Ted Cruz’s career in politics is ultimately doomed to failure, mostly due to his inability to work with other members of his own party. As his presidential campaign limps along, eclipsed by Donald Trump’s three-ring circus act that has fascinated the media, Ted Cruz has tried to gather support through right-wing religious organizations instead.
Currently, Ted Cruz is in a three-way tie in the Iowa Republican polls for fifth place with Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio, closely followed by Mike Huckabee and the fading Rand Paul. If he wants to get himself to a point where he has enough delegates to negotiate himself some sort of deal with the eventual GOP nominee, Cruz will have to find a way to successfully distinguish himself from the field.
That’s exactly what he tried to do yesterday during a campaign stop in Kalamazoo, Michigan where he told the crowd that allowing Syrian refugees into the country was dangerous.
“What President Obama is proposing to do, bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslims to America, is nothing short of crazy,” Cruz told the crowd during a question and answer period.
Cruz referenced recent comments from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who reportedly said the crisis provides an opportunity for ISIS to attack Western targets. Clapper also noted the U.S. has an aggressive program for vetting refugees that Europe may not.
“It would be the height of foolishness to bring in tens of thousands of people, including jihadists who are coming here to murder innocent Americans,” Cruz said. “…With respect to the refugees, it is a humanitarian crisis, but they ought to be settled in the middle east, in majority Muslim countries.” (Source)
Stoking fears over refugees and terrorism is likely the new strategy for Ted Cruz since his attempts to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood failed miserably. Many Republican senators joined with Democrats to block Cruz, which has caused a lot of people, even within the GOP, to predict his political clout is over and done with – even if Texas voters were to re-elect him to a second term in the Senate.
Islamophobia and the idea of Christians being persecuted by gays, liberals and atheists still plays well to the religious right. This is why candidates like Santorum and Jindal have been spending so much time in Iowa, because there is little hope for their campaigns if they do not at least place in the top three.
Whether or not this strategy pays off for Ted Cruz remains to be seen. Currently, it’s a crowded market for xenophobia and tales of Christian persecution in places like Iowa, and many candidates have centered their campaigns around lamenting the loss of “traditional American values.” At this point, the most he could hope for is a White House cabinet position, which is highly unlikely because of his history of refusing to work with members of his own party.
Of course there is the other option, which is following in his father Rafael Cruz’s footsteps and becoming a radical right religious figure outside of the government. Considering his father’s previous remarks about President Obama and the elder Cruz’s strong ties with Dominionist Christian ideology, it’s a safe bet that is where Ted Cruz ends up after burning the rest of his political bridges.
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