National Politics - 2016SC

Could Ted Cruz Win South Carolina’s Presidential Primary?

IN A WORD, “YES” || By FITSNEWS ||  Let’s face it … we live in a world of labels.   And in no arena are labels more impactful than in the world of politics – assuming of course the recipient of the label can show they’ve actually earned it. That’s…

IN A WORD, “YES”

|| By FITSNEWS ||  Let’s face it … we live in a world of labels.   And in no arena are labels more impactful than in the world of politics – assuming of course the recipient of the label can show they’ve actually earned it.

That’s rare … but occasionally it happens.  And when it happens, it has the potential to move the masses (even those increasingly resistant to voting).

Amid a sea of self-anointed “Republicans,” “conservatives,” and “Tea Party” candidates, voters are looking far and wide for aspiring leaders whose records actually match the all-too familiar rhetoric emanating from their all-too familiar stump speeches.  They’re looking for leaders who have earned their stripes, in other words … amassing battle scars (and credibility) on issues used by others as props.

Take the high stakes 2016 “Republican” presidential primary – which unofficially kicked off this weekend in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at the 2015 South Carolina Tea Party convention.  We attended this event – which represented a key early mile marker in the “First in the South” presidential primary (scheduled to be held next February).

We weren’t alone, either … in addition to an overflow crowd of hundreds of conservative activists (and numerous state and federal elected officials), four would-be GOP presidential candidates planted their flags at this event: Dr. Ben Carson, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and billionaire real estate mogul (and reality television star) Donald Trump.

Trump obviously made the big splash landing at the convention … whereas Carson seemed to have the strongest showing of grassroots support among convention-goers (even if he left our founding editor feeling unsatisfied).

Santorum?  Judging from the comparatively low attendance at his speech, his candidacy appears to be an afterthought (which in our book is frankly is more of a thought than it deserves).

But what of Cruz?  Glad you asked …

***

TWO PATHS >>> 

Along with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul – who did not attend the South Carolina convention – Cruz is hoping to emerge in 2016 as a leading alternative to establishment GOP candidates like Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.  Of course his strategy for becoming the anti-establishment pick is vastly different from Paul’s – which up to this point has involved cozying up to the GOP leadership at every opportunity.

(Mitch McConnell? Really?)

“You know what electability is?” Cruz asked attendees during his address to the South Carolina Tea Party convention.  “It’s nominating the candidate closest to the Democrats.”

Exactly … and it doesn’t work.

“Who in their right mind would listen to someone who keeps getting whooped about ‘how not to get whooped?'” he asked.

RAND PAUL
RAND PAUL

Let’s look at the tale of the tape, shall we?  Both Paul and Cruz have excellent voting records when it comes to protecting and promoting American freedoms and free markets.  Of that there can be no doubt.  Both are also “genuine article” fiscal conservatives who have taken very public positions against their party’s leadership (check out our coverage of their high-profile filibusters HERE and HERE).

Also, both believe fervently the GOP can be saved (a fantasy we abandoned years ago).

But that’s where the similarities end … and where the seeds for a winning South Carolina campaign begin for one of these two Senate “outsiders.”

Which one are we referring to?  Like it (him) or not, Cruz.

First, let’s hear the case as it was made to us by one of the Senator’s strongest supporters …

“Senator Cruz is a young and dynamic leader who has the ability to inspire all factions of the party,” said Katrina Pierson, a Texas grassroots activist who helped Cruz win his U.S. Senate seat in 2012. “His ability to bring together a coalition of Republicans, Libertarians, Independents and even Democrats is what the establishments on both sides fear.  And they should be very afraid – as 2016 draws near a potential candidate like Cruz could very well fracture the paradigm of the ruling class as a leader of the free people emerges to restore liberty and justice for all.”

Makes you want to break out in “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” doesn’t it?

Asked about whether she thought Cruz could win South Carolina, Pierson said her man could win “all nine planets” in the solar system.

Obviously Pierson – a former congressional candidate and owner of a Texas-based consulting firm – is biased.  Hell, she introduced Cruz prior to his South Carolina speech.

But does that make her premise any less valid in the Palmetto State?

Let’s take a look and see …

***

“GAME OF ADDITION” >>>

Unlike Paul, Cruz has the ability to court – and win – evangelical voters.  He also has the ability to court – and win – supporters of the U.S. military.  And last time we checked, those constituencies were alive and well in South Carolina (despite our website’s best efforts to reduce their relevance).

