Ted Cruz’s big week

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Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz speaks with members of the media shortly after ending his extended Senate floor remarks on September 25, 2013. A Senate vote to move ahead with further consideration of the government funding bill is expected later in the day.

By Theodore Schleifer and Sunlen Serfaty


(CNN) — One year ago this week, Ted Cruz became the first of 17 candidates to argue that he could unite the Republican Party behind him.

Now, he has his a chance to prove it.

On the anniversary of a presidential launch that knew nothing of a man by the name of Donald Trump, contests and converts won of late will offer the clearest signal yet of whether he can indeed consolidate the anti-Trump movement and eventually defeat the billionaire front-runner.

Cruz is favored to win this Tuesday’s caucuses in Utah and is hopeful of sweeping the state’s 40 delegates by eclipsing the 50% threshold needed to take them all home. And while Cruz’s campaign says Trump has a large lead in the early vote in winner-take-all Arizona, which also votes Tuesday, Cruz’s aides are projecting confidence that they can gain on Trump by then.

Establishment Republicans, once expected to be the demon of Cruz’s White House ambitions, are increasingly coming around. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate and a Mormon, said he will vote for Cruz on Tuesday. And former presidential foe Lindsey Graham will host a fundraiser for him.

If Cruz is able to notch a powerful showing in those two states, it could reset the narrative of Trump’s inevitability as the pace of primaries and caucuses slows considerably in the spring.

“Every week is important, but‎ this one is especially important given the time-sensitive nature of conservatives rallying around Ted,” said Cruz communications director Alice Stewart.

“It’s going to be key that he wins some of these winner-take-all primaries to slow Trump down, but I think this week can be the week that happens,” said David McIntosh, the head of the Club for Growth, one of the main anti-Trump advocacy groups. “It’ll show that it’s still possible to have someone other than Trump.”

Cruz officials are trying to emphasize the damage they feel Trump would do the GOP, even seeking to use protests at Trump protests to their advantage.

“People are recognizing what a disaster Trump would be if he were the nominee,” Stewart argues, adding unsolicited, “These protests are an indication of what we would see in the general election if — heaven forbid — he were the nominee.”

But even a sweep Tuesday would not put Cruz on a glide path to the nomination — he would have to win a huge majority of the remaining delegates to earn 1,237 by the time Republicans gather for their national convention in Cleveland.

‎What about Kasich?

While it is closer to a two-man race than it has ever been, John Kasich has signaled no willingness to leave the race, a roadblock that angers many of Cruz’s backers and donors. Kasich has made an aggressive play in Utah on the ground and on television, a move that likely will give Trump more delegates and pave his path to the magic number.

“I’m of the camp that Kasich is running for vice president — and he doesn’t care if it’s Trump or Cruz or Sanders or Hillary,” said Nate Bachman, a Cruz contributor from Kasich’s Ohio who is part of the donor network organized by Charles and David Koch.

Yet Bachman said he feels “not real well” about Cruz’s overall chances: “I just don’t see a path for him — especially with Kasich blocking him.”

Other donors share in the considerable angst about Kasich, with Cruz himself this weekend dubbing the Ohio governor — who has no mathematical shot at winning the nomination before the convention — a “spoiler.” His campaign, however has been slow to otherwise attack Kasich. Cruz on Saturday declined to answer when asked by reporters whether the governor was a “conservative.”

Benefits of Rubio’s departure

“We would be shocked if he didn’t do much better than 50%,” said Utah GOP Vice Chairman Phill Wright, who is helming Cruz’s campaign in the state. “We’re very confident — especially with Marco Rubio out of the race.”

It is Rubio’s exit that has Cruz’s Houston headquarters excited.

“We’re the ones answering the phones. People are reaching out to us,” Stewart says, “The trend and the momentum is moving to Ted. People are responding.”

Rubio’s departure has caused some establishment figures, such as Romney, to give Cruz a fresh look.

