Ted Cruz is the proven conservative. His entire time in national office has been spent challenging the GOP establishment. That's why they hate him. He's put his career on the line doing that – just as he put his chances in the Iowa caucuses on the line by opposing ethanol subsidies, lifeblood to Iowa. Principles matter. Iowans gave him the victory.
Donald Trump is not a conservative. His history is liberal and Democrat. I liked his build-the-wall rhetoric and middle finger to political correctness and the press. But that's history. He's all over the place now. And he seldom gives specifics. His appeal is the same Obama had – but to the other side. It is mostly emotional: this tough guy will lead us to the promised land. But as with Obama, we have no proof except his business background. He's been great at that, bullying opponents, greasing palms, leading the lavish if not hedonistic lifestyle common to moguls.
He may get the country more jobs. But so will Cruz. Jobs are a matter of opportunity and enterprise, mainstays to any conservative.
He may justifiably whack militant Islam. But so will Cruz. Defense is primary to a conservative.
He may build the wall. So will Cruz. National security, including maintaining and protecting national borders, is primary to Cruz. He constantly says so. He's also from Texas, where the border problem is perhaps greatest. He knows the problem from an insider's perspective.
So what is the real difference between Cruz and Trump? Cruz is a proven conservative based on his record. We know what he will do. He does what he says. Trump has no political record except regarding those to whom he's donated. Based on that, he leans liberal. At best he's a gamble. At worst, he's a New York Democrat, where he was born and raised.
If you are a conservative, why gamble when you have a sure thing? Cruz is a sure thing.
All the talk about Cruz's dirty tricks in the campaign is ridiculous. His camp tweeted a wrong news report. They didn't make it; CNN did. Cruz immediately apologized. Next, he pulled a good ad because, unknown to him when it was made, it featured an actress who had been in R-rated movies. Would Trump have done the same? Finally, a chief staffer tweeted something he shouldn't have, and Cruz fired him. That hurt his campaign planning. But Cruz did it anyway. Principle and integrity count with him. You don't see that much in politics.
For balance, Trump calls Cruz a liar, mentally unhinged, a baby – every time Cruz points out something about Trump that is indisputable. Trump doesn't own up to anything. In that regard, he's like Hillary Clinton. He doesn't explain anything, like how Mexico will pay for the wall or even how America will be great again except that he will be at the helm. That's Obama-think. We must take a leap of faith and simply believe.
Trump is now in the lead for the GOP nomination. Cruz is second, by virtue of a win in Iowa, although if you listen to the news media, Rubio is second. And maybe he is. But is he a conservative? On most issues, it appears so. But on amnesty – the guts of fairness and continued illegal immigration (because any amnesty will bring more illegals) – he is not forthright. He actually joined with unscrupulous Democrats like Chuck Schumer and anti-conservative RINOs like John McCain in the Gang of 8 to give illegals amnesty. He still won't denounce that. He still holds out for amnesty under certain conditions.
Schumer and McCain played Rubio for a fool. They took advantage of his ambition and inexperience – or worse, his selling out. Schumer wanted illegal immigration votes for the Democratic Party. McCain wanted cheap labor for donors. Whatever – Rubio made a non-conservative and overall bad move. Now he shouts down Cruz when the matter is brought up, trying to make it seem as though Cruz voted for amnesty – an out-and-out lie, if the facts are checked. He's duplicitous in that regard.
Do you want someone who will do that to get ahead? Is that conservatism or ruthless ambition?
Cruz and Rubio are dividing the conservative vote. If that continues, Trump will win the fight. It is time for Cruz to abandon his aloof statesmanship and remove the gloves – not only to start calling attention to his own premier conservative status but to spotlight the discrepancies and anti-conservative aspects of both his rivals. If he is to be president, it is time to demonstrate presidential abilities. He's the true conservative. He will help America more than either of the other two frontrunners. I hope he lifts the cudgel.