This morning, former Texas Solicitor General and current Senior Fellow, Center for Tenth Amendment Studies, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Ted Cruz announced he is running for the U.S. Senate seat opened with the statement that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will not seek re-election in 2012.
The conference call with invited political bloggers gave us an opportunity to ask questions as Cruz presented his rationale for running for the office before his national press release was issued. After six months of visiting with voters and asking for guidance, he is convinced the time if right for this run for national office.
Ted Cruz sees a great awakening across America of people involved in politics who have never been involved before. He sees a hunger for strong leadership willing to fight for liberty and free market enterprise principles. He sees a need for leadership in the Senate to defend the Constitution. Cruz said Texas needs a strong conservative Senator from Texas to stand up to the Obama agenda of big government solutions to our country's problems.
When asked how he would set himself apart from other conservative candidates in the GOP primary, he said a question should be asked of all candidates - what have you done? The metric, he said, is in what the record is. It should be evident from a candidate's life work, not just from flowery campaign speeches. He said none of the other candidates have a comparable record to his of consistently winning contests on a national level. This would be a reference to his days as Solicitor General.
He touts his strong record and a true commitment to walk the walk on standing on principle, not just talking the talk. His greatest assets listed were a strong record, a strong message and strong statewide support from the grassroots level up.
On the issue of fundraising Cruz is confident of his ability to compete with those who may be self-funders. During his previous Attorney General campaign - abandoned after Kay Bailey Hutchison remained in the Senate due to losing her bid for the governorship - Cruz received strong statewide financial support. He raised more than $1.3 million from 1,000 donors.
Though he didn't win an elected office as he ran for Attorney General, this was due to political circumstances beyond his control. KBH remained in her Senate seat and Attorney General Abbott sought re-election because of that action. Cruz bowed out of the race as he pledged he would and didn't run against Abbott. He also kept his pledge to not speak negatively about his fellow conservative candidates.
His website - www.tedcruz.org - doesn't include the traditional "issues" page. Instead, his includes a "Proven Record" page. He said it is easy to give the correct answer to questions but more important to prove accomplishments. Walk the walk.
As the election cycle moves forward, Cruz suggests that a candidate should answer this question: What are five of the most significant things you have accomplished for conservative principles?
When asked why he chose to run for the U.S. Senate and not wait to run for a high level state office in 2014, he said he wants to fight the threat coming from D.C. and that fight is to be fought in the U.S. Senate. Looking at the national scene, he came to the conclusion it is short on leadership and lacks articulation of benefits of the free market enterprise system.
"The fight is now. The fight is right now." Cruz noted that Barack Obama was four years ahead of him at Harvard Law School. He will be tough to defeat in 2012. Obama believes passionately in the role of big government in individual life and Cruz pledges to fight that agenda.