Sen. Ted Cruz opens 2014 CPAC with 'principles' speech

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  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 11, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    Esquire - Your history of the Clinton administration is not quite accurate.

    You said that Clinton's "tax cut - [resulted in ] a vibrant economy and balanced budgets in the Clinton years.

    Clinton is known for the huge tax INCREASE he pushed through Congress in 1993. Although, he did reduce taxes for the middle class later on.

    The credit for that vibrant economy goes to the active promotion of the Internet as a business tool by VP Al Gore, which resulted in an explosion of Internet businesses and the dot com boom.

    Clinton's tax hike skimmed many billions off the profits of those high earners, and consequently our nation enjoyed balanced budgets for several consecutive years.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 8, 2014 6:31 a.m.

    I watched Cruz's rise here in Texas. He taps into the fears and resentments of those at risk of being left behind by a changing America. This is his fuel. But he really has just one over-riding principle: the aggrandizement of Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz. Personally I've never been able to shake the feeling that he is the second coming of Joe McCarthy.

    A few things I do agree with him on: A lifetime ban on lobbying and term limits. What about one 6-year term for both Senators and Representatives. This would allow enough time to actually accomplish something and they won't be spending any time raising money for the next campaign.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 8, 2014 6:06 a.m.

    "Tax cuts in general are followed by a growth in the economy. Tax burdens are followed by a shrinking of the economy"

    Only if you cherry pick the data.

    I can certainly understand how cutting the highest tax rate from 90% to 70% could have the affect of growing the economy. Same with 70% to 50%.

    It would be much harder to make that case using 39% and 36%.

    But, answer this. If the 50% tax rate under Reagan was such an stimulus for the economy, why is 39% such an economy killer?

    This is where the logic fails.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 7, 2014 2:53 p.m.


    Despite protestations to the contrary, the conservative movement has devolved into a cult of personality. Information is only valuable with regard to the speaker. In the case of the government shutdown, Mr. Cruz indeed led the way along with his misfit sidekick Mr. Lee to rile up the base of the Republican party trying to "defund" a legitimately passed ACA. This was a fruitless attempt at opposing legislation in the name of "conservatism". There was nothing prudent about the tactic and it caused billions in missed economic activity. One man? Sure, so was Mao. And Stalin. But when their followers don't value information for its' own sake, they become figureheads of a movement. In this case a sad, cringe-inducing movement of spoiled boomers afraid of progress.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    March 7, 2014 2:29 p.m.

    Ted Cruz brings down the house leaving the Tea Party faction howling with delight at his every utterance. He should enjoy it while it lasts because for him that’s as good as it’s likely to ever get. He haughtily sneers at Dole, McCain and Romney but the White House can’t be won without broader support than Cruz with his abrasive manner is capable of winning.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 7, 2014 1:26 p.m.


    We will always need a tax collection agency (call it what you will) even with a flat tax. Smaller? Sure. But you will need one for enforcement.

    Auditing the Fed is fine as long as it is apolitical. Too many politicians trying to direct the Fed would make it a total disaster (yes, worse than whatever you might think it is today).

    As to term limits. Yes please. Would I (and everyone else) lose folks I love? Sure. But a bit more of the citizen servant and far less of the political dynasty seems a welcome idea.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    March 7, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    I liked some of the principles mentioned: the Bill of Rights, abolish IRS, Audit the Fed, honest government etc.

    I was rather suspicious of the speech generally though:

    1. Ted emphasized "the young" but went too far in calling their parents and grandparents "dead beats". The young had "a right to a good education", which their parents pay for, apparently, but it sounded as though he might not approve of Social Security payments, which parents also paid for.

    2. He started by throwing out some buzz words. He was concerned for "single mothers" (unmarried mothers?), and "Hispanics" (never once addressing the serious problem of illegal immigration) etc.

    3. I do not know what he means by a "flat tax" unless he will specify that the basic exemptions would be protected, spouse and minor children.

    4. I do not support "term limits". We have so few good congressment; I don't want to lose the few admirable ones.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    March 7, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    To "LOU Montana" but why do you blame conservatives for the feeding frenzy that Liberals go into whenever somebody says that principles are needed or that Republicans should explain why they are different from Democrats?

    You also don't sound like you have been paying attention to Politics over the past 5 years. Conservatives have proposed and passed a lot of legislation to get things back on track, but have been shot down by the Senate every time.

    To "slcdenizen" Ted Cruz didn't take the country to the brink of default. He is just one person, and 1 person cannot do anything by themselves in the Senate. If you want to blame anybody, blame Harry Reid for not getting a budget passed over the past 5 years.

