Cruz Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: CRUZ: "This Race is Very Simple. If We Unite, We Win. If We Do Not, We Lose."
Cruz speaks to TIME Magazine for cover story
HOUSTON, Texas - Presidential candidate Ted Cruz spoke with TIME Magazine reporters before his sweeping Wisconsin primary victory, to discuss his success in uniting all factions of the Republican Party. Cruz says, "I believe the path to winning the Republican nomination and winning the general election is standing up for hardworking men and women of America who have been left behind by Washington." TIME Magazine's Michael Scherer also remarks on the Cruz campaign's strong national organization, "There is little mystery about who has the best operation for wrangling, recruiting and securing delegates. From Tennessee to Colorado, Cruz's delegate-hunting operation has dominated."
This morning, Scherer appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe to discuss Cruz's path to the nomination and his broader appeal to the Republican Party, "When [Cruz] says I am the principled conservative that is true, he is the principled conservative there's no wavering there."
The following evening, after changing from his Texas jeans into his election-night suit and powder blue tie, Cruz sat down with TIME for an interview. Sitting on the hotel sofa, the candidate was at ease, relishing what by then was a clear victory. He had coalesced a broad swath of GOP voters for the first time, winning nonevangelicals and evangelicals, young and old, of all ideological bents. "This race is very simple," he said. "If we unite, we win. If we do not, we lose."
Good politicians know how to recast their message for the moment. The great ones seem to do it without contradiction, alienation or any actual change in position. This is the leap that Cruz is now attempting. He won the Iowa caucuses with devotion and red meat. His rallies began like prayer circles and continued into fury. He would describe the hatred for him from his own party as "the whole point of the campaign." He promised not just to repeal Obamacare but to rescind "every word" on Day One. More than unwind the Iran nuclear deal, he vowed to rip it "to shreds." He would not just destroy Islamic extremism, he would find out if "sand can glow in the dark."
Those bold positions all remain, but their packaging has been muted. The clenched fists are now open arms. "From the beginning, our objective was to reunite the old Reagan coalition to bring together Republicans and independents and libertarians and Reagan Democrats," he said. "I believe the path to winning the Republican nomination and winning the general election is standing up for hardworking men and women of America who have been left behind by Washington." The conservative caterpillar is becoming a general-election butterfly.
Then there are the gauzy new references in his public remarks. The speech he had prepared for the network cameras the night he won Wisconsin included a quote from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill about ending the quarrel between past and present to focus instead on the future. He would even quote Democratic President John F. Kennedy, who Cruz has long argued, improbably, would be a conservative Republican if he were alive today. "We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future," Cruz said, repeating Kennedy's words.
But it is another President who he said gave him hope his gambit could succeed. "Throughout the course of this campaign, as others have gotten nasty and gotten personal, have engaged in a war of insults and petty personal attacks, I haven't responded in kind," Cruz explained, referencing, among other things, Trump's recent attack on the appearance of his wife Heidi. "That is very much the model of Ronald Reagan, even when Reagan primaried Gerald Ford in '76."
Meanwhile, there is little mystery about who has the best operation for wrangling, recruiting and securing delegates. From Tennessee to Colorado, Cruz's delegate-hunting operation has dominated, with his aides confident that around 200 Trump delegates will swing to Cruz after the first ballot. In Virginia, where Cruz finished a distant third, the campaign is hustling to install supporters in the state's 13 at-large delegate slots. In Louisiana, Cruz is set to pick up as many as 10 more delegates than Trump, despite losing the Bayou State primary by four points. In a show of organizational muscle, 18 of 25 delegates elected at the North Dakota state convention backed Cruz. In Georgia, where Cruz finished a distant third, his allies have dominated preference polls of the party activists showing up at precinct and county meetings. "We're going to make sure we get dealt four aces," says a member of Cruz's delegate operation. "You don't just want Cruz supporters. You want fighters. At the national convention, there will be more browbeating and arm twisting than you can imagine."
Ted Cruz, Cruz Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: CRUZ: "This Race is Very Simple. If We Unite, We Win. If We Do Not, We Lose." Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317213