4/3/15, "In a swing across Iowa, Ted Cruz packs in the crowds with a conservative call," Washington Post, Katie Zezima, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
"Sen. Ted Cruz, pacing as he always does when making a stump speech,
looked out on a room packed with people and made note of the furniture.
reason I’m optimistic is because we ran out of chairs,” Cruz (R-Tex.)
said to the crowd at the Longbranch Hotel, some in straight-backed
chairs, others massed in the back.
It’s a line Cruz would use
more than once on his first trip to Iowa as a declared presidential
candidate, underscoring his status as an emerging top-tier contender in
the crowded 2016 race.
On a two-day, five-stop swing that took
him from Sioux City to Dubuque County, Cruz was greeted by enthusiastic
crowds packed into stuffy auditoriums and large ballrooms. Sporting a
wireless microphone, he has honed his primary pitch to voters — it
involves a lot of gesticulating — and looks more comfortable on the
trail than before. He chuckles after his own jokes and a self-satisfied
smile came each time the crowd applauded or shouted “Amen” after he
called for the repeal of Obamacare or the Common Core education
Cruz is the first major presidential contender to
announce his candidacy, and he is having a moment. He has broken into
the top tier of candidates, according to recent polls — including a
Washington Post-ABC News survey this week showing him trailing only Jeb
Bush among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents.
Cruz is also surprising many with his ability to raise money, pulling
in $4 million during the first eight days of his campaign. The majority
of the contributions came from small-dollar donations, while 300 donors
maxed out on their contributions.
This weekend, the campaign purchased television advertising time nationally on Fox News during
“Killing Jesus,” a documentary-style adaptation of Bill O’Reilly’s
book, and statewide in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina
during NBC’s “A.D.: The Bible Continues” on Easter Sunday.
“We’re trying to lock in those gains now and communicate about the message,” a Cruz adviser said. Cruz’s
ad, which speaks of the “transformative love of Jesus Christ,”
illustrates his campaign’s focus on courting voters who are motivated by
faith, including evangelicals here in Iowa, Catholics in New Hampshire
and Southern Baptists in South Carolina. He calls for a “grass-roots
army” of conservatives to support him and talks about broadening his
appeal to libertarians and so-called "Reagan Democrats."
spent a good deal of time on the trail talking about religious freedom,
praising a law passed in Indiana aimed at shielding businesses from
having to participate in same-sex weddings.
“I’m sorry to say it
has not been a profile in courage seeing some of the leaders running and
scurrying” to change the legislation, he said. “Defending religious
liberty is not a fringe view, it is a basic American value.”
Cruz is making defending things, from the Constitution to values, a
centerpiece of his campaign, casting himself as a solitary figure who
relishes fighting and leading in a way other likely challengers do not.
many of those issues have those individuals stood up and led?” Cruz
said in Sioux City when asked how he will show he has enough executive
experience to be president. “For most of them you can find one issue,
the same time, Cruz has been loath to hit at other prospective
candidates by name, calling them friends or people he respects. He did
poke Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for voting not to overhaul a surveillance
program that collects bulk records of phone calls.
He has also
emphasized his hawkish views on foreign policy, castigating the
framework for an Iranian nuclear deal reached this week and vowing to
root out Islamic extremism.
Cruz’s appearances often have the
feel of a revival meeting, and they seemed even more upbeat than usual
this week, with crowds yelling “yes,” “that’s right” and “Amen” after he
made a point. In Des Moines, a man in a shirt with American flags
printed on it loudly praised Cruz after he said he bucked George W. Bush
on an issue, and others guffawed when he talked about his precocious
daughter or took a dig at Vice President Biden.
Heidi, was just as popular as her husband. Throngs of voters lined up to
meet her after Cruz’s speeches, asking her to pose for photos or sign
Many in the crowds said they were coming to check out Cruz
because they like him and are intrigued by his staunch conservatism.
Others said they have already made up their minds to support him.
also asked pointed questions, including two people at different
locations who asked Cruz how he would handle undocumented immigrants who
remain in the country. Cruz, who decries President Obama’s executive
action on immigration reform as “illegal amnesty,” said the answer is to
first secure the border then “have a discussion” about what to do with
people who remain.
Bob Eft of Waterloo said he likes what Cruz
had to say, but is concerned that he’s not going to raise enough money
to stay in the race. A man standing next to him chimed in.
“I think he’s real. I really do,” said Danny Michael, also of Waterloo. “You know why? Because the other guys hate him.”
Adam Vandall, 34, said he is fully behind Cruz’s campaign and has never supported a candidate this early in the process.
to a packed ballroom at a Holiday Inn next to the Des Moines airport,
Vandall asked, “How many presidential candidates 10, 11 months out from
the caucus have this big of a crowd?”"
Image caption: ". (Matthew Putney/AP)" via Lucianne during his
two-day campaign swing
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Ted Cruz packs in crowds in Iowa with a conservative call while surging to top tier in national polls-Washington Post
Posted by susan at 3:01 AM