Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas ventured to Iowa on Saturday, visiting the Iowa State Fair before addressing the Family Leadership Conference. While Cruz expressed astonishment at a cow made of butter and enjoyed a pork chop on a stick, his visit was naturally more than just a pleasant outing. Iowa is the first in the nation caucus state for the 2016 presidential election. Cruz is rumored to have ambitions for higher office.
At the Iowa State Fair, Cruz made a 20 minute speech at the Des Moines Register soapbox event that was vintage conservative. He excoriated President Obama’s foreign policy, touted a number of free market solutions to domestic problems, and supported the candidacy for the Senate of Joni Ernst. In lighter moments he talked about the butter cow and the pork, which he compared favorably to the bad kind of pork Washington hands out, and briefly bantered with some hecklers.
Saturday night, Cruz addressed the Family Leadership Conference in Ames, Iowa, a gathering of evangelicals, a strong voting bloc in the state. He was welcomed like a combination of a rock star and, ever so coyly, a president in waiting. He shared the stage with his fellow Texas, Gov. Rick Perry, on whom he took a veiled shot. While enumerating a series of conservative victories, which include everything from the Hobby Lobby ruling to successful efforts to beat back gun control, Cruz pretended to lose count of what number he was. He joked, “I could say oops, but that would make news.”
Cruz has given the aspect of being a young man in a hurry ever since he was elected to the United States Senate in 2012, though this far away from the 2016 election cycle he had been appropriate coy about his own ambitions. He has every chance of being the choice of the conservative wing of the Republican Party. This is something that delights the grassroots but gives heartburn to the party establishment and elicits eye rolling from the mainstream media.