    To "vern001" Actually, you are wrong. Just look at the number of Tea-Party canidates that have spent less than half as much as their rivals, and win because they explain themselves and are people who live by their principles.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    March 7, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    The only principle (if you can call it that) I see in Ted Cruz is the principle of getting elected to higher office by any means necessary.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    March 7, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    Check out Cruz preacher Dad ,mormons will be amazed! Like father like son! Just google the guy.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    March 7, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    From what I can see, Republicans, especially Senator Cruz, don't have much in the way of principles. They have values, everyone does. But they don't have principles.

    Re-read Covey's "Seven Habits" if you really want to understand the difference.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 7, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    Once again here's our political problem in a nutshell. Republicans dislike of Obama is so severe that they refuse to deal in reality.

    "Business and rich people are doing well. However wages and jobs for the average person are in decline. Thank you for that Mr. Obama. 5 years now. It is his and only his economy. 7 trillion added to a debt that began with George Washington and ended with George Bush at 10 trillion. What has this nation gotten for that added 7 trillion dollars spent in 5 years? Nothing but more debt. "

    First of all it's well documented and indisputable, the decline in wages for the average person has been on a steady decline since the 80's. No need to thank Obama for that, try Regan.

    Secondly what you got for the 7 trillion is an economy that didn't crash into a depression. Since the recession spending and the ending of the Iraq war Obama's spending has pretty much been in line with Bush's.

    Our tax system is a mess and there's plenty to talk about but without honesty we get nowhere.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 7, 2014 7:34 a.m.


    If true then we could cut taxes to 1% and the govt. would have all the money it could ever use and the economy would be growing at leaps and bounds forever.


    Like all things, there is a sweet spot.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 7, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    @ Lilalips, you are wrong about your tax cut philosophy. Here's why. Government is not only essential, it is a driver of economic activity, innovation, research and investment in areas where the private sector, for various reasons, falls short. If this effort is paid for as fully as possible, we don't get the double hit of government activity and deficit spending. Higher taxes (within reason, of course) actually puts more money into the economy and makes more money avaliable for private investment. This was abundently shown when President Clinton, in the wake of the Bush I recession, pushed through a tax cut in 1994. While it caused the Dems to lose control of the House (a profile in courage, especially for Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, the result was a vibrant economy and balanced budgets in the Clinton years. Funny how this works, right? Sadly, Bush II reversed all of that and we went back to big deficits and a horrific recession.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 7, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    It would sure be nice to see the Republicans, especially the Tea Party wing of Cruz and Lee, lay out their proposals to address some of the country's issues, with specificity, rather than continuing to take vague potshots aagainst those who actually govern and deal with the issues in a practical way. It's really issue to take shots, and quite another thing to execute the business of governing. And if we ever get any specific proposals from the GOP, we should overlay them on what they did when they were in power. Is there consistency? What was the result of the last time they controlled the Executive branch? In the meantime, Cruz has no credibility, and I think most Republicans would agree. This is nothing more than feel-good pandering.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    March 7, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    The Party of Lincoln once stood for liberty and equality. But we were hijacked by religious interests who have opposed marriage equality and imposed their religious beliefs to continue the oppression of some American citizens. The Grand Old Party used to honor the Founding idea of separation of Church and State, but the hijackers insist on imposing their brand of religion to the exclusion of all others into the laws of the land. The Republican Party held the welfare and prosperity of the Republic as its highest aim once, but now it has raised partisanship and pettiness to the forefront of its so called values.

    Principles? Ha! Don't make me laugh.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    March 7, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    OneWifeOnly, I was on board for the first couple of sentences, but then you otherwise demonstrated part of the problem in why people look at Republicans as only standing "against" things.

    We need to somehow illustrate to people that rioting and chanting and emotive reasoning aren't government. Although we need to cut back on the fish we take from fishers and give to people not fishing, we need to help those people be fishers themselves.

    Instead of letting people pit rich vs. poor, black vs. white, and male vs. female, we need to highlight the truths we maintain as the Republican platform: That wealth isn't a zero-sum game, that one's race is irrelevant next to their character, and that families are more financially and emotionally stable and beneficial to the state than living in a world focused entirely around "me, myself, and I".

    In addition, there does need to be a level of pragmatism. As much as I support the values of the tea party, I cringe at the short-sightedness of those who insisted on voting for Romney's many upsets.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    March 7, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    Wow, I got to watch a few out takes of some of the key speakers from yesterday. They were hilarious and wildly entertaining. CPAC should be a shoe in for best comedy at next year's Emmy awards. Keep up the good work GOP. It's refreshing to start off the day with a good laugh and a smile!

