Justin Haskins, editor of Chicago’s great free market think tank The Heartland Institute, is worried. Ted Cruz has raked in an astonishing $31 million since jumping into the race, money Haskins says will turn out to be wasted:
Cruz does not have the ability to control the media the way Reagan did, and no amount of money will change that.
Whether it’s fair or not, Cruz is now damaged goods as far as presidential politics is concerned. The left-leaning media has turned him into its go-to example of everything that’s wrong with conservatives: he’s too religious, he’s not willing to compromise, and he’s too brash. In short, for all the reasons conservatives love Cruz, liberals hate him, and they’ve smeared his reputation with American moderates in their campaign to destroy a man so many on the left see as their archenemy.
Cruz’s campaign haul fundamentally changes the dynamic of “the money primary.” To compete, a candidate needs resources. The GOP donor class, despite the repeated failures of highly paid political consultants to deliver victory, is overly influenced by the prognostications of the “smart set” on who can win this election.
Cruz is reaping the financial benefit of his politically astute decision to be first out the gate, generating massive media coverage and a strong response by ordinary voters. But Cruz’s financial windfall also testifies that, in the era of Big Data, it pays to be smart enough to have 10 data scientists working to maximize your ROI.
By contrast, Justin Haskins’ complaints about Cruz represent a disastrous truce mentality for conservatism. Face it, Justin: the progressive media is going to smear your candidate, too, when he or she emerges as the GOP nominee.
Moreover, deciding that voters (and small donors) should choose a candidate based on who they think will “pair up best” against Hillary Clinton presumes not only an unusual degree of political prognostication skills on the part of the average voter, it also presumes Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. I don’t think she will be. She is a weak candidate who was, after all, beaten last time around by a political unknown.
I should add the Cruz campaign is not happy about the “minus” I added to Ted Cruz’s A in the Indiana Crisis Report Card, because they sent me a slew of links pointing out, quite rightly, that Ted Cruz was on fire about Indiana in his Iowa tour speeches, beginning with this Sioux City, Iowa, speech:
“We need to stand up as courageous conservatives,” Cruz said in Sioux City. “You know, religious liberty is not some fringe view. It is the basis of this country. America was founded by people fleeing religious persecution.”
Some in the crowd nodded their heads while others said things like, “That’s right” and “Amen” as Cruz discussed the subject. According to Cruz, many “Republican politicians” are “terrified” to address the issue. And Cruz blasted some of the nation’s top corporations for “persecuting” those “dare to oppose” same-sex marriage.
“The Fortune 500 is running shamelessly to endorse the radical gay marriage agenda over religious liberty,” Cruz said.
If I had seen these quotes, I would be tempted to take away that minus, in spite of the fact Cruz did not choose to do a major TV or radio show defending Indiana (where of course people outside of Iowa stunned by the Indiana onslaught could have been encouraged, as Jindal Huckabee, Rubio and Bush did). I also gave extra points to candidates who have clearly stated they reject the “license-to-discriminate” meme and would allow the Christian florist, baker etc. to stay in business, which Cruz has not yet actually said, at least not in the links provided.
These Princeton guys don’t like an A-, apparently!
Moving forward, I urge all American concerned about the growing power of the Left to take away the livelihoods of decent, hardworking, loving Americans who “cling” to Biblical principles in defining marriage, to focus on what candidates are willing to DO about it, not just say about it. Maybe that will be the next Report Card.
To GOP candidates I would say: Indiana was no doubt the first of many opportunities the progressive movement and its Democrat/media complex will provide for courageous leadership during which you can tell traditional believers of all faiths why electing you president is going to help us withstand the economic attacks and the tidal wave of hatred directed our way.
Maggie Gallagher is editor of ThePulse2016.com.