- - Monday, October 5, 2015

It seems to me the only principled reason to be a Republican would be to stop, thwart and defeat Leftist ideas you’re opposed to. Therefore, what better standard by which to judge Republican presidential candidates than by who is the most committed to actually defeating the opposition?

And who might that candidate be in 2016? Well, according to the man from whom much of today’s conservative multimedia empire originates, that candidate is Ted Cruz.

“If you’re looking for the Republican candidate who is the most steadfastly opposed to liberalism, whose agenda is oriented towards stopping it, thwarting it, and defeating it – it’s Ted Cruz,” Mr. Limbaugh recently said on his popular radio program.

Let the record show that as usual, Rush is right.

In fact, I challenge anybody reading this to make an objective case there is a more principled candidate in the race than Mr. Cruz — because you can’t. I also work for an organization called Conservative Review, which gives regularly scheduled proctology exams to the records of politicians by charting how they vote on a full spectrum of conservative issues via our “liberty scorecard.” Mr. Cruz currently has our second-highest score at 96 percent, which is second only to Mike Lee.

Except Mr. Cruz does not just settle for voting the right way when it’s all said and done, but he fights back on our behalf against the corruption infesting Washington as well as the “losership” of the Republican Party.

For example, while campaign rivals like Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee were urging Republicans to cave and fund Obamacare two years ago, Mr. Cruz fought to try and stop it from ever seeing the light of day. While Marco Rubio was becoming the poster-child for the “gang of eight” amnesty scam, Mr. Cruz helped to lead the fight to kill it. While Rand Paul and others were endorsing the very GOP corporatist shills in contested primaries that are betraying us now, Mr. Cruz tried to defeat them.

To this day, he remains the only GOP presidential candidate to speak out against the heinous race-baiting the party used to stop Chris McDaniel from beating moderate incumbent Thad Cochran in a U.S. Senate primary last year. This is why Mr. McDaniel is now coordinating Mr. Cruz’s presidential campaign in his home state of Mississippi.

Here is the bottom line: If someone doesn’t have a proven history of fighting the corruption in Washington before getting elected, that probably means they’re unlikely to do it after they reach the White House.

Mr. Cruz’s willingness to fight is why activists see him as one of our own. He’s the only candidate ever to win the Values Voters Summit straw poll of social conservatives three years in a row. He also won the Freedom Works straw poll of limited government conservatives earlier this year by almost 30 points over his next-closest competitor. He was the only candidate endorsed by Gun Owners of America as well.

Mr. Cruz also doesn’t pander to lobbyists. Like when he came to my home state of Iowa and openly opposed the government-mandated Renewable Fuel Standard. He hasn’t given up on the institution of marriage, and is one of just four candidates to sign the National Organization for Marriage pledge.

Nor does Mr. Cruz bow to the canard of judicial fiat. While others who had previously spent their entire political careers doing so were suddenly giving speeches quoting the Founding Fathers, Mr. Cruz was filing legislation in Congress to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over marriage. He also urged states that were not a party to the Obergefell opinion to ignore it. Furthermore, Mr. Cruz has vowed as president to nullify any federal government intrusions upon religious liberty as a result of Obergefell.

As a former litigator himself, Mr. Cruz won numerous landmark federal/Supreme Court cases on some of today’s most important constitutional issues, such as national sovereignty, the Second Amendment and religious liberty. No other candidate can say that.

In fact, no other candidate has the proven record of fighting liberalism – from both Democrats and Republicans – Mr. Cruz has. No one running in this field can top this resume (or anyone running in the last several cycles for that matter).

He is the most principled candidate in the race, just as Mr. Limbaugh said.

We have a whole field right now made up mostly of campaign conservatives. They are people who promise to take us to the moon and back, and who take uber-principled positions the likes of which they’ve scoffed at before. For example, if a candidate didn’t support the fight to stop the most pro-abortion legislation in American history in the form of Obamacare, should we now trust that they’ll have the courage of conviction to take on the whole abortion industry just because they say they will on the campaign trail?

Conservatives should be asking themselves this question: Based on their proven records, which of these candidates is the most likely to follow through on what they’re saying once elected?

That’s why I am supporting Mr. Cruz. He’s done everything we’ve ever asked a Republican to do, and he’s also built one of the best organized and best funded campaigns in the race. Unlike previous conservatives who ran for president in recent cycles, Mr. Cruz has the resources to truly run a national campaign.

It’s time for the rest of the conservative movement to give Mr. Cruz the recognition and support he has earned. We need not lament a lack of principle or resources. Mr. Cruz has met both thresholds.

It is time for our movement to decide if it is still capable of moving ideas and advancing policy, or if we are just an industry that sells a lot of books and tickets to a lot of conferences. The future of the country is at stake. This is no time for flirting with insiders pretending to be outsiders, or with nice guy candidates we all know have no chance because they haven’t laid the groundwork it takes to compete. This is the moment to finally put the full weight of our movement behind a worthy champion.

Someone who has proven they will fight for us. That someone is Ted Cruz.

Unimportant people like me see it. Very important people like Rush Limbaugh see it. Now it’s time for the conservative movement to see it, too.

Steve Deace is a nationally syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.

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