If politics is a game of addition – and trust us, it is – Cruz could conceivably add votes from a lot of different pools.

“When I slam (Cruz) for Bible-thumping or pandering to the neoconservatives – the irony is (he’s) actually going to pick up support in South Carolina,” FITS’ founding editor Will Folks told one well-placed member of Cruz’s entourage.  “I just forget sometimes not everybody down here is on board with my brand of secular libertarianism and non-interventionism.”

Which is true …

The balancing act, though, comes in the support Cruz could potentially lose if he courts the far right wing constituencies too aggressively.  In other words, if his red meat is too raw – other potential GOP primary voters could choke on it, and scurry to Rand Paul’s banner.

So far, Cruz seems to be navigating the tight rope well.  On the one hand, he’s affirmed his support for long-standing American allies while also endorsing the stated objective of the latest “War on Terror.”

“We need to stand with the nation of Israel,” he told the crowd in Myrtle Beach.

Hmmmm … 

Cruz also said that America could never effectively wage war against “radical Islamic terrorism” if its leaders were too afraid to even invoke the term – clearly implying the administration of Barack Obama has been soft on Islamic fundamentalism.

“The men who flew those planes into the Twin Towers – they weren’t a bunch of ticked off Presbyterians,” Cruz said.

That’s true …

Of course Cruz’s rhetoric – while aggressive – wasn’t peppered with Lindsey Graham-style demands to invade every nation in the Middle East that doesn’t fly the Star of David on its flag.  There were no references to “boots on the ground” or “nation-building.”  In other words, Cruz seemed to be staking out foreign policy ground to the right of Rand Paul – yet to the left of Graham and fellow warmongering U.S. Sen. John McCain.

That middle ground could wind up being solid gold real estate in South Carolina …

***

“SHOW ME YOUR STRIPES” >>>

Speaking of “solid gold real estate,” Cruz has amassed plenty of it on the one issue that “Republicans” have been railing on for the last five years: Obamacare.

It goes without saying every candidate seeking the GOP nomination in 2016 opposes this socialized medicine monstrosity – as they should.  So, what elevates Cruz’s opposition to this hated law from the contempt of his contemporaries?  Well, when the rest of the Washington, D.C. “Republican” establishment decided to roll over on this issue, he stood firm – for twenty-one hours … without sitting down.

Try doing that sometime and see how long you last …

Cruz’s filibuster put him on the map on the biggest issue in politics.  And as his supporters are quick to point out, it lasted eight hours longer than Rand Paul’s.

“Ours is bigger,” one Cruz supporter joked with FITS.

Unlike the vast majority of “Republican” Senators, Cruz also backed up his impassioned filibuster by making good on his promise to vote against any budget that included funding for Obamacare.

“I ain’t interested in speeches,” he said during his South Carolina address.  “Show me your stripes.  If you’re really a conservative, you shouldn’t have to tell anybody.”

While other “Republicans” believe they can score points on Obamacare by simply shouting their opposition to the law louder than the next guy, Cruz doesn’t have to do that.  He has a record on which to stand.

That’s the sort of “walking the walk” South Carolina conservatives are bound to appreciate … even if they aren’t initially inclined to support Cruz.

Now … does any of this guarantee Cruz will win (let alone become a top tier candidate in) the Palmetto State?  No.  Support for the GOP establishment runs strong in South Carolina, and any candidate looking to win from the right faces an uphill battle.  Beyond that, a mountain of special interest money is going to flow toward left-leaning”Republicans” who align themselves with Washington’s status quo.   That mountain of money is going to buy a lot of cheap television time here – and intellectually incurious SCGOP primary voters have proven especially susceptible to slick advertising campaigns from faux “conservatives” in the past.

And then there’s Rand Paul … who despite the many ideological dissimilarities to his famous father will receive a ton of the elder statesman’s support by default.

Can Cruz make inroads among Paul supporters?  That remains to be seen.

Ted Cruz has a long way to go to become relevant as a “First in the South” contender.  But he has something most other aspiring candidates lack – a wide open path to get where he want to go.

RAPID REACTION

***

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64 comments

Rocky January 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Nice analysis Will – but a bit overboard. Here’s a shorter analysis. Cruz plays to batshit crazies. SC is full of batshit crazies. Will Cruz win the “first in the South” Crapville primary. Absolutely. Will the GOP win the White House. Yes. In 2020 – with Rand Paul.

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DarthDisney January 20, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Crazy seems to be spreading, unfortunately.

