Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ron Paul gives a boost to U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz

From: Chicago Tribune

The Ron Paul revolution rolled up to the Texas Capitol on Sunday for a rally aimed at bolstering Paul's presidential bid as well as the U.S. Senate campaign of Ted Cruz.

Cruz, who is running in a crowded Republican primary that includes Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, basked in the support of Paul and his son, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

"You give him a chance, you'll have a real hero from Texas, and you need one," Rand Paul said of Cruz.

A Cruz campaign spokesman estimated that about 1,500 people attended the early afternoon rally, which was organized by the Tea Party Express.

Less than two weeks ago, Ron Paul drew about 6,000 to the University of Texas, and the campaign had expected Sunday's event to be "massive."

Paul, a Texas congressman from Lake Jackson, said his presidential campaign is gaining steam despite the naysayers and even though he has not won a primary or caucus. He is steadily picking up delegates to the Republican National Convention through the state-level convention process.

"It may turn out that we're the actual winners of Iowa," Paul said.

And in Maine, Paul delegates captured 21 of the state's 24 spots at the national convention, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

The strategy is to snap up the delegates that were not awarded by the votes or are uncommitted, which will give Paul and his supporters influence if not the nomination. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney still remains the odds-on favorite to get the Republican nomination.

"The revolution is working. We have infiltrated the Republican Party, and we will convert the Republican Party into defenders of liberty," Paul said during his Texas Capitol speech.

Rob Blevins of Victoria said he has been following Ron Paul since the '80s. And if Paul is not on the ballot in November, Blevins said, he won't be voting for president.

"I'm never going to give up on Dr. Paul. Never," Blevins said. "He's the only honest guy I know in politics."

For many of the rally-goers, Sunday was their first time hearing from Cruz, a lawyer who served as Texas solicitor general for more than five years.

"He did a smart thing just by being onstage with Ron and Rand," said Derrick Marble, a member of Veterans for Ron Paul who said he knew little about Cruz before Sunday's event.

Cruz touched on themes that appealed to the Paul crowd, including auditing the Federal Reserve, eliminating the Internal Revenue Service and shrinking government.

"The sad admission: Barack Obama didn't invent government spending," Cruz said. "Republicans had been doing it for a long, long time before Obama showed up. The truth of the matter is, Republicans had lost our way. Dr. Ron Paul was one of very few voices in the wilderness."

Marble said that Cruz "talks a good game," noting that he hit the right notes for the crowd, such as calling out the Legislature's failure last year to criminalize invasive airport patdowns by the Transportation Security Administration.

But Marble said he is leaning toward supporting another candidate in the crowded Republican primary, Lela Pittenger.

Erin Alexander of Austin said she did not have a good impression of Cruz before the rally, mostly because of a recent debate in which Cruz spent most of his time tearing away at Dewhurst.

But on Sunday, Cruz offered more substance and focused on the liberty and small government issues that he stands for, Alexander said.

"He really scored a lot of points with us today," Alexander said.

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