Ted Cruz Wants to #Disrupt Washington

Uber, but for Ted Cruz.

Rebecca Nelson
Add to Briefcase
Rebecca Nelson
Feb. 26, 2015, 9:58 a.m.

Ted Cruz wants to be the Uber of politics.

Playing to a crowded room of adoring fans at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, Ted Cruz gave the crowd just what they wanted: a fiery speech full of conservative red meat.

But the senator from Texas and all-but-certain presidential contender also played up his fluency with the younger generation. He asked attendees to pull out their phones and text the word “Constitution” to the number 33733, allowing his nascent campaign to instantaneously collect data on possible supporters. His personal brand of politics, he said, jibes less with a divided Washington, and more with the innovative apps of Silicon Valley, such as popular ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft.

“What I’m trying to do more than anything else is bring a disruptive app to politics,” he said.

Cruz criticized politicians in his own party for failing to stand up for what they believe in, saying, “Talk is cheap.”

“Actions speak far, far louder than words,” he said. “We need to look to people who walk the walk and don’t just talk the talk.”

The divide in Washington isn’t between Republicans and Democrats, Cruz said, but between career politicians and “the American people.”

“If you have a candidate that stood against Democrats, that’s great,” the Texan said. “When have you been willing to stand against Republicans? When have you been willing to stand with the people? This is a fundamental choice in our country. A fundamental direction, that the men and women here will decide.”

On rallying against abortion rights, supporting Israel, and opposing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear-weapons capabilities, Cruz asked the crowd — but, more important, his primary opponents — “When have you stood and fought?”

He also made many references to Obamacare — an easy applause line for the conservative audience — which he called a “train wreck,” before asserting that “that’s actually not fair to train wrecks.”

In a brief, blustery question-and-answer session akin to a game of word association after his speech, Cruz laid out his “top five” agenda items to interviewer and conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity. As president, Cruz said, he would repeal “every blasted word of Obamacare,” “abolish the IRS,” “stop the out-of-control regulators at the EPA and the alphabet soup of Washington,” “defend our constitutional rights” — thundering, “all of them” — and “restore America’s leadership in the world as a shining city on a hill.”

Hannity’s line of questioning also gave Cruz a chance to show off his sense of humor. Asked to say the first words that come to mind at the name “Bill Clinton,” the Texas senator joked: “Youth outreach” — an apparent reference to the former president’s affair with a White House intern.

On whether Colorado should have legalized marijuana, he joked, “I was told Colorado provided the brownies here today.” He also proposed a new show for Hannity, had he eaten weed brownies: The Magical Mystery Hannity Hour.

Hannity wrapped up his interview with Cruz by raising New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s recent criticism of President Obama’s patriotism. In what was likely the easiest question of the conference, Hannity asked Cruz why he loved America.

Cruz responded with vigor: “This country is the greatest country in the history of the world.”{{ BIZOBJ (slideshow: 890) }}

What We're Following See More »
GAVE COMMITTEE A “ROAD MAP” OF NAMES, PLACES, AND LEADS
Fusion GPS Founder Alleges Trump-Mafia Connection
1 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

The House Intelligence Committee voted to release the November 14 testimony of Glenn Simpson, the man at Fusion GPS who oversaw the creation of the now infamous Trump-Russia dossier. Simpson's testimony includes a number of startling claims, including that Russia infiltrated conservative political groups prior to the election, and that Trump has ties to the Italian and Russian Mafia. "We also had sort of more broadly learned that Mr. Trump had long time associations with Italian organized crime figures," he told the Committee, "And we pieced together...[that he] gradually during the nineties became associated with Russian mafia figures." Simpson also testified that Trump called off a post-election meeting with Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank and a longtime member of the NRA, currently under investigation by the FBI for money laundering. Simpson said that the discoveries were so alarming that he felt compelled to go to the authorities. The full text of the transcript can be read here.

Source:
RYAN SAYS HOUSE WILL VOTE TONIGHT
Senate Dems Say They Can Block Spending Measure
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he has the votes to pass a short-term spending bill tonight, but "Senate Democrats said they're confident they have the votes to block the stop-gap spending bill that the House is taking up, according to two Democratic senators and a senior party aide. And top Senate Republicans are openly worried about the situation as they struggle to keep their own members in the fold."

Source:
BILL HAS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT
House Introduces Sexual Harassment Overhaul
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

The bipartisan legislation, known as the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, means taxpayers will "no longer foot the bill" for sexual harassment settlements involving members of Congress." The legislation "would require members to pay such settlements themselves." It also reforms the "cumbersome and degrading" complaint process by giving victims "more rights and resources," and by simplifying and clarifying the complaint process. The legislation is the first major transformation of the sexual harassment complaint system since it was created in 1995.

Source:
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN SUSPICIOUS CHECKS FLAGGED
Mueller’s Team Scrutinizing Russian Embassy Transactions
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
PRO-TRUMP SPENDING COULD VIOLATE FECA
FBI Investigating Potential Russian Donations to NRA
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency." Investigators have focused on Alexander Torshin, the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank "who is known for his close relationships with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and the NRA." The solicitation or use of foreign funds is illegal in U.S. elections under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) by either lobbying groups or political campaigns. The NRA reported spending a record $55 million on the 2016 elections.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login