Chad’s Morning Brief: Is Ted Cruz Ready for 2016?, Dan Patrick & Leticia Van de Putte Debate in Austin, and More
Ted Cruz will probably be running for President in 2016, but is he ready? Monday night was debate night for two statewide candidates and more. Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of September 30, 2014.
Texas Election Deadlines
October 6: Last Day to Register to Vote
October 20-31: Early Voting
November 4: Election Day
The National Journal says Senator Ted Cruz is running for President. This of course shocks absolutely no one.
Cruz's opening volley—asserting that he and Paul are basically the same kind of conservative, save for Paul's views on foreign policy—launched something of a "Cold War" between the two offices, sources familiar with the situation said. The day following Cruz's comments on ABC, Paul wrote an op-ed for Breitbart.com that read: "Every Republican likes to think he or she is the next Ronald Reagan. Some who say this do so for lack of their own ideas and agenda.... What we don't need right now is politicians who have never seen war talking tough for the sake of their political careers."
Cruz isn't alone in attacking Paul. Other potential rivals, such as Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, also have poked at his foreign policy positions, leading Paul to pen aTime op-ed this month entitled, "I Am Not an Isolationist."
When asked his opinion on that piece, Cruz smiled and took a long pause. "I will leave it to Rand Paul to characterize his own views," he said. A moment later, he added: "In the Senate there is a wide spectrum of views on foreign policy. On one end of the spectrum you have Rand Paul; on a very different end of the spectrum you have John McCain. Both have been forceful about their views on foreign policy. I would characterize my position as a third point on the triangle."
Cruz calls this "the sweet spot." By his own calculation, Republican voters who soured on endless war in Iraq and Afghanistan drifted in recent years from McCain's pole toward Paul's but are suddenly reconsidering that move after seeing American journalists murdered by jihadists.
Cruz's foreign policy profile captures this conflict. In one breath he says, "It is not the job of our military to occupy countries across the globe and try to turn them into Democratic utopias," and in the next he calls the Islamic State "the face of evil" and argues they must be defeated with overwhelming military force. These principles are not inherently in conflict, but as many presidents have come to realize, they are often difficult to marry.
While the "sweet spot" Cruz aims to carve might provide a presidential candidate some political refuge, it will be temporary. In 2016, as voters recognize a world that looks increasingly insecure, Cruz will be asked to answer a fundamental question: Should the president consider putting American boots on Mideast soil?
"We should do whatever is necessary," Cruz said slowly, "to protect this country."
The big question Republican voters have to ask themselves is this, "Is Cruz ready?" I've never been one who thinks the President needs a resume five miles long, but the question will be asked. Cruz hasn't been in D.C. long (a selling point) but he also hasn't been in charge. He hasn't had that executive experience like a Governor. I still believe that being a Governor or former Governor will win a lot of praise from Republicans in 2016.
Cruz is also a polarizing figure, but then again so is Hillary Clinton who Cruz could face in the general election. While Cruz is polarizing, put him in a room for thirty minutes with voters and see what happens. People like him. They like that he hasn't backed down from what he said during his campaign. They like that he challenges Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.
In my opinion, Cruz is a much better option than many of the names floated by Republicans for 2016. He is a leader and someone you know who would protect the country and have the best interests of the United States in mind. And that makes him much, much better than our current President.
It is worth mention that Senator Cruz posted on Facebook that he had not made up his mind yet about 2016.
You can read the full story by clicking the link above.
Dan Patrick and Leticia Van de Putte had their only debate of this election season in Austin last night and it went about as expected. The Texas Tribune has some of the highlights:
Both candidates played offense: Patrick, R-Houston, attempted to portray Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, as “out of step” with Texas voters. Van de Putte used the back-and-forth to try to pin Patrick down on votes he'd taken on cuts to public education. But one of the biggest points of contention in the hourlong showdown in Austin was over the state’s tax structure.
Patrick recently called for reducing the state’s dependence on the property tax to fund public schools and relying on the state’s sales tax instead. On Monday, Van de Putte used Patrick's position to argue that he would raise the sales tax, which she said would hurt businesses and consumers. Patrick sought to clarify his proposal, saying he would only support increasing the sales tax “by a penny or two” to compensate for reduced revenue from property taxes.
“There's two people standing on this stage, and I’m the only one that doesn’t want to raise your sales taxes,” Van de Putte said. “To burden Texas businesses and families with a sales tax increase ... well, that’s not being pro-business.”
Patrick shot back that Van de Putte “doesn’t mind” if Texans can’t afford to stay in their homes because of increasing property taxes. He argued that she was mischaracterizing his plan to reduce property taxes by modifying the tax formula. “My opponent is the one who wants to raise every tax she can find,” he said.
While taking questions from Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey, who moderated the debate, the two candidates reiterated many of the same attacks they’ve used on the campaign trail. Patrick highlighted Van de Putte’s support for the Affordable Care Act, which he said is “crashing” across the country.
He advocated for reforming Texas' Medicaid program on the state’s terms by asking for federal block grants instead of expanding the federal health reform law, which Texas Republicans deeply oppose. (There is no indication the federal government would agree to such a plan.)
Van de Putte said she supported expanding Medicaid to cover poor, uninsured adults and vowed to find a Texas-specific solution to do it, pointing out that other Republican-led states have taken that approach.
Van de Putte also took aim at Patrick over the Legislature’s decision to slash billions of dollars in financing for public schools in 2011, citing his vote in support of the budget that enacted the cuts.
Patrick responded that the Legislature was facing a budget shortfall and the cuts to education funding were made to protect taxpayers’ pocketbooks. “We had a choice,” Patrick said. “Conservative Republicans decided not to raise your taxes.”
Van de Putte was much better in this debate than Wendy Davis was in her debate with Greg Abbott. However, Van de Putte has many things going against her. Being Democrat doesn't help and being on the same ticket as Wendy Davis doesn't help either. The Davis campaign has yet to fire up Democrats across the state and any money that does come in is only for her campaign. Down ballot races like Van de Putte suffer because of this. Van de Putte would probably gain more traction if she went against Wendy Davis.
You can read the full story by clicking on the link above.
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These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.