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    Cruz Strategy? Poach Rand Supporters and Defend Trump Supporters

    Cruz Strategy? Poach Rand Supporters and Defend Trump Supporters

    Playing a long game . . .

    The Ted Cruz campaign is holding its own in terms of polls and campaign fundraising; indeed, according to reports, the Cruz campaign raked in $1 million within the first 100 hours following last Thursday’s debate.  His #CruzCountry bus tour is also creating a lot of buzz on Twitter, with enthusiastic supporters tweeting that they’ve just met the “next president.”


    Winning the presidency is clearly Cruz’s goal, and he seems to be playing a long game.

    While many other GOP candidates are quick to dismiss Rand Paul and his supporters and to disparage Donald Trump and his supporters, Cruz is remaining above the fray.  As we all know, this is not a man afraid of the fray, so it seems that Cruz’s goal is to strengthen his own support and to win the support of the other candidates as they—he hopes—drop out of the field.

    All of the GOP presidential candidates want to be the last man or woman standing, of course, and they all want, hope for, or feel entitled to (depending on the candidate) the supporters of all the other candidates.  But for my money, Cruz is the one who has the foresight and humility to understand that the fight for conservative—and libertarian—support doesn’t begin or end with the primary season.

    According to The Washington Post, Cruz is already looking toward gaining both supporters and donors from the now-floundering Rand Paul campaign.

     Ted Cruz’s operatives are quietly reaching out to Rand Paul’s early supporters and endorsers, making the case that the Texas senator is their best bet if they want a Republican nominee who is friendly to libertarians.

    Saul Anuzis, the former Michigan GOP chair who is working for Cruz, recently traveled to New Hampshire to meet with Paul backers and make that case, my colleague David Weigel scoops for the 202. The key to his pitch: Paul is floundering and Cruz is viable. Other sources tell me that Cruz is poised to roll out a few endorsements from 2012 supporters of Ron Paul who have held off on signing with Rand.

    . . . .  Cruz himself freely acknowledges that he wants to dip into the libertarian bracket. The Texan is on a bus tour this week across the South, with a focus on states with early March primaries. Katie Zezima, on the Cruz beat for The Post, relayed between stops in Tennessee that Cruz is invoking the Fourth Amendment, a Paul favorite, whenever possible.

    On Sunday, during a rally in Huntsville, Ala., Cruz pivoted twice to libertarian-leaning answers. First, he bragged about being “an original co-sponsor” of Paul’s “Audit the Fed” bill. “What the Fed is doing is dangerous,” he said. “They are debasing the currency with QE1, QE2, QE infinity!” Then, asked about databases kept by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to track diversity, Cruz touted his unrelated work “to lead the effort to end the federal government’s bulk collection of phone metadata.”

    Not only is Cruz actively courting Rand donors and followers, but he’s also courting Trump supporters should Trump’s campaign at some point implode.  Politco reports:

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday warned that the Republican presidential candidates who are slamming Donald Trump do so at their political peril.

    Cruz’s remarks, which came during an interview with POLITICO as he swings through the South on a bus tour, are among the most detailed comments to date regarding his reluctance to criticize the real estate mogul, who is currently leading the polls in the GOP primary.

    “I would … note that an awful lot of Republicans, including other Republican candidates, have gone out of their way to smack Donald Trump with a stick. Now I think that’s just foolish,” he said.

    Cruz goes on to explain why he thinks it’s a mistake to denigrate Trump and his followers, Cruz tells Politico: “Donald Trump had a rally in Phoenix, Ariz. [to which] between 10 and 20 thousand people came out. When you attack and vilify the people at that rally as crazies, it does nothing to help Republicans win in 2016. I’d like every single person at that rally to show up and vote in 2016, knock on doors with energy and passion, and turn this country around. If Washington politicians show contempt and condescension to those [voters,] that is a path to losing at the ballot box.”  He’s right.

    While other GOP candidates are avoiding Rand Paul supporters like the plague and bashing Trump and his supporters, Cruz understands that building a broad coalition of support is going to be key to winning not just the GOP nomination but the presidency.


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    Donald Trump has two big negatives with Republican primary voters.

    (1) He pals around too much with the Clintons, who even today are still members of his golf club. (You’ll know that Clinton’s attacks on Trump are bullshit if she doesn’t actually resign from his Trump Westminster National golf club)

    (2) He spent the last 10 years of his life at NBC, an organization which is actively hostile to Republican voters.

    So there is room for Cruz or somebody else to take away all of his supporters.


    (1) this amnesty issue is ballgame. Any signs of weakness on this issue will result in those Trump voters going to somebody else or staying home. Past Republicans who promised border security lied. Past Republicans who promised border electronic surveillance or drones lied. Past Republicans who promised a fence lied. At least with a wall the American public can see that their politicians are not liars when the wall is built.

    (2) Republicans want a strong alpha male leader right now. That’s why Trump’s support went up after Megyn Kelly’s Ambush. Trump wasn’t going to let the media control him. In other times, a more congenial or even stubborn leader would be fine.

    Any Republican who is elected is going up against a hostile media, a hostile huge entriched government, and a hostile city in Washington DC. This Republican will only have as allies John Boehner and the wimps.

    Honestly, I don’t see Cruz doing this. He’s too polite, & too restrained. He cares too much about seeming reasonable. Plus, Last year he essentially went into hiding during the run up to Obama’s executive amnesty. He’s a debater not a fighter.

      dorsaighost in reply to rotten. | August 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

      and yet he leads by double digits …

      Juba Doobai! in reply to rotten. | August 13, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Donald Trump has two big negatives with Republican primary voters.

