Kudos to Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

After Indiana’s disappointing results came in, Texas Senator Ted Cruz suspended his campaign. It was a very wise decision.

I had just finished an appearance on the Fox Business Network, in which I tried to avoid suggesting that he should drop out. But by the time I got back to my house, Senator Cruz had made the announcement.

Tuesday night, Senator Cruz put the country before his own ambitions. He knows the ultimate goal is to stop Hillary Clinton and prevent the left’s “fundamental transformation” of America. The Republican Party and the conservative movement must be united.

And the party is coming together. As I write, news is breaking that Ohio Governor John Kasich has suspended his campaign too.

As a former presidential candidate, I know that it is never an easy decision to drop out. You know you are letting loyal supporters down. But as Senator Cruz said Tuesday night, the movement to defend the Constitution and our Judeo-Christian values continues.

He reminded us Tuesday night that there is no substitute for victory. We must defeat Hillary Clinton in November!

Surprised by Cruz’s decision, Donald Trump praised Cruz as “one hell of a competitor,” adding, “He is a tough, smart guy. And he has got an amazing future.”

In fact, some have suggested Senator Cruz would make a great Supreme Court Justice. As a clerk to the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Cruz learned from one of the best.

Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. Continue Reading

BREAKING: Kasich to Suspend Campaign This Evening

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Last night, after finishing a distant third in the Indiana Primary, a defiant John Kasich appeared poised to continue his quest for the presidency, even as Ted Cruz ended his own. Despite his position far behind Donald Trump in the delegate count, Kasich’s campaign released the following statement through John Weaver, their chief strategist:

Tonight’s results are not going to alter Gov. Kasich’s campaign plans. Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention. The comments from Trump, on the verge of winning in Indiana, heighten the differences between Governor Kasich and his positive, inclusive approach and the disrespectful ramblings from Donald Trump.

However, many outlets are now reporting that Kasich has cancelled a Washington, D.C., fundraiser and subsequent press conference at Dulles Airport in favor of a press conference in his home state of Ohio. These same outlets are also reporting that Kasich’s Ohio press conference will be the end of the Governor’s longshot bid for the GOP nomination.

Kasich’s departure from the race removes the last potential, although highly unlikely, roadblock to Trump’s nomination and will officially cement Trump as the GOP’s presumptive nominee.

Joshua Pinho is a Digital Communications Associate for the American Principles Project. Follow him on Twitter @Josh_Pinho. Continue Reading

ThePulse2016.com Chat: What Happened to Ted Cruz?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

We held a chat this morning with several The Pulse 2016 contributors to discuss the end of Ted Cruz’s campaign. Where does the conservative movement go from here? Can Donald Trump be trusted by social conservatives?

Participants included:

schweppe [10:04 AM]: Okay. Well, let’s get started. Thanks to all of you for joining.

ralphbenko [10:05 AM]: You are welcome, Jon.

schweppe [10:05 AM] Last night, Ted Cruz dropped out of the race after losing Indiana… so what happened?

ralphbenko [10:05 AM] Here’s my piece at Forbes: How Donald Trump Beat Ted Cruz.

shane_vanderhart [10:05 AM] Yep got that in my inbox bright and early 🙂

shane_vanderhart [10:06 AM] This was written before Cruz dropped… Caffeinated Thoughts: Five Observations About Donald Trump’s Win in Indiana

ralphbenko [10:07 AM] Trump featured a powerful (and probably authentic) Peace and Prosperity narrative. Ted Cruz had a terrific Peace and Prosperity platform but muffled his narrative.

Just looking at their respective campaign websites shows this vividly.

Maggie nailed it perfectly a few weeks ago in her NR column (from which I quoted). [Editor’s Note: Maggie Gallagher’s National Review column can be found here.]

shane_vanderhart [10:08 AM] Ultimately narrative beat Cruz. It was hard to overcome the Trump PR machine aka the Media. Continue Reading

Here’s How Donald Trump Beat Ted Cruz

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump

What happened in Indiana is not likely to stay in Indiana.

Presidential campaigns are a genre of nonfiction. Here is how Donald Trump beat Ted Cruz in Indiana and became the GOP nominee. To appropriate the words of editorial titan Sean Coyne, it was a Big Idea. Trump’s Big Idea: Make America Great Again!  Doubling down, Trump declared in his recent first major foreign policy speech: Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction.

