Near the end of Ted Cruz's keynote speech at CPAC this afternoon a blogging buddy Warner Todd Huston (Publius Forum among other sites) leaned over to me and said, " you know ---this is the first CPAC speech with substance." Warner was absolutely correct, in fact the words I had written just before he leaned over were , "Finally a speech which lays out an agenda."
Cruz's speech was very well received. It did not generate the biggest applause, that was the address Sarah Palin gave earlier. However CPAC did save the best for last as Ted Cruz's address was easily the best speech given in the main ballroom during the three days of the conference.
As he did during the Republican National Convention, Cruz spoke without notes and in front, rather than behind the podium, a style that helps him to connect with the audience.
Addressing John McCain's calling of Cruz and Paul "wacko birds" the junior senator from Texas said
If standing for truth and liberty make you a WackoBird, count me a proud WackoBird, a bit later he added, “I have to admit, when Rand and I first heard that, we thought that was maybe a new kind of drone.”He told attendees that in the ten weeks since he was sworn in he'd been most struck by the “defeatist attitude” among Republicans in Washington, and proclaimed things have been turning around.
“For the last three weeks, conservatives have been winning, and we’re winning because of you,” citing spending cuts due to sequestration, Obama's clarification on its drone policy, and the cutting off of White House tours as three examples.
He talked about the ridiculousness of the sequester fight Washington DC is the only place in the word where you can hear the phrase Draconian 2% cut, and alluded to the scene in Ghostbusters where Bill Murray talked about all the bad things that were about to happen including, "cats and dogs lying together, and the punchline, "I was expecting to see the "Staypuff Marshmallow Man.'
Cruz bashed the SCHMOTUS-Vice President Joe Biden’s advice to fire a shotgun into the air as a way to ward off intruders, calling it “very helpful advice if you’re being attacked by a flock of geese-------or for that matter, a drone.”
He talked about big government, “We have a federal government who thinks they have the authority to regulate our toilet seats and our light bulbs, we need to get back to the Constitution.”
As he began to wrap up his address Cruz began to lay out a list of priorities,
“We need to repeal Obamacare. We need to repeal DoddFrank. Talk about a bill you don’t have to read any further than the title. We need to eliminate corporate welfare, we need to build the keystone pipeline, we need to reign in the EPA,”Cruz brought up an example of the EPA's over-regulation in Texas.
“In West Texas the EPA is trying to use a lizard to shut down oil and gas production. My opinion of lizards? They make 'dern' fine boots,”
“We need to audit the fed, and we need to stop QE infinity, we need to abolish the department of education, we champion school choice, we’ve got to stand with Israel. We need to stop sending foreign aid to nations that hate us,” he continuedThe Senator brought the crowd to its feet as he concluded with:
We are facing a fundamental choice. A choice between surrendering or standing up now for liberty....On drones, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On spending, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On debt, do we surrender or do we stand up now? And on the Constitution, do we surrender, or do we stand up now?”CPAC was different this year, instead of the big news being about the usual voices such as Ron Paul, John Boehner, Newt Gingrich etc., the strongest and most effective voices at the convention were the "new blood." People like Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and now Ted Cruz. It's very heartening and generates a real sense of hope for the future of Conservatism, the GOP and most importantly the future of the United States of America.
As soon as the Cruz video becomes available it will be added to the post.