It wasn’t that long ago that pundits had marked the Tea Party movement for dead, but newly minted GOP Texas Senate nominee Ted Cruz was quick to tell Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace this morning that his victory in last Tuesday’s primary shows the movement is alive and well.
“I think it is part of a tidal wave that is sweeping the whole country,” Cruz said. “Voters are tired of career politicians in both parties.
“I mean, our country is in a crisis point right now and we're saying -- and this is true all over the country -- that the American people are looking for new leader to step up and stop spending money we don't have.”
Cruz has enjoyed widespread support from Tea Party activists and politicians including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) who voiced his support for the candidate in an interview with Red Alert Politics this spring.
The Tea Party movement has entered into a new phase – one aimed at transforming the political landscape an election at a time rather than taking to the streets with mass protests as happened in 2009 and 2010, Cruz said.
Grassroots activists have grown tired of how candidates get chosen, and Cruz’s victory over a better- funded GOP establishment candidate is the latest example of the movement’s continuing influence.
“And in our race in Texas, what we saw was incredible. I mean, it was a victory for grassroots conservatives all over the state,” Cruz said. “And it was -- it illustrated at the end of the day, the way elections are supposed to be decided, they are supposed to be decided not by a handful of people in the dark room writing checks and picking the next nominee.
“But they are supposed to be decided by we the people and it was thousands and thousands of Republican women and Tea Party leaders and grassroots activist that generated our victory.”
When asked by Wallace about his views about compromise, Cruz replied saying that he wants to work with Democrats, libertarians and even “Martians” if it will cut spending and reduce the nation’s nearly $16 trillion debt. He also expressed concern about Republicans who make compromises that put America on the road to being “where Greece is.”
“The grassroots are energized because I think the absolute highest priority in the country in November is to defeat Barack Obama,” Cruz said. “And I have spoken to literally thousands and thousands of Tea Party activists. I have yet to meet a single Tea Party leader that is not going to vote for Mitt Romney and work for him because our country is in crisis. And we've got to stop this Obama agenda if we're going to preserve opportunity for our kids and grandkids.”
Cruz, the son of Cuban immigrants, addressed the Hispanic vote, saying that the community’s values are fundamentally conservative and that Mitt Romney needs to aggressively make the case for how Obama’s policies have harmed Hispanics.