Texas Senator Ted Cruz is urging Iowans who intend to vote in the Caucuses more than a year from now to “scrutinize” the records of candidates seeking support from the party’s conservatives.
“In a Republican primary every candidate’s going to come in front of you and say, ‘I’m the most conservative guy that ever lived. Gosh darn it, hoodiddly I’m conservative,'” Cruz said. “Well, you know what? Talk is cheap. The word tells us, ‘You shall know them by their fruit,’ and one of the most important roles of the men and women in this room, the men and women of Iowa will play is to look each candidate in the eye and say: ‘Don’t talk. Show me.'”
Cruz offered his own check-list for conservatives, calling for the end of ObamaCare, reigning in the EPA and adopting a simple “flat” income tax. He joked that by closing the Internal Revenue Service, all of the agency’s employees could be redeployed to provide security along the southern border.
“Think about it for a second. Imagine you had traveled thousands of miles through Central America, through the heat, you’re swimming across the Rio Grande and the first thing you see is 110,000 IRS agents,” Cruz said, as the crowd laughed. “You’d turn around and go home, too.”
Cruz was among the roster of speakers at Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, but Cruz has been courting Iowa conservatives for two and a half years. At the time of his speech to Iowa delegates at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa Cruz was a candidate for the U.S. Senate, but had not yet been elected. Since then Cruz has been a frequent visitor to Iowa, urging crowds to reassemble the coalition that helped elect Ronald Reagan president 35 years ago.
“We do not accept losing this country,” Cruz said to conclude his speech. “We will together reignite the miracle of America. We will together bring back that shining city on a hill that is the United States of America.”
AUDIO of Cruz’s speech
Cruz appeared in both 2013 and 2014 at Iowa events hosted by The Family Leader and The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, groups of Christian conservative activists. Saturday’s event was hosted by Congressman Steve King and Citizens United, a conservative organization best known for its successful legal challenge of campaign spending restrictions.