In contrast, Ted Cruz focused on what Coyne calls building blocks. He commandeered delegates, announced a VP appointment, criticized a Trump endorser, attempted to paint Trump as a member of the elite, and so forth.

I’ve often praised Cruz for offering the best equitable prosperity platform among the candidates. I’ve chided him for turning that winning hand into a footnote. Since prosperity (along with peace) is the key issue in presidential politics submerging it was a mistake.

As the New York Post’s John Crudele recently observed, Americans haven’t gotten a raise in 16 years. Transforming that stagnation into working family prosperity, coupled with a “tough dove” defense and foreign policy, is the pivot on which this election should rest.

Going to the homepage of the Cruz campaign website, we are invited to “join the movement of courageous conservatives.” To get to “Jobs and Opportunity,” one of seven issues featured by Cruz, one must click on “Issues” and scroll through to the second-to-last item of a drop down menu.

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What Happens If Trump Wins Indiana Tonight? (VIDEO)

Frank Cannon is president of the American Principles Project and a respected conservative political strategist with over 30 years of experience.

There was an assumption that Trump had a high point that he couldn’t overcome which was around 50 percent, and he has in fact been able to close in on 60 percent. His numbers in California are now around 54 to 55 percent. He’s got 1,000 delegates. There are 240 delegates that he needs to win, and if he wins 40-plus delegates in Indiana, it’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t amass 200 in the states of California, New Jersey, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, etc. that are still to come.

I think it’s imperative upon conservatives to make a decision. Is it important that Hillary Clinton be beat? I think it’s absolutely important that she be beat. And as a social conservative, I honestly believe that Trump in his commitment to a Supreme Court justice who would be a conservative — and I’m anticipating a speech on this very soon by Trump — that he is against late term abortion, that he is for defunding Planned Parenthood, and that he’s for protecting religious liberty, is a candidate who would be infinitely better than Hillary Clinton, and someone we should mobilize behind.

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Can Cruz Pull Off the Upset in Indiana?

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

The conventional wisdom is that Tuesday’s contest in Indiana is Ted Cruz’s last chance at stopping Donald Trump.

The conventional wisdom is probably right.

RealClearPolitics has an updated delegate count:

  • Trump: 996
  • Cruz: 565
  • Rubio (dropped out): 171
  • Kasich: 153

Trump is now just 241 delegates away from clinching the nomination with 502 delegates remaining. How will Indiana impact the delegate count?

Here’s what I wrote last week:

Trump has an opportunity to slam the door on this race next week in Indiana, where 57 delegates will be up for grabs. 30 of those delegates will be determined on a winner-take-all basis, while the other 27 will be allocated by congressional district winner — three delegates for each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts.

Right now, polling in Indiana is pretty close. A poll taken a week ago by CBS News/YouGov gave Trump a 40-35 lead over Cruz. Another poll by Fox News gave Trump a 41-33 lead.

A week later, polling is all over the place. It’s important to note — Indiana is a difficult state to poll. State law makes it illegal to do automated polling, and Indiana is very diverse demographically — cities like Gary and Kokomo look very different from each other.

So we have to take polling with a grain of salt. Here are the five most recently released polls:

  • April 28-29: Gravis, Trump 44, Cruz 27
  • April 27-28: ARG, Trump 41, Cruz 32
  • April 27: Clout Research, Trump 37, Cruz 35
  • April 26-28: NBC/WSJ poll, Trump 49, Cruz 34
  • April 13-27: IPFW, Cruz 45, Trump 29

It’s hard to get an accurate sense for the race when polling is so inconsistent.

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Trump, Cruz Escalate Attacks as Indiana Vote Nears

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are in the midst of making their final pitches to the people of Indiana before next Tuesday’s primary, spending millions of dollars on television advertising throughout the state. Trump has largely focused on trade deals and outsourcing, attacking local manufacturer Carrier Corp for its plans to move 2,100 jobs to Mexico. Cruz, meanwhile, has largely focused on Trump’s recent statements against North Carolina’s bathroom bill, and has repeatedly compared Trump’s policies to those of Hillary Clinton.

