Ted Cruz

It Doesn’t Matter That Ted Cruz Broke The “Pledge”

If you paid attention to the news in any amount whatsoever during the Republican national convention, you are probably aware that on the third night (July 20), Ted Cruz gave a speech where not only did he decline to formally endorse Donald Trump, but implicitly told voters not to vote for him if it violated their conscience.

Not surprisingly, this speech prompted much outrage from the party.

He was booed offstage.

Former allies such as Sarah Palin said that his career was over.

Rick Perry and Dan Patrick (the lieutenant governor of Texas) have been mentioned as possible primary opponents against Cruz when he runs for re-election in the Senate in 2018.

Donald Trump is reportedly so embittered that not only does he not want Cruz’s endorsement should he change his mind, and has talked about funding SuperPACs against him and John Kasich, who also refused to endorse, in future elections they run in.

Ted Cruz himself has since explained his reasoning behind his decision to not endorse Trump, saying that he is “not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my father.”

That, in his opinion, invalidated the pledge that all the candidates signed to support the eventual nominee back in September.

Or did it?

I am a Republican who supported Ted Cruz for the nomination prior to him dropping out on May 3.

As I saw many of my fellow Cruz supporters turn into former supporters over his decision not to endorse, I struggled to figure out whether I should do the same.

I sympathized with the content of his speech (so much, that the Trump-sponsored vicious reaction to his statements, which included emphasis on the importance of preserving the Constitution and the idea that voters must vote according to what they believe is best for our freedoms, prompted me to decide to vote third party even though I’m a registered Republican), but I wondered whether he should be judged for apparently failing to keep his word.

I eventually decided that he should not be judged regarding the so-called “pledge.” Why? Because the pledge was invalidated into non-existence in deed. Not by Cruz, but by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party.

As I thought about how to respond, I remembered an event that took place on March 29, 2015, when Donald Trump also renounced the pledge at the CNN Town Hall event that evening.

According to Time, Trump’s decision to renounce the pledge violated the terms that would have made him eligible to be on the ballots in states that required a loyalty pledge.

This could have caused him to forfeit his delegates in such states that had already voted at the time, such as South Carolina.

That didn’t happen, and the question is, why?

Why didn’t Reince Priebus follow through with his own rules, especially considering that as a leader of the GOP establishment, Trump’s downfall perhaps would have benefited him?

I can’t say for sure, but I would not rule out the idea Priebus’ decision not to penalize Trump was related to his belief that Trump can make deals.

After all, he and Trump had no problem making deals (abeit, indirectly via a coalition of Trump supporters and establishment figures in the Republican National Committee) that threw out proposed amendments to the convention rules that would have limited the power of the party chair, and redistributed it in the hands of lower-ranking members who could have affected the outcome of the development of the party platform, if not the convention itself.

Regardless of Priebus’ motivations, his actions do not reflect kindly on the reputation of the party, which, based on them, has been attacking Cruz based on a false premise.

A pledge that is not enforced is not a pledge. It is a joke.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Here’s The Pros And Cons Of All Of Trump’s Potential Running Mates

Donald Trump is in need of a running mate who can help him win the White House.

But who should he pick?

On July 4, Breitbart, perhaps the most well-known and most popular pro-Donald Trump news media website, launched a straw poll for users to state their first, second, and third choices for Donald Trump’s running mate.

The choices distilled from that online poll are listed in the below chart, as are the potential pros and cons.

Information courtesy of The Atlantic, other cited sources, and personal knowledge I have known for a long time.

Candidate Name Pros Cons
Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona Joe Arpaio Is well-known for his hardline stances on illegal immigration. Brings virtually nothing else to the table. Would also be by far the oldest vice president ever elected, being 84 years old on Election Day (the current record-holder is Alben Barkley, Harry Truman’s Vice President, who was elected at age 70).
 