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Matt January 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

If Cruz wins SC, it is a sad sad reflection on how moronic the average SC GOP voter is.

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SCBlueWoman January 20, 2015 at 8:21 pm

That’s a given.

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Rocky January 20, 2015 at 9:36 pm

Well – it’s easier to take with single malt and a few ice cubes.

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Consult the chicken bones January 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm

Seriously, who predicted that Newt was gonna win the primary here last go round? Not even Big T, and he went through the entire list of contenders almost.

I’m not even gonna speculate on this crazy state.

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Smirks January 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm

My money is on any of the primary contenders who’s had an affair. SC has a track record, I’m telling ya.

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grandtangosuglydog January 20, 2015 at 4:23 pm

I would jump to the conclusion that every Democrat voter certainly hopes he wins. Hell he is full throttle crazy enough to win all the GOP primaries..

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DarthDisney January 20, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Maybe only if he makes a Democrat win, but god… if he became President we would have a Napoleon type person in power, what a fucking nightmare.

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grandtangosuglydog January 20, 2015 at 5:18 pm

IMHO he has absolutely zero chance of winning a national election. The primaries which seem to favor the lunatic fringe of the GOP (see GrandIdiot and his alter ego Flip) sure, but not on the national stage.

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Elfego January 20, 2015 at 5:30 pm

You cant have more of a Napoleon than Obama. He even had his own Gestapo with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi!

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JoeThePimpernel January 20, 2015 at 11:11 pm

We have a Napoleon type person in there right now.

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Hippocritters January 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm

Here’s the kind of decision making that we could expect from Cruz:

“On Sunday night, the Quorum Report’s Scott Braddock pointed out that Pierson received some $11,000 in unemployment benefits from the Texas Workforce Commission from January 2012 to November 2013—meaning she was receiving government support during a period in which she consulted for Ted Cruz’s senate campaign and was planning for her own run.”

Hahahahah! Peeeerrrrfect!

Btw, Pierson is a hot little monkey, so maybe she can earn a few bucks cleaning my house naked.

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Smirks January 20, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Newt won SC last time, lost to Romney, who lost to Obama.

With any luck, Cruz will have the same luck as Gingrich.

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jeb 2016 January 20, 2015 at 5:04 pm

jeb bush already won the presidency. jeb bush will win the SC primary. who are you kidding? donald trump will be kissing jeb’s ass. ted cruz team bush 2000 will get the fuck out the way quicklike too. just watch his bitch ass stfu when jeb steps up. jeb owns you. jeb bush 2016. it already happened.

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SCBlueWoman January 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Not in your life. Have you seen his polling numbers? He and Mitt are in the crapper.

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vicupstate January 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm

I wouldn’t be so sure. Blue Blood pedigrees are all the rage in the GOP. What nominee would be a bigger middle finger to Obama than Romney and Jeb? That alone makes them the favorites.

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GrandTango January 21, 2015 at 8:08 am

“Blue Blood pedigrees”……….You mean like Hillary like CLINTON’S…..LMAO…..

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vicupstate January 22, 2015 at 8:19 am

If Democrats worshiped pedigrees like the GOP does, Obama would never have beaten Hillary for the nomination in 2008.

GrandTango January 22, 2015 at 8:25 am

LMAO…you F*#king idiot…that just shows your Ignorance of who you are…
To be Black, Socialist and a White Hating Racist (as Obama is) is the Top-Tier, Class AAA Pedigree in the Democrat Party…you Dumb@$$…
Criminals, multiple-voters, haters and all caught in the filter of immorality, decadence and corruption worship pedigrees like Obama’s…and he maximized it to become king of the world…
Are you that F*#king STUPID?????

vicupstate January 22, 2015 at 8:35 am

Apparently you don’t understand the meaning of pedigree as it relates to this topic. Unlike Jeb, Romney and Hillary, Obama is not related or married to ANY public officeholder.

GrandTango January 22, 2015 at 10:49 am

There is different criteria for different pedigrees…

But since you seem to be limited in your scope of definitions…I’m guessing you are disavowing Hillary if she gets the Democrat Nomination, because she is unqualified because of her PEDIGREE, right???

vicupstate January 23, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Obviously it takes MORE than a pedigree to win the D nomination. The R nomination requires it.

SCBlueWoman January 20, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Can a Cuban/American, born in Canada run for President?

