Bill Collier- Senator Ted Cruz is a true blue conservative who has done a lot to push the conservative agenda. His platform and policy pursuits are, in my estimation, stellar. I want a Cruz win for the nomination and the White House.
I have been repeatedly saying that Senator Cruz needs to sell his main asset, his prosperity plans, and stay focused on selling himself as the champion of popular prosperity.
I believe that if Senator Cruz would get to a prosperity message, and truly inspire people, he can still win the nomination, though it is a tough mountain to climb. This transition is not difficult for him to make because his platform already closely aligns with a prosperity agenda.
If Senator Cruz can increase his overall poll numbers to 50% or more, pull off some big wins in the final days of the race, and forge alliances with the other candidates that have delegates they can swing his way, he has a chance.
There is a slim, but narrowing, chance for victory. Based on that slim chance, I hope he gets this message and takes it as constructive criticism from “family,” as opposed to an attack by opponents. The time to push forth a prosperity agenda is now…or never.
In short, Cruz wants to be President and I want the same thing and for the same reasons: to make America prosper again!
A candidate rising in popularity with broadening support and fresh victories could win a contested convention and overcome the initial angst. This is especially true if his opponent is losing ground and people who voted for him have real buyer’s remorse. The key thing is narrative and messaging. And that has been Senator Cruz’s chief, and potentially fatal, weakness in this primary race.
Senator Cruz’s decision to announce his intention to run with Carly Fiorina as his VP choice (should he win the nomination) has caused no small amount of head scratching among friend and foe alike.
Here then are the main reasons why, in my estimation, this move does not necessarily advance Ted Cruz and does not inspire some of his supporters, such as myself:
1. It can be argued that it undermines Cruz’s chief argument that Trump is not a proven true blue conservative. In the eyes of many conservatives, including myself, Fiorina is not a proven true-blue conservative.
My own support of Cruz has been based mostly on his bona fides as a rock-solid conservative. His actual platform and prosperity policies are still, in my estimation, the best. By choosing Fiorina, Cruz is saying that she is qualified to be President. This implied assessment of Cruz can be seen by some to disprove his argument that we should choose only a rock-solid, proven conservative. After all, Fiorina would be only one heartbeat away from the Presidency if Cruz won in the general.
I have already seen this emerge among opponents who use it to neutralize arguments that Mr. Trump is not a proven conservative. This choice, once again, obscures the clear message that Cruz CAN win on, that he is the champion of popular prosperity. It shifts the discussion to raise doubts on his strength going into the race, that he was a tried and true, lead by example, true blue conservative.
2. The move looks bad and feels like pandering. These words didn’t come from Trump supporters. They are a common criticism I am now hearing from his own supporters.
To put this move into perspective, take into account that Cruz just lost five states, AND that his way beyond securing the nomination. What does a move like this look like to you, a move made from a position of strength, or a move made from a position of weakness?
Beyond that, it shows that Cruz is not focused on the key issues of this campaign. For instance, Cruz says he vetted her carefully. This takes personal time and energy, and that time and energy would be better spent on the campaign honing a prosperity message.
But the idea that he is only choosing her to get the woman’s vote is a further digression from the real theme of his campaign: which is freedom and prosperity, or, simply prosperity (which implies freedom in and of itself).
Bringing up old grievances and playing the “sexist” card doesn’t in one way prove you are the champion of freedom and prosperity. As a matter of fact, pulling the sexist card is seen by many as a tactic best deployed by the left, not a true blue conservative, his initial central theme of his campaign.
What is more, should Mr Trump become the nominee, a now likely outcome, you have provided grist for the liberal mill to be used to hurt our nominee and our party!
3. It is a pure distraction!
I have argued, on Freedomist.com, that Cruz has, so far, failed to sell his best asset, that he is the best prosperity champion. I voted for Cruz and I did so still hoping that Cruz can win. It is an uphill climb, to be sure. Preventing Trump from getting to the magic 1237 delegates is itself an uphill battle, nevermind the challenges of winning a brokered convention. But be that as it may, so long as there is fight to be had, we fight.
If Cruz wants to have any chance to win this fight, he is going to have to get back to basics and push his main selling point, that he is the true blue conservative, the champion of prosperity. Cruz has, I believe, sacrificed potential support and ceded the prosperity debate to Trump, who is selling it to get votes.
Cruz could have made a press announcement that he was pushing to have the gold standard added to the GOP platform or to audit the fed or some major prosperity initiative. He could have done a speech on that subject, and compared his plan to Hillary and/or Trump’s plans and made his case for the party to rally to his prosperity banner.
We have been talking about delegate legerdemain and now Cruz’s VP choice, none of which move his narrative and messaging about prosperity into public consciousness where it is certain to turn into popular support.
This is not necessarily to say I am criticizing the delegate legerdemain itself, nor that the VP pick is somehow going to doom the campaign. If I thought this was really all over, the point of this article would be moot and thus this article would not have been written.
The focus of my criticism is that we are not talking about the right thing- make America prosper again. If we were, we would be winning on all counts right now. If we focus on making America Prosper again, we might be able to win, even now.
I am imagining a Cruz speech in which he lays out why he is the prosperity champion, why Hillary isn’t, and why he is the party’s best choice to defeat her prosperity killing agenda. He can then explain why he needs the people, the voters, to support him, and why if people have already voted against him they should support him now. I am imagining a petition saying “make America prosper again, select Ted Cruz as our nominee” signed by hundreds of thousands of voters.
In the end, the only way Cruz will be able to legitimately win a contested convention is to be at over 50% of the popularity of GOP polls, showing he has won back people who already voted for other candidates. The only way to get there AND to start having some upsets is to inspire people with your narrative and promise, not by selecting someone as a potential VP running mate, someone whose own conservative bona fides are at least as uncertain as Trump’s, which Cruz has rightly pointed out again and again.
Regardless, if Cruz and his newly chosen running mate want to pull some upsets and grow his popularity, they need to hammer away at a simple prosperity appeal and Cruz needs to claim the mantle of the champion of OUR prosperity. He has the plans to make us prosper again, which is better than being great, if only he would sell those plans.
Being “great” is nebulous, but prospering is REAL, and will MAKE us great.
Of course changing the campaign focus and messaging this late is tough. Some might argue it is too late. But if Senator Cruz is still campaigning, regardless of what has already happened, I suggest he do it in a way that might at least truly give him a shot: win popular support for a popular prosperity PROMISE that his plans and policies can certainly deliver.
Senator Cruz, let’s stop the distractions and let’s work to MAKE AMERICA PROSPER AGAIN!