Representative from Tennessee Marsha Blackburn

Is a woman. Is experienced with the legislative process, and therefore fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. Was a member of House leadership during the John Boehner era, which is derided by many conservatives as being one of the most, if not the most ineffective Republican congressional leadership in the history of the party.
Neurosurgeon from Florida Ben Carson Is well-liked due to his friendly personality. Is popular with social conservatives. Is African American. Is very inexperienced in politics; would bring little to the table if Trump wants a VP that would help him with policy, which he does.
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie Is experienced in politics, being a two-term governor and a former U.S. attorney. Is a very dynamic campaigner. Is very similar to Trump personality-wise. Is deeply unpopular in his home state.  Is despised by social conservatives. Has been accused of covering for members of Hamas by prominent conservative activists. His support of a state-level version of the DREAM Act goes against one of Trump’s biggest campaign positions.  And of course, Bridgegate.
 

Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker

Like Trump, is a real estate businessman who entered politics and has bragged about “the art of the deal.” As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and a member of the banking committee, he could help Trump in those areas of policy. Is not well-known, and is despised by hardliners who do know him.
 

Senator from Arkansas Tom Cotton

Is a military veteran who could assist Trump on foreign policy matters. Is young and well-known. Is highly inexperienced with the legislative process, as he has only been in the Senate for a year and a half.
Senator from Texas Ted Cruz Would end the Trump-Cruz schism that has divided the party. Is Hispanic. Would turn off moderates, who find him too extreme on social issues. Is despised by the Republican Senate leadership, and this would be a problem for Trump’s efforts to pass legislative agendas.
Senator from Iowa Joni Ernst Is a woman. Is a former lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. Is young and charismatic. Has name recognition. Is inexperienced as a politician, having served only a year and a half in Washington. Would turn off some fiscal conservatives due to her positions on trade.
Governor of Oklahoma Mary Fallin Is a woman. Is experienced in the political process. Does not bring much else to the table due to low name recognition. Would also turn off some social conservatives.
 

Former Lieutenant General Mike Flynn

Is a military man; would give Trump defense credentials. Is a registered Democrat, despite being an adviser to the Trump campaign. Would turn off social conservatives with his positions on same-sex marriage and abortion. Some say he’s too extreme on Islam even by Trump standards.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich His intellect and experience as former Speaker of the House fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. “Has been known to say wacky things on his own part, in addition to Trump’s statements.” Is despised by some social conservatives over his two divorces, Brings little to the table for demographic reasons as well as a lack of foreign policy experience. NAFTA, a free trade agreement despised by many Trump supporters, was passed under his watch as House Speaker.
Governor of Ohio John Kasich Is experienced in politics as a two-term governor and former Congressman, and therefore fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. Has a temperament that would balance Trump. His presidential campaign results have indicated that he has not capable of bringing much to the table.
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin Would increase Trump’s appeal with women and social conservatives. Is a woman. Would turn off Republicans who were alienated by her being on the ticked in 2008.
 

Governor of Indiana Mike Pence

Is experienced with the legislative process, and therefore fits the profile of a VP who could, in Trump’s words, “get things done” with passing legislative agendas. Is very popular with social conservatives. Has recently run afoul of some social conservatives over a controversial religious liberty bill. Would be forced to immediately resign his office if he decides to run with Trump, as per Indiana law.
Senator from Florida Marco Rubio Is young and charismatic. Is a Hispanic, and could increase Trump’s appeal among that ethnic group. Is experienced with foreign policy. Is Hispanic. He and Trump did not get along well during the primaries, and Rubio has expressed a lack of interest for that reason. Also was a sponsor of the Gang of Eight immigration bill, which is despised by most Trump supporters.
 

Senator from South Carolina Tim Scott

Is African American. Is well-liked by conservatives who know about him. Is relatively inexperienced, only having been in Washington since 2011. Has low name recognition. His main focus as a legislator has been on education, which is not a core issue of Trump’s campaign.
 

Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions

Is well-known among die-hard Trump supporters. Is widely viewed as being in lock-step with Trump on immigration. Is disliked by libertarian-leaning Republicnas due to his positions on the PATRIOT Act and government spying.
Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker Has high name recognition due to his hard-line positions on taxes and spending and his infamous 2011 standoff with Democrats over a budget bill that sparked a walkout of Democratic legislators. Is weak on immigration, and is hated by some Trump supporters over this. His disastrous debate performances during the primaries cannot be overlooked.
 

Representative from Montana Ryan Zinke

Is very socially liberal; could appeal to moderates. Is inexperienced, having served in the House for only a year in a half. Is despised by social conservatives.

 

Regardless of your political positions, which of the above candidates do you think would help Trump the most in the long run?

Feel free to comment below!

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Who Would the World Vote For As President of the United States?

While only, approximately, 235 million people have the opportunity to vote for President of the United States of America, that does not make interest in the outcome of that contest a solely American interest.

The President of the United States is uniquely powerful in affairs outside the borders of the United States, and will thus often impact the lives of a great number of non Americans.

Thus, it may be of at least passing interest to perspective voters who their peers across the world endorse as the next President.

A caveat before I begin, this list will not examine all 192+ sovereign countries on the Earth, but a handful relevant to American interests. It should also be noted that, just as in the United States, no country is politically homogenous. There are some attempts to reflect this, but the law of averages tells us that there was probably someone in India who was disappointed when Lincoln Chaffee dropped out.

China:

The Diplomat ran an excellent piece, based largely on the work of Matt Hartzell which examined the voting preferences of users of Chinese survey site, Zhihu.

Out of 450 respondents, most identified with Republican candidates, and a whopping 38% with Donald Trump. In a subsequent poll launched by Mr. Hartzell on Zhihu, the candidates feelings on various issues were briefly expounded upon, resulting in both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders trouncing the Republican field.

These findings seem to contradict various Chinese bloggers, according to Foreign Policy, who claim that Clinton is unfairly critical of China. These harsh feelings would also likely extend to both Sanders and Ted Cruz who have both supported anti-Chinese legislation during their tenure in the Senate.

Trump has also been stridently anti-China, despite saying that he has lots of Chinese tenants in some of his buildings.

China probably doesn’t have much of a favorite in this field of leading Presidential candidates.

Russia: 

The cooperative mood between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump has been well documented, and likely assisted by Trump’s anti-NATO stance.

The endorsement of President Putin likely influences Mr. Trump’s popularity among Russians, based on Putin’s own approval ratings. State news entity Sputnik News has published a number of articles praising Trump.

France:

France’s government has presented a consistent anti-Trump front.

Shortly after Mr. Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim Immigrants, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted, “Trump, like others, stokes hatred and conflations: our ONLY enemy is radical Islamism”.

The ” others” being referred to is France’s own nativist party, the National Front. The ever delightful French Ambassador to the United States, Géraud Araud, also frequently bashes Trump and the similar National Front movement in his own country. It should then come as no surprise that National Front founder, and political kindred spirit on: trade, immigration, and NATO, Jean-Marie Le Pen offered his support for a Trump Presidency.

However, if the results of France’s recent regional elections are any indicationLe Pen’s support is worth little.

France24, one of France’s premiere international news sites, is pretty scant on individual coverage for the other Republican candidates, though John Kasich received some praise for his positions following his second place showing in New Hampshire.

On the Democratic side, Clinton seems to be more popular than Sanders. Nicholas Sarkozy, head of Les Republicains and presumptive candidate for President of the center right party, offered his support for her candidacy.

Meanwhile, Sanders appears to be an after thought on France24’s search algorithms. This may be more reflective of the Senator’s more recent rise to prominence than his agreeability to the average Frenchman however.

Israel & Palestine:

Starting with Palestine, it is safe to assume that Cruz and Rubio competing during debates over who has more disdain for the Palestinian national movement does not endear them to Palestinians.

Kasich and Trump likely would not fair better, due to the former justifying illegal settlements in the West Bank and the latter’s support for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in addition to anti-Muslim comments over the past year.