Graham joked about Cruz’s murder only three weeks ago, but on Monday in Washington, he will hold a fundraiser for Cruz’s campaign, a jaw-dropping reversal explained not by a newfound appreciation for a man who once shut down the government, but a recognition, Graham said, that only Cruz could topple Trump.

Other Rubio surrogates are following suit, such as conservative Arizona congressman Matt Salmon, who on Sunday said he would choose Cruz. Salmon’s home state is likely to break for Trump, who has the backing of the border state’s most prominent anti-immigration hardliners, such as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

“We’re going to have a very good night in Utah. Arizona is much tighter,” Cruz said in Phoenix on Friday. “Donald did well in early voting in Arizona. We’re surging now. Our numbers are going up and up and up.”

After Tuesday, the Republican calendar slows to a crawl, with only two contests over the next month: Wisconsin and New York.

The Badger State on April 5 in particular is expected to be ground zero for the forces hoping to stop Trump, with McIntosh saying his group is planning a large ad buy in the state. And the Club is even considering not just anti-Trump advertising for the remainder, but pro-Cruz spots as well.

McIntosh said that Cruz could even begin to make inroads with the Republicans who flocked to Trump’s campaign and refused to let go.

“People who really do not want to have a Trump nominee are OK with Cruz,” McIntosh said, “and you’re seeing the Trump voters saying they’re OK with him, too.”

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  • Pete Wagner

    The less transparent the process (i.e., men behind curtains), the better Cruz’ chances are. Call for a show of hands in a large, well lit venue, Trump wins every time.

  • David John Francis


    Americans only have to look at the nominees for the presidency of the United States. Hillary Clinton to be assessed must go back to her first appearance as an attorney: A LOT OF PEOPLE HAS BEEN ASKING…WHAT ARE HILLARY CLINTON ACCOMPLISHMENTS?

    1974: She served on the impeachment staff in Washington DC during Watergate and was FIRED from that job for ethics violations, having found her to be a liar and a shady lawyer.

    Early-80’s: Successfully defended a CHILD Rapist from going to jail because of the “bloody Panties” of the victim was improperly handled, and she’s on audio tape laughing about it.

    2002: Claims poverty because she and her husband are in debt to defense attorneys to the tune of FIVE MILLION DOLLARS for all Bill Clinton’s affairs and impeachment.

    20011: Asks husband Bill, as President to pardon her brother Tony, to keep him from going to prison for fraud.

    2012: As Secretary of State, allows FOUR AMERICANS to because she refused to grant their request for extra security leading up to the 9/11 on the Benghazi, Libyan embassy.

    2013 New York Times exposes her charity (Clinton Global Initiative) as a money laundering scheme. With millions of dollars spirited away from the foundation making Madam Hillary’s life and Bill’s a luxury experience, Their is a long list of foreign countries who have poured into the foundation, for supposedly for corporate and industrial speeches.

    2014: Avoids paying significant income taxes by moving her assets to blind trusts.

    2014: Major donor to her campaign going to prison for fraud and she keeps the money.


    In July 2015, a network of four related ‘keep the Promise’ political action committees reported raising $38 million to support Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign.

    New York Times- July 31st. 2015: ” More than 95% of total contributions to Super PAC’s supporting TED Cruz came from donations of $1 million or more than any other candidate.

    In August 2015, the New York Times confirmed that hedge fund investor Robert Mercer had contributed $11 million to the Pro-Cruz PACs-the largest donation amount from a single person within this election cycle.

    Ted Cruz is a part of the GOP Cartel and likes to believe he is anti-establishment? Than think again…??
    Cruz worked for President George W. Bush, an epitome of the GOP Establishment.
    Cruz pushed for HB-1 visas, so thereby professional legal immigrants to work, instead of Americans.
    Cruz Indebted to a big money donor, Lawyer Dathan Voelter working with billionaires to raise $31 million dollars to extend his campaign.

