Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, praised the “grassroots” and blasted “career politicians” in both political parties during a speech at a Christian conservative gathering in Ames today.
Near the beginning of his 27-minute speech Cruz repeated a joke he’s been telling since his 2012 campaign.
“If you go back to the original Greek, politics had two parts: poli, meaning many and tics, meaning blood sucking parasites,” Cruz said, getting laughter from the crowd. “And that fairly accurately describes the state of politics in Washington today.”
As he did during a visit to Iowa in July, Cruz outlined his vision for repealing “ObamaCare” by threatening a government shutdown and he celebrated the senate’s defeat of new gun control measures. Cruz drew a standing ovation when he called for abolishing the Internal Revenue Service.
“I do have to share with y’all a bit of bad news: by virtual of each of you being here today, on Monday you’re going to be audited by the IRS,” Cruz cracked, getting laughter from the crowd.
Pastor Rafael Cruz, the senator’s father, spoke to the crowd about an hour earlier, drawing a rousing response from the crowd.
“It is high time that pastors stop hiding behind the pulpit,” Rafael Cruz said, to cheers.”
The younger Cruz later cast himself as a crusader.
“We’re seeing right now a new generation of leaders who are rising forward, who are defending free market principles and spreading the word and, with a grassroots army, that’s how we turn the country around,” Cruz said.
Cruz was a key draw for those attending the day-long Family Leadership Summit organized by The Family Leader and after Cruz’s speech ended in the early evening, the audience began to thin. Donald Trump is the event’s closing speaker.