The consensus among Fatah, the Arab Center for research and Policy Decisions, and Al-Najah National University, among others, appears to be that Clinton, while no friend to the Palestinian national movement, is preferable to her Republican competition, according to Al-Monitor.

Sanders in the past has expressed solidarity with Palestinians as well as opposition to military aid to Israel, though his position seems to have shifted to a position that equivocates violence between Israel and Palestine.

Never the less, it seems that Sanders is the more palatable candidate for Palestinians at large.

Among Israelis, national polling done by The Times of Israel found that 38% of Israelis would favor a President Clinton, followed by 23% endorsing a Trump Administration. Sanders, Cruz, and Rubio brought up the rear with 7, 5, and 4 respectively, and leaving 23% of respondents unsure.

This seems to reflect that the opinions of Prime Minister Netanyahu are not influential on Israeli opinions on American Presidential candidates, as the Prime Minister has shamed Mr. Trump for his anti-Muslim comments, whilst presumably being very friendly with Senator Cruz who was among the first to congratulate Netanyahu on his recent electoral victory.

This small sample size of four countries, and one aspirant country, is not representative of the world at large, but is representative of a few of the places most relevant to American interests.

It would be wise then as American voters to consider the political opinions of our friends and rivals abroad, including those not mentioned here, so as to best mold the world in a positive way over the next four years.

Is there a country that we missed that you would be interested in learning more about? Tell us in the comments below!

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Cover Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond/ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

The Irony: Pro-Gun Activist Who Made Fun Of Gun Control Gets Shot In Back By Son

By Camila Saenz

Which pro gun Ted Cruz supporter has recently made headlines due to being shot by her four year old son? The answer to that question would be Jamie Gilt.

Floridians make for the most interesting headlines.

Jamie Gilt, 31, has been very vocal about her opposition on stricter gun laws and that it is important to teach children the proper use of weapons.

One of her post on her Facebook page called, “Jamie Gilt for Gun Sense,” reads “My right to protect my child with a gun trumps your fear of my gun.” On this Facebook page there were also various pictures supporting Cruz.

On a drive to a relative’s home Tuesday afternoon, her son sitting in the seat behind her, pulled the trigger of a hand gun, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department news release.

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Gilt was later rushed to a hospital in Gainesville, Florida; she is currently in stable condition. Her son, was unharmed, and has been released to relatives.

The firearm was owned legally by the victim, and the child had come to posses the firearm without the victim’s knowledge.

According to Florida law, “it is a misdemeanor for a person to store or leave, on a premise under his or her control, a loaded firearm in such a manner that it is likely a child can gain access to the firearm.”

The Facebook page was taken down on Wednesday March 9th, and has inspired many imitations of the page.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us!

Ted Cruz Hits His Kids, And America Seems Fine With That

By Everett Secor

Just weeks away from the first contest in the 2016 Republican primary, Ted Cruz addressed a crowd of supporters in Mason City, Iowa and responded to a question about Benghazi by humorously alluding to how he hits his own daughter

“We do know Hillary told her daughter Chelsea, well gosh, I knew it was a terrorist attack, while we were out telling the American people it wasn’t,” Cruz said. “You know I’ll tell you, in my house, if my daughter Catherine, the five-year-old, says something she knows to be false, she gets a spanking. Well, in America, the voters have a way of administering a spanking.”

Cruz isn’t one to shy away from controversial remarks, so it’s not surprising that the Republican front-runner in the Iowa polls would allude to defeating Clinton with the sort of sexist behavior that’s been taboo only as long as spousal abuse has been illegal.

But what is surprising is how uncontroversial this statement, or at least his admission to spanking his daughter, really is in modern America.

According to the Child Trends Data Bank, in 2014 76 percent of men and 65 percent of women viewed spanking as an acceptable means of punishment for children.

The support varied slightly based on political leanings and race, with Republicans supporting spanking more than Democrats and blacks supporting spanking more than whites, but even among the most opposed groups, support never dropped below 50 percent.