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    March 7, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    The more "principled" (read right-wing) the Republican Party becomes, the greater the chances that Democrats will pick up seats in Congress in the next round of elections.

    Extremism never pays off.

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 7, 2014 6:26 a.m.

    Will somebody please explain how in any way Mr. Cruz is credible on speaking of principles? He led the charge to push our government to the brink of defaulting on our national debt and now claims to have done otherwise. If you are going to do politics in such an erratic and irresponsible fashion, stand by what you do. That would be considered principled. Still irresponsible and short-sighted, but nonetheless principled.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 7, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    Senator Cruz has resurrected the principles which served President Reagan so well, and which conservatives are preaching. Unfortunately, the last two generations of Republicans have fallen prey to the notion that they must move to the left and adopt failed socialist schemes of the Democrats in order to win. And, instead they have lost. And, our country and future generations have lost as well.

    Cruz gets it, and if follow those principles we will be better off. That does not mean confiscating wealth from those who work, but enabling those less well off to get better jobs and earn more themselves. To increase the ability of people to provide for their own needs and desires, not to shackle them to dependency on government handouts. That means class mobility, not class warfare.

    Go Cruz!

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    March 7, 2014 6:19 a.m.

    Saying "NO" to bad things is in fact a platform. The party of NO, when the NO is about stopping the runaway train of debt is one of the most positive platforms coming down the road. As for CEOs getting rich. Have you noticed that the stock market is still going up. Business and rich people are doing well. However wages and jobs for the average person are in decline. Thank you for that Mr. Obama. 5 years now. It is his and only his economy. 7 trillion added to a debt that began with George Washington and ended with George Bush at 10 trillion. What has this nation gotten for that added 7 trillion dollars spent in 5 years? Nothing but more debt. When we have a President and Democrats as bad as they are today, saying NO to more of them is the biggest YES there is. Sorry, but as things are now in the USA, if the Republicans don't win big these next two elections and reverse course, our country will be a 2nd rate nation like all the rest of Europe and other countries.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    March 7, 2014 5:58 a.m.

    He is absolutely right. Does anyone who just commented follow history? Tax cuts in general are followed by a growth in the economy. Tax burdens are followed by a shrinking of the economy. John Marshall, the first powerful justice of the Supreme Court, the one who created "judicial review", said it best. He said, "The power to tax is the power to destroy." All you people out there who think that you can tax your way to prosperity need to take a hard look at all the countries who have tried to do just that. Right now, the US is trying to do that. It doesn't work. It never did. That does not mean we should have NO taxes. Only that it isn't the answer that will create new jobs and a vibrant, healthy economy.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    March 7, 2014 3:00 a.m.

    Once again CPAC meets and does nothing more then throw red meat to the party of hate. The Republican party is like a bunch of jealous school kids who do nothing but fight amongst themselves. It is very sad that the Republicans in Washington as a whole have done nothing but tear down this country. They have spent more time fighting Obama at every angle they can instead of putting forth valid bills that would create jobs and build America. They are so worried about creating wealth for themselves and their already wealthy corporate buddies that they have no idea who the working class Americans are. Republicans could have beat Obama if they would have spent more time working and less time hating him.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    " We can either choose to keep our head down, to not rock the boat, to not stand for anything, or we can stand for principle..." But what principle(s)? Boomers like me would be decimated if Cruz fulfilled his "principle(s)."

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    March 7, 2014 12:22 a.m.

    I love Ted Cruz's speeches. And Palin's. And Mitch walking out on stage with a gun. Every hour of this conference solidifies the base without realizing that these things are causing the base to shrink.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    March 6, 2014 5:22 p.m.

    Well said, OWO.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2014 5:21 p.m.

    Cutting taxes for the wealthy are "principles"?

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    March 6, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    ‘Republicans “got walloped” because they didn’t stand on principle.’

    The problem with today’s republicans is that it doesn’t stand for anything. All I ever hear about is what they stand against. Republicans hate our current president to such a degree they cannot even bring themselves to respect the office of the presidency and what it stands for. Republicans hate our current health care system but are unable to bring anything better to the table. Republicans cannot see that our current minimum wage is not a livable wage and that many who works at minimum wage are also on food stamps and other forms of welfare. This is simply allows the already wealthy CEOs and shareholders to take more of the corporate profit while the taxpayer foots the bill. I could create a list a mile long of things Republicans are against. They need a platform that shows what republicans are for.