Saturday, February 6, 2016

Team Cruz 'ready to pounce' on Paul's base

Ted Cruz, born-again libertarian - Katie Glueck, Politico:

February 3, 2016 - "Bill O'Brien knew exactly what to do when Rand Paul officially dropped out of the 2016 race. He went on a dialing spree.

"O'Brien, one of Ted Cruz's New Hampshire co-chairs and a former state House Speaker, had tried '15 to 20' state reps by noon, looking to pull Paul supporters over to team Cruz.

"Former U.S. Senator Bob Smith, another co-chair for Cruz here, did much the same when he heard the news in the midst of an MSNBC appearance. Back on the Cruz campaign bus, he too was calling Paul-aligned activists and lawmakers, and even members of Paul's leadership team.

"It's not a coincidence that Cruz's co-chairs had an identical game plan: they've been courting Paul's supporters for months, hoping to siphon support away from a campaign on its last legs. Now those legs have given out, and Team Cruz is ready to pounce....

"'We respect and admire Sen. Paul’s defense of liberty over the many, many years, as well as his dad’s, and we would welcome his support because we think we have many likeminded views, especially on liberty, freedom and the Constitution,' Smith said when asked to sum up the messaging.

"Smith and O’Brien declined to say how many Paul supporters had already come on board as of late Wednesday morning, but Smith said the number was 'significant'...

"Tuesday night, Cruz was already telegraphing his plans to pitch to libertarians. 'Part of the reason we are more competitive in New Hampshire than the typical conservative is, we’ve got enough support on the libertarian side that it backfills,' Cruz told reporters.... 'Iowa you’ve got more evangelicals, New Hampshire you’ve got more libertarians,' Cruz continued....

"He recalibrated his stump speech early in the day, focusing more on themes of economic freedom and defending the constitution, cracking jokes about government phone tapping and name-checking the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth Amendments.... He also downplayed some of the social issues that he had emphasized in his bid to court Iowa's evangelicals."

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