Can Ted Cruz Win?

Some conservatives are arguing that a Ted Cruz win can never happen. Here’s why they are wrong.

There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” – Aldous Huxley

The leftist media despises Ted Cruz—we all know that. He’s able to outsmart even the most clever gotcha questions with ease, he’s completely unafraid of the wave of ad hominem attacks and lies being thrown at him daily, and he’s a man rooted in his convictions. It makes sense that Ted Cruz would drive liberals up the wall, but it truly disappoints me to see conservatives calling him unelectable.

In a piece for Breitbart, Justin Haskins writes that while Cruz is certainly a star among conservatives (raising $31 million in a single week), when pitted against Hillary, he would not win. His reasoning? Cruz cannot “control the media” like Ronald Reagan, and that he is just as “cactus-like” as Hillary.

“Whether it’s fair or not, Cruz is now damaged goods as far as presidential politics is concerned. The left-leaning media has turned him into its go-to example of everything that’s wrong with conservatives: he’s too religious, he’s not willing to compromise, and he’s too brash.

The reality is that these kinds of tactics have, whether it’s fair to Cruz or not, already ended his presidential bid long before it started. This probably explains why despite his vocal supporters and continuous media presence, Cruz is projected to finish 6 points behind Clinton in a one-on-one race, according to a recent Fox News poll.

Perhaps Mrs. Clinton’s most glaring weakness is her cactus-like personality…The best strategy for beating Clinton isn’t to put another personality just like her up on the same stage, and nominating Ted Cruz would be doing just that.

Instead, Republicans should look for a conservative with a much warmer and kinder presence, one that will contrast with Clinton’s style and sway moderates.”

Despite the rosy remembrance of a Reagan-controlled media, Haskins is missing two things:

  1. The media was most assuredly not kind to Reagan while he was in office.
  2. The modern-day leftist media—which has only become more vicious and uncompromising since the Reagan years—will smear anycandidate regardless of whether or not that candidate has a “warmer and kinder presence.”

In a 2011 piece for Town Hall, Brent Bozell wrote that the media never loved Reagan:

“While he lived and even after he died, they shot every arrow and dropped every bomb they could on this man and his reputation…He was stupid, he was uncaring, he was evil, he was senile and he was going to ruin America, if not destroy the world in a nuclear war.”

Bozell provides several quotes for reference. Added to this are more quotes from News Busters:

  • “Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan Administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II. – Bryant Gumbel, 1989
  • “You place the responsibility for the death of your daughter squarely on the feet of the Reagan administration. Do you believe they’re responsible for that?” – Maria Shriver to Elizabeth Glaser, 1992
  • “Reagan, as commander-in-chief, was the military’s best friend. He gave the Pentagon almost everything it wanted. That spending, combined with a broad tax cut, contributed to a trillion-dollar deficit…Social programs? They suffered under Reagan. But he refused to see the cause and effect.” – Tom Brokaw, 1989
  • “Pretty simplistic. Pretty old-fashioned. And I don’t think…he really understands the enormous difficulty a lot of people have in just getting through life, because he’s lived in this fantasy land for so long.” – Tom Brokaw, 1983
  • “So I think [Ronald Reagan] is going to have to pass two or three tests. The first is, will he get there, stand in front of the podium, and not drool?” – Sam Donaldson, 1987
  • “They [Reagan and Thatcher] quickly formed a bond that overcame their differences of age, gender and—many whisper—IQ scores.” – David Broder, 1989

That doesn’t sound like a Reagan-friendly media to me. Reagan may have charmed the American people, winning the presidency twice, but the media was certainly not spellbound. To assert that Cruz cannot control the media like Reagan supposedly did is irrelevant. The leftist media has always hated conservatives, and they always will.

Anyone who has watched the flurry of media appearances the week after Cruz announced his candidacy has seen an extremely bright man with an uncommon level of common sense. They’ve also seen—if they’ve actually watched the videos, and not simply read biased summaries—a very cordial and warm personality.

Does Haskins actually believe that the media will treat any other conservative candidate more kindly? The media may not smear Rubio, Walker, and Jindal in the same way as Cruz (crazy, brash, uncompromising, prickly), but they will find characteristics about every conservative candidate that can be twisted into negatives that will then be used to destroy them. Walker is stupid, Jindal is Islamophobic, Rubio is a liar, etc.

The key is not in polls being conducted 570 days before the election, it is in finding a candidate who can intelligently and positively articulate the conservative message. Despite the media smears, Cruz has thus far been able to cut through the BS and frame a real conservative argument. He has never been mean, prickly, or combative—and anyone who has watched his interviews cannot say otherwise.

The media will attempt to damage any real conservative. That’s a fact. And the media will defend Hillary as if she were Christ himself. That’s also a fact. To say that a personality contrast is the key to winning the election is naive, and I’m disappointed with the alleged conservatives who believe that.

This is a dogfight, and we need a pit bull, not a labrador.