    Senator Cruz of Texas began his race for the Whitehouse by stealing votes from Ben Carson, by cleverly informing Carson’s voters and slyly sending out mailers that he was dropping out and going home. Cruz wife is a director in Goldman Sachs, of which Cruz collected $1 million towards his campaign; he also received a nice nest egg from extreme Socialist George Soros, who is anti-American.

    In conclusion, its not just the poor or uneducated, I personally have a PhD, and if you view my Twitter account I have a collection of celebrities, commentators and even politicians and blue and white collar and people who are black Americans, Asian Americans, causations, Hispanic Americans and millions of others who are sick and tired with ‘Business as Usual.” The BullS### doesn’t work anymore.

  • David John Francis

    Whatever the GOP establishment tries to dump Donald Trump, it’s not going to work. Just like millions of other Trumps supporters I am going to just disappear back into the woodwork if either political party plays dirty. Then from I hear from my Twitter account of thousands of others, they are also going to walk away and not vote at all in a fraudulent, twisted process. We should have realized that the whole thing was a set-up for the Presidency and had been fixed from the beginning. The parties just want to control the US population and with promises they cannot keep unless Bernie Sanders wants to bankrupt the country, and not much better is Hillary Clinton. They cannot allow Trump to win, as he will disrupt the nice, comfortable life style, the perks, the Special Privileges and from the powerful and influential people who don’t give a damn of the working people.

    The Washington political establishment is now in panic mode Not because they are afraid of any one individual or potential nominee, but because they are afraid of losing their own political influence as the US people are furious at such things as Omnibus budget of $2.2 Trillion dollars, with the GOP Cartel not cutting back on funds for King Obama’s latest initiatives as financially catering to the now estimated 15 million illegal aliens, the so called Affordable Care Act and other programs that should have held back.

    The corporate entities have already aligned themselves with lying Cruz and former Governor of Ohio Kasick? The American people, who are FREE THINKING and love liberty, should not take MY word for it but read the unethical and resurfaced history of both these men which must include. Hillary Clinton. The act is I have already been barred from Corporate Social Networks as Facebook, Disgus, as I can only guess that I was getting under their skin. A whole list of newspapers as well, have stopped my authorship of words, they don’t like and prefer Americans should not read.

    Once upon a time DC was filled with well meaning individual who deem they are doing the right thing, but far too many have lost their way after years in the corrupt halls of Washington. Lawmakers pay more awareness to the special interests clusters, and powerful lobbyists who arrange the SUPER PAC’s who buy in to writing checks for their next campaigns than listening to their constituents back home towns who originally t sent them to Capitol in the first place.

    This dangerous power vacuum has fueled frustration and created an entirely new breed of disenfranchised voters who are fed up with the status quo. These are real people, their anger is palpable, and it’s not going away anytime soon. It’s shown by the increasing numbers of new voters, known as the silent majority, but lately are getting louder.

    The American people feel betrayed by Congress and that is why they have turned to top businessman and CEO Donald Trump. A mounting number of Americans are more provoked by this feeling of exasperation than any individual political agenda. The rise of Professional politicians has completely shifted the familiar political archetype of just Democrat versus Republican to an outsider. Today most Americans look at the federal government as suppressing their rights and not able to speak out. All they see are years of futile policies that have made life far tougher for them and their families, as the political class seems ignorant of the growing poverty, unemployment and the ailing money-swallowing Obamacare health care system and Barack Obama unleashing millions of illegal aliens into the country against Article 1 of the Constitution. 27 million working-age Americans are out of work, However, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders intend to grant working permits to 5 million illegal aliens. Both Cruz and Kasick are weak on illegal immigration, but since Trumps statement of building the wall, Cruz has mentioned his intention to construct a fence, that is easy to scale.

  • Leonard gaines

    Donald implies riots and bad things are going to happen if he doesnt win. Wonder if that’s aimed at delegates? He takes both sides of an issue, isn’t that a liar? No debates? Likes pond prnthd? Won’t do debates? All things negotiable? If not for dem
    Votes & media help? NO THANKS!!

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