January 14, 2016 - Thursday
Cruz Gets His Ducks in a Row
If you thought the Super Bowl had good ads, check out Phil Robertson's endorsement commercial. The "Duck Dynasty" star certainly leads the field with his hilarious ad for Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) yesterday. Covered in black paint and camouflage, Phil explains that his checklist for president of the United States is "rather narrow: Is he or she godly, does he or she love us, can he or she do the job, and finally would they kill a duck and put him in a pot and make him a good duck gumbo?" Robertson said. "Cruz fits the bill." The rest is a blur of feathers and shotguns.
The spot is certainly getting the nation's attention -- just like the senator himself. For weeks, Cruz has been eating into Donald Trump's lead, especially in Iowa -- where the Wall Street Journal agrees that evangelicals make up "the most influential bloc of Republican caucusgoers." That's owed to several factors -- not the least of which is the senator's boldness on faith and values issues. Unlike some of the other candidates, who send veiled messages through spokesmen, Cruz is out front willing to tackle any issue, controversial or not. It's an honesty that voters, and particularly Christians, find refreshing after two failed cycles of uninspiring and incomplete nominees.
While other campaigns keep their distance from evangelicals, this son of a pastor runs toward them -- openly calling them the key to his success. In an exclusive sit-down with U.S. News and World Report, he talked about why he believes that is. After winning the FreedomWorks straw poll, Cruz highlights our Values Voter Summit, "2,700 activists all over the country," he explained. "Once again we won that straw poll. We had 35 percent. Ben Carson was second with 18. I believe, everyone else again was in single digits. [Actually, Mike Huckabee took 14 percent and Marco Rubio earned 13 percent in that straw poll.] There are two points to draw from that," he said. "Number one is the ideological periscope. FreedomWorks trends more libertarian and tea party. Value Voters trends more evangelical and social conservative. It is highly unusual to have that depth of support across that ideological breadth. That does not occur often in the political world. I would characterize those activists as the 'grasstops,' they're the really engaged, they're the deeply studied. They've looked at the records of the candidates, not just what they've said but what they've done."
And what Cruz has done, in many people's eyes, is challenge the darkness -- of terrorism, Christian persecution, same-sex marriage, abortion, religious hostility, radical Islam, family breakdown, even the economy. People trust him to handle the tough issues -- like hunting with Phil Robertson.