By Jerome Corsi and Paul Bremmer
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, drew repeated applause telling an enthusiastic crowd Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference that 2016 is the year Republicans must stand for the Constitution, arguing electing Hillary Clinton would amount to giving Barack Obama a third term in office
“We could have had Hillary here today, but we couldn’t find a foreign country to foot the bill," he quipped, referring to news that the Clinton Foundation took millions of dollars from seven foreign governments while Hillary was secretary of state.
“So there’s not a single Democrat here,” he observed. “It’s almost as if [Israel Prime Minister] Netanyahu was invited here to speak.”
“How can we bring back the miracle of America?” Cruz asked the CPAC audience.
His answer was to reassemble the winning Reagan coalition of social, political, fiscal and national security conservatives.
“We stand strong for economic growth, but we also stand for life and marriage,” he said
“We defend constitutional rights,” he continued, “but we also stand and lead the fight against ISIS and a nuclear Iran.”
“The way we get to 51 percent is to bring together conservatives and libertarians, evangelicals, and young people, women and Hispanics, as well as Reagan Democrats,” he said. “We do that by standing with the people and not with Washington.”
He then drew contrasts, noting Washington wants Obamacare, but the people want liberty. Washington wants amnesty, but the people want rule of law. Washington wants power over the Internet, but the people want freedom online.
“Hillary Clinton embodies the corruption of Washington,” he charged. “We need to take the power out of Washington and bring it back to the American people.”
Judge by fruit
Cruz said he is tired of Republican candidates who claim to be conservative but don't walk their talk.
“We all know that in a campaign, every candidate comes up and tells you, ‘I’m the most conservative guy that’s ever lived,’” Cruz said. “That’s just what they say. I’m pretty confident that I haven’t seen any speakers come up here yet and say, ‘Actually, I’m a squishy moderate; I stand for nothing.’”
Candidates must be judged by the fruit they bear, he said.
“If a candidate tells you they oppose Obamacare, fantastic,” Cruz said. “When have you stood up and fought against it? If a candidate tells you they oppose the debt and debt ceiling that are crushing our kids and grandkids, terrific – when have you stood up and fought against it?
“If a candidate says they oppose Obamacare or Obama’s unconstitutional amnesty, ask them, ‘When have you stood up and fought?’” Cruz challenged.
“When have you stood and fought for marriage? When have you stood and fought for Israel? Actions speak louder than words. If a candidate says they oppose Common Core, great, but when have you stood up and fought against it?”
Cruz said true conservatives bear the scars of fighting in the trenches of politics.
“The biggest gap today is between career politicians in Washington and the people throughout the United States,” he said. “If you have a candidate that has stood up against Democrats, that’s great, but when have you stood up against Republicans?”
He argued the Republican Party matters only to the extent the GOP stands for liberty and the Constitution.
“Millions of Americans are hurting at home, and Obamacare is a train wreck,” he said. “We see President Obama describing the horrible terrorist attacks in Paris as a ‘random act of violence.’ There’s nothing random about radical Islamic terrorists going into a kosher deli and killing Jews because they are Jews.
“When 21 Coptic Christians are beheaded, we see President Obama saying only they were ‘Egyptian citizens,’” he said. “They were murdered for their Christian faith, and the president of the United States needs to stand up and defend them.”
He urged CPAC attendees to join his "grassroots movement" by texting the word "Constitution" to the number 33733.
“It will be each one of you energizing ‘We the People: that turns around the country," he said.
“As my father said to me many, many times, ‘I saw freedom taken away once, and I’ll die before I let it happen again,” he said, referring to his Cuban-born father who witnessed Fidel Castro's communist revolution.
Repeal 'every blasted word of Obamacare'
In a question-and-answer session with Fox News talk-show host Sean Hannity, Cruz was asked what his top five priorities would be if he were president.
“Number one – repeal every blasted word of Obamacare,” Cruz responded. “Number two, abolish the IRS. Take all 125,000 IRS agents and put them on our southern border. Number three, stop the out-of-control regulators at the EPA. Number four, defend our constitutional rights – all of them! And number five, restore America’s leadership in the world as a shining city on a hill.”
Hannity asked about the controversy over whether or not he is a natural-born citizen, a constitutional requirement for the presidency.
“Look, I was born in Calgary,” Cruz replied. “My mother was an American citizen by birth. Under federal law, that made me an American citizen by birth. The Constitution requires that you be a natural-born citizen.”
Cruz also went after Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf for saying the U.S. can't win the war against ISIS "by killing them" but by going after "the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs."
“What utter and complete nonsense,” Cruz exclaimed. “Listen, that is precisely how we win this. We kill the terrorist leaders before they kill us.”
Hannity played a word-association game with Cruz, naming three politicians and asking for his immediate thought.
What did the senator think about Hillary Clinton?
“Washington,” he said.
“Youth outreach,” Cruz replied, causing an eruption of laughter.
Barack Hussein Obama?
“Lawless imperator,” Cruz declared
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