      (1) He pals around too much with the Clintons, who even today are still members of his golf club. (You’ll know that Clinton’s attacks on Trump are bullshit if she doesn’t actually resign from his Trump Westminster National golf club)

      (2) He spent the last 10 years of his life at NBC, an organization which is actively hostile to Republican voters.

      So there is room for Cruz or somebody else to take away all of his supporters.

      Your analysis is rotten, er, weak. Jeb Bush of the Bush family which is big with the Clintons. Whether or not they’re members of Trump’s golf club is irrelevant. Trump doesn’t think like a woman—if you’re against them you don’t want them belonging to your organization. Trump is a businessman, which means he’ll take anybody’s money cuz that’s the bottom line. To quote that famous line from the Godfather, “it’s strictly business, nothing personal.” Not everyone you socialize with in the business world is a friend. Businessmen maintain and socialize with a host of contacts. It’s called networking and knowing people who can help you get things done. The wedding attendance is part of that.

      Fox recently hired Maria the Money Honey Bartiromo. Again, it’s about money and who offers you enough. As The Donald would say, it’s all about the art of the deal.

      As I said, your points are really weak, your reasoning questionable. Therefore, your conclusion about Cruz is also questionable. If you understood the mindset of debaters—-it’s a war—you would not say Cruz is not a fighter. Cruz has a terrible reputation in the Senate because he is a fighter. The first rule of fighting is standing up for your principles, no matter how unpopular they are. Cruz has done that. ,the second rule is to have a long game. That’s Cruz.

      Anyway, moor reasoning all around.

    Midwest Rhino | August 13, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Trump says he has changed, just like Reagan. But Reagan changed in the early 1950’s and over decades, whereas Trump changes overnight. But Cruz is right to seek the Trump rebellion, and recognize that most want an outsider. In time they’ll find out Trump is dishonest and shifty, and has been part of the crony capitalism problem, not the solution.

    Those that get slammed with Trump hyperbole have to respond, or be deemed beta males (or beta females). Walker responded to Trump’s “$2B Loss” lie, but referred me to politifact to find the truth, instead of giving a sound bite detail when he had the chance. Those missed opportunities add up.

    But if Cruz can catch the Rand wave, and the Donald rebellion, and be clear about no amnesty, and maybe adopt the Giuliani plan along with the wall … he may be “The One”.

    Guys that get attacked by dishonest Trump slams have to take it directly to Trump for being dishonest, while recognizing what makes Trump interesting with his alpha male approach. I’m wondering when Trump will pull the birther card on Cruz.

    Cruz might contrast himself with Obama, who hid as senator, but rammed through leftist junk against the majority as president. Cruz stands for the majority in Congress without hiding, and as president would stand for the majority without establishment blockage.

    MaggotAtBroadAndWall | August 13, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I don’t have a twitter account, but I have a couple dozen twitter handles bookmarked that I click on from time to time to see what those people are tweeting about. One of those is Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe. Roe has been tweeting out pics of the crowds where Cruz has spoken on the campaign trail.

    Bernie may be drawing tens of thousands in big blue cities like Seattle and Portland, but Cruz is drawing several hundred to 1000+ in towns and small cities like Murfreesboro, Russellville, and Crawford County. Cruz is attempting to build a big base of support in the south to win the primary.

    Roe is an interesting character himself. He’s from my hometown of Kansas City. Many in the media/political class resent him because they don’t like his tactics that have been so successful. It’s hard to read a story about him without him being described as “controversial”, “hard hitting”, “dirty”. One story is that a few years ago Roe went dumpster diving through garbage to find embarrassing stuff that the campaign he was working for could use to embarrass the opponent. Earlier this year, Tom Schweich committed suicide shortly after announcing he was running for governor of Missouri. The Roe haters blamed his suicide on an ad Roe was behind. Dr. Milton Wolf blames Roe in part for his loss to Pat Roberts in the Kansas Senate primary last year.

    I’ve wondered if Roe may have influenced Cruz’s decision to call Mitch McConnell a liar on the Senate floor. Pundits talked about it for two or three days, giving Cruz a ton of free publicity and positioning himself as an outsider running against his own party. Sure seems like something Roe would have endorsed.

    Whatever people think of Roe’s tactics, his firm, Axiom Strategies, claims on its website an 81% success rate in getting people elected to Congress. If you are running for office you may not like his tactics and you may not even want him on your team. But you sure as heck don’t want him working for your opponent against you. Cruz was probably smart to pick him off early.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | August 13, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      That there speaks volumes about Cruz: he’s reality based—politics is a nasty game and you can’t be holier than thou when you’re playing it; when you’re going up against people you have to look in the toilet bowl to know what they’ve been eating—that’s the debater in Cruz who knows you have to get inside the mind of your opponent, think like he does, and think two to three steps ahead of him; if you’re going to play, you play to win; information is a knife, and you have to know when to stick it in and turn it in your opponent, while making sure you don’t get bloody. Sounds like a debater to me. Sounds like a fighter.

        Well stated, Juba.

        What’s the big difference between a bully and a fighter? A bully is full of bluster who is likely to turn and run when confronted with an adversary. A fighter doesn’t care. He’s in it to fight.

        I see Trump as a bully and Cruz as a legitimate fighter.

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