- - Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Politics makes strange bedfellows, so it should come as no surprise that three GOP presidential candidates, the liberal media, and the Republican Establishment elites have all set aside their differences to unite around a single narrative in the hopes of discrediting Ted Cruz, their most formidable opponent. Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio have coalesced around the message that Sen. Ted Cruz is a “dirty trickster,” incapable of telling the truth. In reality, that line of attack reveals much more about those making the accusation than it does about Ted Cruz.

Since the Tea Party movement formed almost exactly seven years ago, I have had the honor of working alongside Sen. Cruz on some of the most significant initiatives our movement has undertaken. Sen. Cruz stood with Tea Party Patriots when we wanted to block funding for Obamacare before the law was fully implemented. He was also by our side during the fight against the Senate’s amnesty bill. Sen. Cruz stood up to Mitch McConnell, his own party’s leader in the Senate, when McConnell tried to pull a fast one to raise the debt ceiling while trying to make it appear Republicans had nothing to do with it. The fact is, Sen. Cruz fearlessly took up our causes in the Senate, even when it was politically unprofitable to do so.

Last month I was campaigning for Sen. Cruz in Iowa. I was impressed by his steadfast commitment to eliminating federal subsidies to the corn industry – a difficult position for any candidate to take in a state that so heavily relies on Big Government federal subsidies. Most GOP presidential candidates make peace with that fact and pledge to continue the flow of money from Washington, DC. For most politicians, it is an easy box to check in the first-in-the-nation state on the way to securing the GOP nomination. But Ted Cruz made a bold move: he stuck to his principles and told Iowa voters that he did not agree with subsidies for the corn industry.

Last year, while speaking at the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Sen. Cruz explained his position: “I don’t think Washington should be picking winners and losers. I have every bit of faith that businesses can continue to compete, can continue to do well without having to go on bended knee to Washington asking for subsidies.” Sen. Cruz remained true to his principles, bucked the Washington Establishment’s conventional wisdom about subsidies and mandates, and won the Iowa caucuses.

Grass-roots activism is often frustrating work. There are candidates who pledge to do one thing while on the campaign trail, but then get to Capitol Hill and never act on those promises. Campaign promises are easily jettisoned once newly elected Members of Congress arrive in Washington, and the actual voting records of Members of Congress rarely match up with the pledges and promises they make on the campaign trail. Sen. Ted Cruz stands out in Washington because he has consistently refused to join in on the backroom deal making, the corruption, and the culture of broken promises. And, yes, there has been hell to pay for his refusal to take part in that culture.

The rich irony of the past few weeks is that the Establishment GOP is attempting to get the “dirty trickster” label irrevocably attached to Ted Cruz and his campaign because they do not want a President Cruz challenging the status quo and exposing all of the true dirty tricks in Washington, DC. Dirty tricks, after all, are the modus operandi in our nation’s Capitol. It is a dirty trick to say you are “reducing spending,” when all you are doing is simply not spending as much as you could have spent or wanted to spend. It was a dirty trick when the Democrats decided to use a procedural technique to “deem” Obamacare to have been passed, even though the Senate and the House never voted on the same bill. And it was a dirty trick for Republicans to campaign on repealing Obamacare, but then simply sit back in Congress while the law went into effect.

Americans know what dirty tricks look like, and, quite frankly, we’re sick of them. That’s why Ted Cruz, the anti-Washington candidate, won in Iowa, it’s why Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund endorsed him, and it’s why the Establishment will do anything to stop him.

As we head into Super Tuesday, when more than 620 delegates are at stake, you can bet the Washington Establishment, the media, and Sen. Cruz’s GOP rivals will all be up to their usual dirty tricks.

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