A recent ad from the Trump campaign features Donald Trump Jr. praising his father’s tough persona, stating, “It’s that toughness that I want renegotiating trade deals with China and Mexico. It’s that toughness that I want keeping me, and my family, and your family safe.” Another Trump ad attacks Cruz on both trade and immigration, claiming, “Bad trade deals supported by Ted Cruz have hurt Indiana” and that only Trump “will stand up to China, Japan, and Mexico” to renegotiate those deals. Governor Mike Pence, who endorsed Ted Cruz earlier today, nevertheless said that he was “particularly grateful that Donald Trump has taken a strong stand for Hoosier jobs.”

The Cruz campaign, however, has been busy drawing parallels between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on issues such as gun control, abortion, and, particularly, transgender bathroom access. Cruz has been highlighting this issue in rallies throughout the week, saying, “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both agree that grown men should be allowed to use the little girls’ restroom” and that “[i]f Donald Trump dresses as Hillary Clinton, he still can’t use the little girls’ restroom.” A new advertisement featuring Carly Fiorina further characterizes Trump and Clinton as two insiders unwilling to stand up to the establishment, saying, “Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump will fight the system, because they are the system.”

Danny Cannon works for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Cruz Wins Big Endorsement from Gov. Pence

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Indiana’s presidential primary is next week, Tuesday, May 3rd. And this afternoon, Sen. Ted Cruz got a big boost when Governor Mike Pence endorsed him. Here are some excerpts of Governor Pence’s remarks:

I’m not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the Republican primary. I am a Reagan conservative. . . I see Ted Cruz as a principled conservative who’s dedicated his career to advancing the Reagan agenda. . .

I’m very impressed with Ted Cruz’s devotion and knowledge of the Constitution. . . to our Second Amendment, and of course, I appreciate his strong and unwavering stand for the sanctity of life. . . He has shown the courage of his convictions. It’s not a popular thing in Washington to take on the leadership of your own party, and he has been willing to do it.

Indeed, he has. Just ask John Boehner and Mitch McConnell!

Polls show the race in Indiana is a dead heat between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Perhaps Gov. Pence’s endorsement will make the difference.

By the way, Governor Pence handled the endorsement the right way. He did not use rhetoric that savaged the other candidates. Instead, he raised up Cruz.

He also made it clear that he would “work my heart out” for whomever wins the GOP nomination, adding, “The course of [the Obama Administration] will only be magnified by either of the current Democrat candidates.”

Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor. Continue Reading

New Poll: Indiana Race a Dead Heat?

From left: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Donald Trump

We’re likely to see a good deal of Indiana polling released over the next few days in the lead up to the much-anticipated – and extremely important – primary next Tuesday.

However, the first poll of Indiana Republican voters taken since Donald Trump’s rout of the Northeast this week suggests that the race in the Hoosier State could come down to the wire. According to Clout Research, Trump leads the field with 37 percent, but Ted Cruz trails by only two points at 35 percent, well within the poll’s margin of error. John Kasich is a distant third at 16 percent.

Earlier this morning, Terry shared the opinion of analyst Michael Barone that GOP voters this cycle have not been strongly influenced by the results of past contests, and these numbers would seem to back that up. We’ll see if later polling reveals anything different.

Paul Dupont is the managing editor for ThePulse2016.com. Continue Reading

Barone Agrees: Trump Isn’t the Presumptive Nominee . . . Yet

From left: Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Michael Barone has a column on RealClearPolitics.com today where he points out the steep hill that Donald Trump still must climb to win the nomination outright.

We both agreed about the similarities with the Northeastern states, but he pointed out something that I missed — that turn out in these heavily blue states was just around 10 percent — which Barone points out is “lower than any other state besides Louisiana”:

But turnout in these primaries hovered around just 10 percent of eligible voters, lower than in any other state but Louisiana. That’s partly because registered Republicans are scarce on the ground in the Northeast: 37 percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania, between 21 and 29 percent in the other closed primary states. Not coincidentally, none except Pennsylvania has come close to voting for a Republican presidential nominee in recent years.

The Northeastern results are the latest example of a phenomenon seen throughout this Republican race: Voters in one state are not much moved by the choices of voters in an earlier contest.

Barone compared this race to the 1980 Democratic primary between Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter:

This reminds me of the 1980 Democratic race between Edward Kennedy and Jimmy Carter. Just when Carter seemed to have things wrapped up, Kennedy would get a big win. Then Carter would come back.

It was as if many Democratic voters wanted neither one to clinch the nomination. Perhaps this year many Republican voters don’t relish a Trump victory or a contested convention where Cruz or someone else could win.

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