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GrandTango January 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Show proof…or STFU…you miserable lying piece of liberal S#!t…

And oh yeah…have a blessed day…Hahahaha…

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grandtangosuglydog January 20, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Coming from the idiot who swears Obama was born in Kenya..your remarks are as usual, priceless in their enormous girth of ignorance and hypocrisy.
This is just one of many sources of proof..now i know a fucking idiot troll like you doesnt know what Proof is or what the word means as you have never responded when asked in the past..so consider it a lesson. You’re welcome. You fucking idiot.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/aug/20/ted-cruz-born-canada-eligible-run-president/

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GrandTango January 20, 2015 at 5:17 pm

I have NO idea where Obama was born you ignorant F*#k…

I said a long time ago…no matter where Obama was born he got away w/ it…if it was not Hawaii….Dumb@$$…

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WTF? January 20, 2015 at 6:14 pm

You have no idea about anything, far as I can tell.

SCBlueWoman January 20, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Bless your dumbass heart. That’s his heritage and history. Again, I don’t need to respond to someone as inherently stupid as you. You lying piece of nothing.

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William January 20, 2015 at 7:21 pm Reply
The Trunk January 20, 2015 at 7:48 pm

Your mother really thought car-pooling was a good idea untill she hit a few potholes, huh?

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Rocky January 20, 2015 at 9:34 pm

No Mayor of Crapville – it’s Cruz who has to show proof – or STFU – dumbass.

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vicupstate January 20, 2015 at 5:28 pm

A candidate’s nationality/citizenship is only of concern when he is not white. Cruz gets a pass.

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Elfego January 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Obama ran and won and he is a Kenyan American. What a dumb question!

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JoeThePimpernel January 20, 2015 at 11:12 pm

If a Muslim born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia can run for President, anybody can.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/booklet.asp

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grandtangosuglydog January 21, 2015 at 9:58 am

ahhh a tin foil hat patron…its been proven over and over born in Hawaii..but please..keep up the delusions..have you met Grand asshat yet? you two could be quite the couple..
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/aug/20/ted-cruz-born-canada-eligible-run-president/

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JoeThePimpernel January 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

Then why did his own press release say for years he was born in Kenya? Even Snopes can’t deny it.

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grandtangosuglydog January 21, 2015 at 12:00 pm

urban myth..which i assume is what most of your true beliefs are based on.

JoeThePimpernel January 21, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Snopes says it’s not a myth. That’s why I linked to Snopes at the beginning.

Here, I’ll link to it again. Hopefully you won’t miss it a second time.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthers/booklet.asp

GrandTango January 20, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Liberals FEAR this man, because he SLAPS the S#!t out of them, and tells it like it is….as America erupts with cheering and approval for Cruz.

Liberal-Tarians FEAR him because he does not need their waffling, half-@$$, moderate vote…and Establishment Republicans – many are Liberal-Tarians – fear Cruz, because he connects w/ the people…he does not need the party to support him…

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Bowie's In Space January 20, 2015 at 7:45 pm

Asked about whether she thought Cruz could win South Carolina, Pierson said her man could win “all nine planets” in the solar system.

Really far out there chicka!

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SCBlueWoman January 20, 2015 at 8:22 pm

Like for the Bowie in Space name. LOL

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Rusty Shackleford January 20, 2015 at 8:17 pm

What in the hell is a “Liberal-Tarian”? Are you trying to denigrate libertarians? If so, then you’re a moron who deserves no further response on my part. Enjoy your ever-increasing government, clown.

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grandtangosuglydog January 21, 2015 at 9:56 am

Didnt take you long to figure out the village idiot.

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HD January 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm

What is with this bizarre affectation of quoting yourself in your own column? That’s just weird.

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Uberdeke January 20, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Any word yet on whether or not Cruz is a natural born American citizen? Didn’t think so.

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vicupstate January 20, 2015 at 5:33 pm

If Lindsay runs, he wins SC. Therefore, it takes SC off the map of importance.

Many GOPers don’t like Lindsay, but they will split seven different ways, just like in the 2014 primary.

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Manray9 January 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm

It did Newt a lot of good. I hope Cruz the Charlatan does win, that will accelerate the decline of importance of the SC GOP presidential primary because he’ll have no chance at the nomination.

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Clarendonian January 20, 2015 at 6:05 pm

Hell yes, he’s crazy enough to win it!

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RHood2 January 20, 2015 at 6:12 pm

Since he has renounced his Canadian citizenship, that is a explicit admission he was not born in the United States. He is, by his OWN ADMISSION, not eligible.
He will quibble that the renunciation somehow absolves him, but the words of the US Constitution are absolute, though the implementation can be a bitch for some of you who reject valid birth certificates provided by sovereign states of the Union.
He’s got a valid birth certificate FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY.