These numbers have declined slowly over the past several years, but not enough for any significant social change.

In fact, in the US, it is still legal in 19 states for teachers or school administrators to administer corporal punishment to a student.

This is in stark contrast to the policies of European nations, where all have not only outlawed (either by statute or in practice) school corporal punishment, but dozens have outlawed any form of corporal punishment in the home as well. 

What few restrictions we do have are vague, defining the boundary between “good parenting” and “child abuse” by arbitrary measures state lawmakers use to consider “moderate physical discipline”.

As the 2014 Adrian Peterson abuse scandal exposed, factors such as whether or not a child’s skin bruised too much are used to determine the acceptable amount of physical pain, completely ignoring any psychological impacts of the experience.


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What most Americans don’t seem to realize is just how severe the impacts of spanking actually are on children.  An incredible amount of scientific research in the past several decades has uncovered that using physical violence as discipline can have serious negative effects on the development of a child.

A 2010 task force appointed by the American Psychological Association discovered that corporal punishment in children put them at increased risk for anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, aggression, and impaired cognitive development, even when other influencing factors were accounted for.

A 2013 study published in the scientific journal Pediatrics discovered that children who were spanked twice a week by their mothers were more likely to act aggressively, and those who were spanked twice a week by their fathers scored lower on vocabulary and language comprehension tests.

These and other similar studies show that spanking often results in the opposite effects that it intends to teach. While it may serve as an easy short-term tool to gain a child’s obedience, in the long-term it teaches a disdain for authority, that violence is the most effective means of gaining cooperation from others, and that superior physical strength decides right and wrong.

It removes the opportunity to teach a child to reason through the actual impacts of their actions and attempts to advance their maturity and growth in a way that would be unacceptable to treat any other adult.  

Perhaps most disturbing is how over-eager parents are to use spanking as a means of punishment.

In 2014 researchers at Southern Methodist University discovered that parents most frequently use physical discipline for very innocuous and mundane infractions, such sucking fingers or getting out of a chair, even when they know they’re being recorded.

They also discovered that “In 73 percent of the cases where there was corporal punishment, the child misbehaved again within 10 minutes”.

Any discussion about the legality of impacts of spanking inevitably results in a number of people sharing their own personal experiences, both from those who feel they suffered as a result of physical discipline and those who saw no problem with getting spanked as a kid.

It is of course completely possible, if not common, for children who are spanked to have a happy, fulfilling childhood and for parents who spank to be loving, conscientious caregivers.  

But considering how poorly most Americans understand the long-term mental health impacts of spanking, how broad the laws against it are in the US, and the common tendency for parents to severely overestimate their own restraint in implementing physical punishment, its legality in the US continues to make millions of children at risk for abuse.

It is time for parents to take more effective and responsible approaches to disciplining their children, and to stop using “well that’s how I was raised” as justification for actions we have mounting evidence to show are detrimental.

And starting February 1st, we can begin by supporting leaders who stand up for the under-represented rather than those who make jokes about striking five-year old girls.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for you us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

Cover Photo Credit: Jamelle Bouie/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Cruz Surges To Second Place In Latest Poll

There’s yet another Republican debate scheduled before February’s Iowa caucuses, and the long run-up to the GOP presidential primaries is far from over. But if polls are any indication, Texas Senator Ted Cruz may have a real shot at winning the party’s nomination once the dust from these debates has settled and actual voting begins. In… Read More

The Pragmatist’s Populist: Ted Cruz Visits Alabama

I was not totally unfamiliar with the fandom for Sen. Ted Cruz prior to attending his rally in Trussville, AL on Sunday.

I didn’t exactly understand why he had a seemingly strong following, but I knew who these people were- disaffected lower to middle class folk with a strong distrust of government. Of course in such a strong populist election cycle, I couldn’t understand why these people weren’t attracted to one of the other anti-establishment candidates when there were so many seemingly “better” alternatives.

