At work on Monday morning, I received a call on my cell phone from Jessica with the Ted Cruz campaign, stumbling over “Mrs. Nuckols” and offering me the chance to be a “host” at their fundraiser next week.
I guess someone didn’t get the memo that I switched my support to Texas’ Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst for Texas Senator months ago. Or that after being invited by several emails and phone calls – two on my cell phone, a couple at home – I challenged Mr. Cruz at a “meet and greet” here in New Braunfels back in May. Jessica’s call inspired me to revive this post I’ve been editing, on and off, since June 1.
Why would I change from one candidate to the other, even after donating money?
It comes down to principles.
As I’m sure is true for many of you, I don’t just listen to what candidates and those who endorse them say. I look at how candidates make their decisions and conduct their campaigns.
The Conservative reveals his principles by how he reaches his conclusions every bit as much as by his decisions and the end results of those decisions. Evaluating the decision process is especially important when the candidate has no voting or legislative history to back his rhetoric.
Ted Cruz’ problem is not only that he can’t match David Dewhurst’s solid record of Conservative victories in the Texas Senate. It’s that he hasn’t demonstrated that he acts from solid principles. In fact, rather than basing his campaign on a solid ground of philosophy, talent and plans for reform that would have strengthened the Conservative movement, Cruz set out to destroy the reputation of a good Conservative Texas Legislator by spinning half-truths and lies into campaign issues.
Perhaps one of the most out of control moments of Cruz’ spin – at least until the recent attack on a veteran by one of his supporters – was the day last September 9, 2011 when he exchanged snide remarks about Dewhurst with the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith. Both ignored the fact that the Lt. Governor was Acting Governor dealing with the wildfires in Bastrop and in other areas of Texas. Evidently, lost lives and homes don’t trump campaign ops or opportunities for Mr. Cruz.
At that meeting in New Braunfels, Cruz gave us example after example of his spin:
- Cruz told the group that he had raised more money than David Dewhurst, forgetting that we had known the rest of the story for a week: “The Cruz campaign later clarified to the Dallas Morning News that the $6.1 million included money raised in the nine days beyond the May 9 deadline, which was the cut-off date for Dewhurst’s numbers.”
- Several times he claimed that the Dewhurst campaign had called him a “yellow Chinese Communist” because one email from a Dewhurst staffer called him “Red Ted.” (This was repeated in his speech to the Republican Party Convention. Mr. Cruz ought to talk to my friend, “Red Sonja.”)
- He once again claimed that Lt. Governor Dewhurst had proposed a fictitious State “income tax” that never was (although, when confronted, he admitted to our group that the tax was actually a business franchise tax that was “a hundred years old”) and made the false charge that the Lt. Governor “killed” both the TSA Anti-Groping Bill (passed in the Senate June 27, 2011) and the Sanctuary Cities Bill (passed by the Senate June 15th) in 2011.
- He doubled down on his ads’ claim that Jordan Fishman is not an “American manufacturer,” and then criticized Mr. Fishman for not paying enough taxes, as though the money he earns belongs to the American government.
- He charged that endorsements and donations from Texans to Dewhurst were due to fear of retaliation.
- Perhaps worst of all, he made a dramatic show of cupping the microphone and speaking in a breathy voice when claiming that the “Austin” Republicans had determined that “no one with a ‘z’ in their name” would be elected to State-wide office.
Don’t we get tired of the combative political campaign spin that’s all jargon and no judgement? The way out of the stall that causes a plane to spin is to turn out of the spin and regain thrust, rather than continue to corkscrew into the ground.