William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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CRUZING – AT 9:56 A.M. ET:  We intend to feature here the emerging political stars who share our views.  One of the most compelling is Senator-elect Ted Cruz of Texas, who first beat the stodgy GOP establishment in a primary, and then went on to win the general election in a walk.

Cruz is a renowned legal scholar, an intellectual match for anyone the Dems can throw at him.  And he is wowing conservatives.  From The Politico: 

Texas Sen.-elect Ted Cruz advised the Republican Party to rebrand itself under a banner of “Opportunity Conservatism” during a sweeping speech Thursday night that will only stoke speculation about a 2016 presidential run.

Speaking before the conservative American Principles Project dinner at a downtown Washington hotel, Cruz said the GOP’s thumping in the 2012 elections was more the result of poor messaging and communication than the wrong ideology.

“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument,” Cruz said before pointedly lowering his voice.  “We didn’t even make the argument.”

While the 41-year-old Cuban-American warned that Republicans need not abandon their principles in order to rebound electorally, he did suggest the party should retool its rhetoric on economic and cultural issues.
“We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder,” he said.

While he conceded the party’s harsh tone on immigration was undoubtedly a factor, Cruz cited Mitt Romney’s infamous “47 percent” comment as the main reason the president performed so well with Hispanics.

“I think far more important was 47 percent. … Republicans nationally, the story we conveyed was that 47 percent are stuck in a static world. We don’t have to worry about you, what that clip famously said. I cannot think of an idea more antithetic to the American principle,” Cruz said. “We embraced in that comment, and in the narrative we made to this country, the Democrat notion that there is a fixed and static pie. … The rich are the rich, the poor are the poor, and all that matters is redistributing from one to the other. The essence of the conservative message should be we want a dynamic nation where anybody with nothing can achieve anything,” he added to cheers from the audience. “We did an incredibly poor job at articulating the message of opportunity.”

COMMENT:  I like the chap.  He is one of a stunning number of new stars on the Republican bench – Rubio, Jindal, Ayotte, Susana Martinez, Nikki Haley, and Cruz.  The list is getting longer.  Who will defeat Hillary Clinton?  Any one of them can.

November 30, 2012