- The Washington Times - Friday, August 29, 2014

Former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint says that Sen. Ted Cruz would have the upper hand right now in a potential showdown with Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.

“I think Cruz even more than Perry right now,” Mr. DeMint told CBS News when asked about the presidential prospects of the Texans.

CBS reported that Mr. DeMint, who stepped down from his Senate seat to takeover the Heritage Foundation in 2012, said that, “Ted has become really the nation conservative leader.”

The storyline will loom over the two-day Defending the Dream Summit hosted by Americans for Prosperity that kicks off Friday in Dallas. The event will serve as a showcase for some of the likely 2016 presidential contenders.

The latest Real Clear Politics average of 2016 polls shows that Mr. Cruz and Mr. Perry are basically running neck and neck. Mr. Cruz, though, is running ahead of Mr. Perry in Iowa, which will kick off the nomination process.