Ted Cruz suggest new message for GOP
Texas Sen.-elect Ted Cruz advised the Republican Party to rebrand itself under a banner of “Opportunity Conservatism” during a sweeping speech Thursday night that will only stoke speculation about a 2016 presidential run.
Speaking before the conservative American Principles Project dinner at a downtown Washington hotel, Cruz said the GOP’s thumping in the 2012 elections was more the result of poor messaging and communication than the wrong ideology.
“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument,” Cruz said before pointedly lowering his voice. “We didn’t even make the argument.”
While the 41-year-old Cuban-American warned that Republicans need not abandon their principles in order to rebound electorally, he did suggest the party should retool its rhetoric on economic and cultural issues.
“We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder,” he said.
While he conceded the party’s harsh tone on immigration was undoubtedly a factor, Cruz cited Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment as the main reason the president performed so well with Hispanics.
“I think far more important was 47 percent. … Republicans nationally, the story we conveyed was that 47 percent are stuck in a static world. We don’t have to worry about you, what that clip famously said. I cannot think of an idea more antithetic to the American principle,” Cruz said. “We embraced in that comment, and in the narrative we made to this country, the Democrat notion that there is a fixed and static pie. … The rich are the rich, the poor are the poor, and all that matters is redistributing from one to the other. The essence of the conservative message should be we want a dynamic nation where anybody with nothing can achieve anything,” he added to cheers from the audience. “We did an incredibly poor job at articulating the message of opportunity.”
At the same time, he urged his party to double-down on controversial issues like school vouchers and Social Security reform but rethink how to frame those causes to voters.
He dubbed the so-called war on women “an utterly ridiculous notion” originally concocted by ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos during a GOP presidential primary debate.
“And by the way, why on earth do we have people like George Stephanopoulos moderating Republican debates,” he said to yelps.
Responding to the charge that Republicans wanted to take away women’s contraception, he quipped, “Look, my wife and I have two little girls. I’m thrilled we don’t have seventeen.”
And he defined gun control in Texas as “hitting what you aim at.”
“I’m something that’s not supposed to exist. A Hispanic Republican,” he said.
...Ted Cruz is an articulate spokesman for conservatism. So is Marco Rubio. Both have Cuban ancestors and both will be attacked without mercy because they are Hispanic Republicans. The contraception debate was ridiculous. The Republicans should push to make them over the counter which would do away with the Obama mandate.