Rand Paul’s brand of libertarianism is engineered to be more acceptable to the anti-neocon wing of the party, Ben Carson is about as outsider as you can be in national politics while still being a man of strong faith, and does anything else need to be said about the bombastic Donald Trump?

Each of these candidates seem to epitomize a more extreme version of what Cruz offers, so why does the comparatively moderate and “establishment” Cruz have 18% of the vote in a recent FOX News survey? These are the questions I had when pulled up to the Trussville Civic Center.

Trussville is a city of about 20,000 people in north central Alabama, just a short drive from Birmingham. The community is overwhelmingly white, and tends to be more affluent than the rest of the state. It was a short drive from my house to the community center, about 5 minutes, but parking took quite a bit longer. Cars encircled the white stone structure in anticipation of the first visit of a candidate for President of the United States, to the best of the City’s collective recollection.

As I arrived at the entrance about 5 minutes before the expected time of the start of the event, I was informed that a line had been stretching outside of the building before the doors opened.

I saw some family, friends, and neighbors, but there was also quite a bit in the entrance that was alien. I suspected that most of these people had driven quite a ways further than I had to see Cruz speak.

As I made my way past the booth selling copies of the Senator’s book, my suspicions were confirmed. I was asked to sign onto a slip of paper with places for three sets of names and information. The two previous spots had been filled. The apparent contact list asked for my name, address, phone number, County of residence, and whether or not I openly supported the Senator’s candidacy.

I glanced at the two entries above mine and saw that both were from neighboring Shelby County, which is a drive that can range from twenty minutes to one hour depending on where they were coming from.

Read More: Trump People-A Rise Reporter Spends The Day At An Alabama Donald Rally With His Liberal Girlfriend And Mexican Friend

After giving my name and phone number I made my way over to the auditorium. I was told that unless I had reserved seating that I would have to make my way to the overflow in the indoor basketball court. I made the turn down the hall, and walked to the far side of the room. When I turned around I noticed that the crowd had gotten much more bulky in one section that it had been when I passed. It took a moment to realize that the Senator and his entourage had come into the room on my heels.

Cruz was difficult to spot. He was heavily embedded into the crowd, honoring requests for selfies at least a couple of times. The crowd shook his hand, and offered him pats on the back as he made his way across the front of the mob gathered on the court. A woman yelled out “President Cruz” to get his attention towards the end of his gauntlet of handshakes.

When finally the crowd’s needs had been sated, the Senator offered brief but unintelligible remarks due to the poor quality of the microphone. With that he was gone off to the auditorium to go to the main event, whilst the projector was turned on for us late arrivals to view it simultaneously.

When I inquired further, he told me that Senator Cruz was honest and had principles. After being given a Chick Tract by his mother, I moved on.

Both Mo Brooks, the representative for the 5th Congressional District, and Mrs. Cruz spoke prior to the Senator. They were fairly well received, with Brooks offering the crowd an opportunity to boo both government spending and amnesty for illegal immigration, and Mrs. Cruz offering cute anecdotes of their relationship and the curiously well received line that Senator Cruz finally offers people an “articulate Republican candidate”.

This may be a subtle dig at President Bush, and by proxy his brother Jeb, or Trump but it could very well have been a throwaway line as well.

Despite the politely received opening acts, one could feel the anticipation for the main attraction. When the Senator went on stage with his family we could hear the applause from the auditorium.

The Senator preempted the meat of his remarks with a 10 minute long standup comedy routine. He primarily dug into the Democratic debates, offering condolences to those who watched them, and the well crafted line that the Democratic party is choosing between a “crazy haired socialist… and Bernie Sanders”.

He then offered familiar rhetoric, including detailing several policies that he plans to enact on his first day of office, including giving Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions a cabinet position, moving the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the particularly well received line that the “persecution of religious liberty ends today”.