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David Farrar January 20, 2015 at 11:42 pm

Even if we would accept Obama’s birth certificate, neither Obama, nor Sen Cruz, are Art. II §I cl. 5 natural born Citizens, both had foreign fathers at the time of their birth, which would compel them, vis positive law, to renounce one of them at the age of majority, something a true natural born Citizen would have no need of doing.

ex animo
davidfarrar

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David Farrar January 21, 2015 at 11:26 am

“In 2008, we reviewed research and polled several legal experts. The consensus was that someone is a “natural born” citizen if they have citizenship at birth and don’t have to go through a naturalization process to become a citizen.” …Politifact.com

Sen. Cruz, like every other US citizen, born or naturalized, did, in fact, pledge to support and abide by the US Const. at his birth He did so by the “transfer of allegiance” from his US citizen mother. While we may have honest disputes over the precise meaning of an Art. II §I cl. 5 natural born Citizen; we do know what it is not. A natural born US citizen cannot be a US citizen created by Congress.

ex animo
davidfarrar

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carlosdanger January 20, 2015 at 6:31 pm

But will President Cruz persecute political minorities by ordering the IRS to silence them like his predecessor?

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SC Explainer January 20, 2015 at 6:32 pm

Lets solve the immigration problem now! Lets export Nikki, Ted, Marco, Bobby and all the other attack-mouth panderers who have taken advantage of the system to now turn their (wet)backs on other immigrants.

At least they’d stop stinking-up the place.

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Grahams Head if Bad January 20, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Lindsey Graham is a pig shit. Gay boy actually thinks he stands a change himself of being elected as POTUS. Talk about being seriously delusional!

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SC Explainer January 20, 2015 at 6:52 pm

Lets solve the immigration question here and now! We’ll export the Ted’s, Nikki’s, Marco’s, Bobby’s, etc., back to whince they came.

These tacky jerks have turned their pandering (wet)back asses on others seeking the same opportunity they have had.

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Rhetorical Post? January 20, 2015 at 6:58 pm

He’s far and away the most insane divorced from reality idealogue in the entire election, how could he not work n SC?

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bogart January 20, 2015 at 7:11 pm

What a dumbass question….of course Cruz could win in SC. SC voters love crazy politicians. Now if he’ll have an affair with a horse, SC will not only elect him, they’ll kiss his feet.

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Rusty Shackleford January 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm

No, Ted Cruz does not attract any Rand Paul supporters. Ted Cruz’s foreign policy is awful like the rest of the GOP, but he does have some okay domestic policy positions. However, I’m only voting for Rand Paul.

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JoeThePimpernel January 20, 2015 at 11:10 pm

Ted is the worst nightmare of the GOP-wing of the Democrat party.

He is the reason Milt Romley and Jethro Busch both started the Republican presidential nomination race a year early.

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GrandTango January 21, 2015 at 8:27 am

Great point…..Cruz forced Liberal-Tarian, moderate, Democrat-lite candidates to declare their intentions…so we can reject them as UNFIT…early. That’s a service to America, and the Conservative who will be faced with cleaning up the ugly mess Obama has made…

I’d say Cruz has already scored ONE victory…I thank him for that….

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David Farrar January 20, 2015 at 11:34 pm

While I stand shoulder to shoulder with Sen Cruz on his conservative approach to issues of the day, Sen. Cruz is not a natural born US citizen but a statutory US citizen at birth. While we may not know precisely what is meant by a natural born citizen via natural law; we do know what it isn’t. It isn’t statutory citizenship authorized by Congress.

People who care nothing, or know nothing, about the natural born citizenship clause contained in Article ll, care nothing, or know nothing, about who the “we” are in “We the People”. I find it just a little bit too hard to accept that Sen Cruz cares nothing, or knows nothing, about who “We the People” are.

ex animo
davidfrarrar

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GrandTango January 21, 2015 at 8:24 am

Sen. Mike Lee (Cruz buddy) is pushing a move to Repeal Obamacare With 51-Vote Senate Majority…I’d LOVE to see if the FITS-Liberal-Tarians will attack Lee like you customarily any non-establishment Republican…???

WHY is FITS silent?….is Lee’s move a way to OUT the waffling middlers like FITS…????…He is FORCING Liberal-sympathizers to make a stand…so the NATION can see who they are….No way for FITS to lie – or fudge- his way out of this one….

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