Two Republicans, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have formally announced that they are running for President. I had some time today to watch both speeches.
An announcement speech reveals the major platform of a candidate and why he or she has chosen to throw a hat in the ring. I will offer a review and comparison each in two different articles.
Both Cruz and Paul were elected with strong support of Tea Party groups in their states. Both were considered long shots when they announced their run for US Senate.
Ted Cruz was the first formal announcement on March 23 at Liberty University in Virginia. His speech began with a personal testimony of his faith and the events in the lives of his mother and father that made his faith strong.
You may have learned a little song when you were coming up, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” When speaking of his faith, Ted Cruz did not hide it under a bushel. He spoke of a personal relationship with Jesus and the transformative love of Jesus.
He used the stories of his mother, his father, his wife, and himself to weave a vision of how individual freedom, determination, and faith are the fabric that makes America great.
At a little over the halfway point of his speech, he laid out the centerpiece of his campaign strategy when he made this observation:
“Today, roughly half of born again Christians aren’t voting. They’re staying home. Imagine instead millions of people of faith all across American coming out to the polls and voting our values.”
He used the next portion of his speech to remind those who were listening that great accomplishments started with great vision. He referenced Patrick Henry’s famous, “give me liberty or give me death” twice in the speech.
He spoke of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and George Washington at Valley Forge. He went back to a famous Democrat by mentioning Franklin Roosevelt and “nothing to fear but fear itself.” Finally, it was Ronald Reagan in tax policy that brought on a great economic revival and later the winning of the cold war.
Cruz wrapped up his speech with a listing of the goals that he believed America could meet by restraining government and empowering liberty. The list included:
- Repeal of Obamacare,
- Abolish the IRS,
- Institute a simple flat tax,
- Secure the borders,
- Establish a fair immigration system,
- Protect religious liberty,
- Protect the sanctity of life,
- Defend the sacrament of marriage,
- Defend 2nd amendment rights,
- Protect privacy rights for every American,
- Abolish common core,
- Embrace school choice as the civil rights issue of the next generation
- Stand unapologetically with Israel
- Defeat Islamic terrorism
- Prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons
Near the end of his speech he said that liberty knows no bounds and he invited the listeners to get out their cell phones and text “Constitution” or “Imagine” to 33733.
His call for involvement by “born again Christians” will attract supporters who want someone to be bold in their public statements of faith. There were two interesting references that demonstrate that he is looking for a broader tent.
His reference to Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, was reaching across party lines. Referring to school choice as the civil rights issue of the next generation was a not so subtle hint that he is reaching out to conservative African Americans and Hispanics.
Some see Ted Cruz as a loose cannon and one who just wants attention. He was the butt of jokes for his one man filibuster over funding Obamacare. Some analysts say that he can only draw support from the far right and that he does not appeal to the middle.
Ted Cruz should not be underestimated. He is skillfully using technology and social media to appeal to a younger generation. He is on full offense. He believes that there is a vast group of uninvolved voters that he can engage and get to the polls to vote for him.Love him or hate him, Ted Cruz cannot be ignored.
I will write more in a few days on Rand Paul’s announcement. I expect that there will be other announcements coming in the next few weeks.by