Cruz continued with well received buzz words and phrases, drawing greater applause nearly every time, like:”flat tax”, “abolish the IRS”, “destroy ISIS”,” abolish Department of Education”, and “remove and replace Obamacare”. Closing with a prayer, the crowd shuffled out in short order.

I managed to catch up to a few of the people exiting the Civic Center. The first was a young man by the name of Josh. I asked him who he intended to support, and he indicated that Cruz was his man, followed by Paul, and Dr. Carson. When I inquired further, he told me that Senator Cruz was honest and had principles. After being given a Chick Tract by his mother, I moved on.

I met a jolly older man named Mack next. He was a loud spoken man wearing several pieces of Ted Cruz merchandise, and a small American flag in his pocket. He told me that he was a Cruz man because “He’s the only honest man!”.

Ted Cruz greets voters at the Trussville Civic Center on Sunday Dec. 20, 2015. Photo Credit: John Massey/ Rise News

Ted Cruz greets voters at the Trussville Civic Center on Sunday Dec. 20, 2015. Photo Credit: John Massey/ Rise News

When I asked if he had a second choice, he replied “NO! Why would I need a second? He’s the man!”

After shaking hands with Mack one last time, I spoke with a young lady named Marissa. When I asked her why she supported Cruz, she sheepishly told me that she was actually a supporter of Bernie Sander’s candidacy. After the initial shock wore off, I learned that she attended for the same reason I did, because it was so close to home.

She told me that she liked some of what the Senator said, but by no means clapped for all of it. Expressing disgust for Republicans in the state government and Secretary Clinton, she did express some appreciation for Carly Fiorina, calling her “highly intelligent”, and for Carson, though she remarked “I’d like Carson if he had more balls.”

After leaving the event, I feel I have a better understanding of Cruz’s supporters.

Cruz is very personable, and charismatic. He seems to strike a strong balance between the contradictory social conservative, civil libertarian, and neocon wings of the Republican Party.

Paired with a record of defying “the establishment”, but not so much that his name is mud by association, seems to have created a strong base of supporters among those disenfranchised by the previous unfettered free market capitalist bent of the GOP. (Just ask his “friends” in the Senate.)

The Cruz campaign is banking on a strong performance on the so-called “SEC Primary“, also known as March 1, the day when voters in Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and Georgia go to the polls.

It seems highly probable that they can perform well in Jefferson County, and perhaps in the whole of Alabama.

Have a news tip? Send it to editor@risenews.net. Like to write? You can become a Rise News contributor.  

Cover Photo Credit:Jamelle Bouie/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

New Poll: Trump and Cruz In Iowa Dead Heat

By Alex Austin

A poll published this morning shows businessman Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz neck-and-neck among Iowa voters.

The results of the most recent survey by Quinnipiac University of 600 likely Republican Iowa Caucus participants has Trump leading with 25 percent of the vote, and Cruz just behind at 23 percent. Ben Carson is third at 18 percent.

This is a major shift from just a month ago, when a survey done by the same university published on October 22 showed Carson in the lead with 28 percent, Trump with 20 percent, and Cruz at 10 percent.

Terrorism and foreign policy were the most important issues to the voters sampled, with 30 percent of those polled citing one of these two issues as the deciding factor in who they would vote for.

Of that 30 percent, 27 percent would vote for Cruz, enough to give him the lead on that front.

According to The New York Times, issues of foreign policy in the wake of the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris has played a major part in Cruz’s surge, noting that he has “aggressively criticized President Obama’s handling of the rise of the Islamic State”.

Furthermore, Cruz is against allowing refugees from war-torn Syria into the United States, an opinion he shares with 81 percent of Iowan Republicans polled.

Cruz was also seen as the most capable of handling foreign policy, garnering 24 percent of the poll, in comparison to Trump at 18 percent. He was also seen as the candidate with the best experience, as 75 percent of those polled agreed that he had the experience needed to be president. This compares to Trump with 62 percent and Carson with 49 percent.

The Iowa Republican Caucus takes place on February 1 of next year.

Cover Photo Credit: Marc Nozell/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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