling for removing bureaucratic limits on ethanol blends, and yet he still finished first in that corn-fixated state.

Among Texans who know him well, Cruz has been endorsed by his former boss (Texas Gov. Greg Abbott), his adversary in the 2012 Senate race (David Dewhurst), and his former competitor for the presidency (former Gov. Rick Perry).

Prof. Thomas Sowell, one of the intellectual giants of the conservative movement, has endorsed Ted Cruz for president, particularly in light of the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia:

Senator Ted Cruz has been criticized in this column before, and will undoubtedly be criticized here again. But we can only make our choices among those actually available, and Senator Cruz is the one who comes to mind when depth and steadfastness come to mind.

As someone who once clerked for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he will know how important choosing Justice Scalia's replacement will be. And he has the intellect to understand much more.

Cruz has received a couple of high-profile backhanded endorsements as well. The Left isn't afraid of Trump. The Left and the GOP establishment both know that Donald Trump can be shaped and moulded to serve their purposes. Former President Jimmy Carter said at a speech at Britain's House of Lords that he prefers Donald Trump to Ted Cruz, because Trump is "malleable" and Cruz is not.

"If I had a choice of Republican nominees -- let's just say, for instance, between Cruz and Trump -- I think I would choose Trump, which may surprise some of you. But the reason is that Trump has proven already that he's completely malleable. I don't think he has any fixed opinions that he would really go to the White House and fight for. On the other hand, Ted Cruz is not malleable. He has far-right-wing policies, in my opinion, that would be pursued aggressively if and when he might become president."

Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, is another left-winger frightened by the thought of Cruz as President. Lefty Reich's knocks against Cruz only make me like Ted Cruz even more. (Emphasis added below.) The first item is practically a recitation of the GOP platform.

4 Reasons Ted Cruz is Even More Dangerous than Donald Trump.

1. Cruz is more fanatical. Sure, Trump is a bully and bigot, but he doesn't hew to any sharp ideological line. Cruz is a fierce ideologue: He denies the existence of man-made climate change, rejects same-sex marriage, wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, believes the 2nd amendment guarantees everyone a right to guns. He doesn't believe in a constitutional divide between church and state, favors the death penalty, rejects immigration reform, demands the repeal of Obamacare, and takes a strict "originalist" view of the meaning of the Constitution.

2. Cruz is a true believer. Trump has no firm principles except making money, getting attention, and gaining power. But Cruz has spent much of his life embracing radical right economic and political views.

3. Cruz is more disciplined and strategic. Trump is all over the place, often winging it, saying whatever pops into his mind. Cruz hews to a clear script and a carefully crafted strategy. He plays the long game (as he's shown in Iowa).

4. Cruz is a loner who's willing to destroy government institutions to get his way. Trump has spent his career using the federal government and making friends with big shots. Not Cruz. He has repeatedly led Republicans toward fiscal cliffs. In the Fall of 2013, his opposition to Obamacare led in a significant way to the shutdown of the federal government.

That all sounds pretty good to me. I especially like the fact that Cruz "plays the long game." Cruz has been the most successful fundraiser among the candidates, and he's done it with a massive number of relatively small donations. In the final quarter of 2015, Cruz received contributions from 300,000 donors, averaging $67 each.

Combine fundraising success with careful spending, and you have a campaign that can be there and be competitive all the way to the convention. One of my frustrations with Rick Santorum in 2012 was that he threw everything into winning Iowa, but didn't have the resources to continue momentum in other states. Ted Cruz is prepared to go the distance.

Here in Oklahoma, Ted Cruz has won the endorsement of the most consistently conservative of our elected officials, including Congressman Jim Bridenstine. I'm proud to add my name to that distinguished list, and I hope you'll join me at the polls on Tuesday to vote for Ted Cruz for President.


MORE:

John Stossel's report on the Cruz campaign's big-data-driven campaign, led by Oklahoma's own Chris Wilson.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 1, 2016 5:55 PM.

Luke Sherman for Tulsa County Sheriff was the previous entry in this blog.

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