TIME 2016 Election

2016 Conservatives Take the Common Core Test

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 14, 2014.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 14, 2014. Jacquelyn Martin—AP

The state standards are becoming a defining issue for GOP presidential hopefuls

If you’re searching for signs that a Republican politician is serious about a 2016 presidential run, watch what he or she says about Common Core.

Over the past several months, the state education standards developed by a bipartisan group of governors and educators have become one of the conservative movement’s biggest bugbears. Common Core is now “radioactive,” as Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad put it recently. And the animus toward it within the Republican base has sent the politicians who are vying to be their next leader scrambling to distance themselves from the policy.

On Friday, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin became the latest 2016 contender to ditch the standards, issuing a one-sentence statement calling on the Badger State legislature to repeal Common Core and replace it “with standards set by the people of Wisconsin.” But Walker is hardly the first national figure to revisit his position toward Common Core as the conservative outcry intensifies.

Earlier this week, New Jersey governor Chris Christie signed an executive order creating a commission to examine the efficacy of the standards. The move was a hedge by Christie, who has supported Common Core, and may buy him cover to move further away from the policy later if the politics continue to sour.

Other likely 2016 hopefuls have been less equivocal. In April, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation dropping Common Core. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose state adopted the standards in 2010, issued executive orders last month to spike the policy—against the wishes of his state’s education superintendent.

These GOP governors are at the back of the pack of 2016 hopefuls when it comes to ditching Common Core. Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a law banning the standards in his state. Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio all came out in opposition last year as the backlash built, fed by the (inaccurate) perception that Common Core is a federal takeover of education foisted on the states. By now, the only potential 2016 GOP candidate unambiguously in favor of the standards is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush—and his embrace of the policy is a major reason many believe his brand of conservatism is out of step with the national mood.

The irony in this trend is that key features of Common Core—including tougher standards, state-drawn curricula and teacher accountability—reflect conservative values. (So much so that the American Federation of Teachers, the influential union, is now backing away from the policy.) But political winds can blow away policy convictions when they’re inconvenient. Just ask Barack Obama. He spent much of his presidential campaign attacking No Child Left Behind, the national education standards championed by George W. Bush. Once he entered the Oval Office, Obama set about promoting his own set of national standards.

TIME Department of Justice

Ted Cruz: Holder Must Appoint IRS Special Prosecutor or Expect to Be Impeached

Eric Holder
Attorney General Eric Holder testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 29, 2014. J. Scott Applewhite—AP

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) added that the Justice Department is “the most partisan” in its history.

Attorney General Eric Holder must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate IRS targeting of conservative groups or expect to face impeachment proceedings, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on the chamber floor Thursday.

“When an Attorney General mocks the rule of law, when an Attorney General corrupts the Department of Justice by conducting a nakedly partisan investigation to cover up political wrongdoing that conduct by any reasonable measure constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Cruz. “Attorney General Eric Holder has the opportunity to do the right thing. He could appoint a special prosecutor with meaningful independence who is not a major Obama donor.”

The donor Cruz is referring to is Justice Department prosecutor Barbara Bosserman, who has given $6,750 to the Democratic Party and President Obama over the past ten years, according to the Washington Post. Bosserman has been chosen to lead the Justice Department probe into the IRS.

Cruz and other conservatives are dismayed that the Justice Department has yet to indict anyone 13 months after the IRS admitted that it targeted nonprofit political advocacy groups with the terms “tea party” or “patriot” in their names from 2010 to 2012.

Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Wyden (D—Ore.) took to the floor after Cruz’s speech to object to the call for a special prosecutor, saying that there have been five IRS investigations either concluded or ongoing and another could add “significant cost” to the taxpayer. He also said the call was “premature” given that his committee’s report, conducted with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and his staff, is “almost finished.”

The House of Representatives has impeached only one cabinet official in its history, Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876. He was acquitted in his Senate trial.

TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: June 23

Capitol
The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

In the news: Iraq's struggling army; Domestic drones; Incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's views on Ex-Im and immigration; Chris Christie's compassionate conservatism; Scott Walker's "unelectable whiteness"; New Yorker's 9,000 word profile of Ted Cruz

  • “As Iraqi Army forces try to rally on the outskirts of Baghdad after two weeks of retreat, it has become increasingly clear to Western officials that the army will continue to suffer losses in its fight with Sunni militants and will not soon retake the ground it has ceded.” [NYT]
    • “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iraq’s prime minister in Baghdad on Monday to push for a more inclusive government, even as Baghdad’s forces abandoned the border with Jordan, leaving the entire Western frontier outside government control.” [Reuters]
    • What’s the Pentagon’s endgame in Iraq? [TIME]
  • Crashes mount as as military flies more drones in U.S. [WashPost]
  • “Incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Sunday he wouldn’t support reauthorizing the charter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, placing in doubt the future of a major agency that facilitates U.S. exports.” [WSJ]
    • McCarthy’s role is debated in his land of immigrants [NYT]
  • How Rep. Steve Scalise smoked Rep. Peter Roskam in the House Whip race [Breitbart]
  • Paul Ryan Hammers the IRS [Slate]
  • Inside the Vast Liberal Conspiracy [Politico]
  • The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker [New Republic]
  • Ted Cruz, The Far Right’s Most Formidable Advocate [New Yorker]
  • “New Jersey governor Chris Christie has a new cause: treatment, not prison, for nonviolent drug addicts. Can it soften his image—and the Republican Party’s?” [Atlantic]
TIME U.S.

This Is What Democracy Looks Like: A Day at Ralph Reed’s “Road to Majority” Conference

Road to Majority conservative conference
Attendees recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in Washington, June 20, 2014. Drew Angerer—EPA

Members of FFC’s "Road to Majority" Conference come armed with faith and idealism to take on Washington.

Bronson and Misty Oudshoff came to Washington to wage war. “Every day there is a battle between opposing worldviews,” says Bronson, 36, a clinical research coordinator for a urology group with a self-described “conservative Christian worldview… [of] how the Bible instructs us and details the truth of God’s word.”

The Oudshoffs and their three children, ages ten, twelve and twelve, are part of a group that has traveled from Florida to D.C. to attend the Road to Majority Conference, organized by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, in hopes of meeting with legislators from their state, including Representative David Jolly and Senator Marco Rubio.

“We’re not typical Floridians,” Regina Brown, founder of the biblical Christian activist group Transforming Florida, is quick to point out. “It’s a spiritual battle more than a political battle,” Misty Oudshoff, 38, says, and they’re here to challenge the idea that Washington gridlock can stymie even the most impassioned activists.

After the conference’s opening luncheon with remarks by Senator Ted Cruz, Ambassador John Bolton and Rubio, among others, attended by about 1,500 guests, the eleven in the Florida group pile onto buses with the other self-identifying ‘freedom warriors’ heading to the Capitol. The first stop for the Florida gang: a meeting with Jolly, who many of them worked for during his last campaign. FFC has armed its members with a packet of talking points for their meetings. There is a page on immigration reform, (“FFC opposes amnesty in any form”), a page on religious freedom and the Affordable Care Act, (“We oppose the employer mandates in Obamacare that force employers, including religious charities, to provide health care services that violate their faith and assault their conscience”), and a page on education, (“FFC opposes federal imposition of Common Core because of its one size fits all approach to education”).

Packets in hand, the Floridians go to Jolly’s office, where they are seated in a conference room. Jolly is still busy with the vote for the new House Majority Leader, so while they wait the group finds pictures of themselves at Jolly’s victory party to send to his office. They also eagerly discuss the vote – they are all rooting for Tea Party favorite Rep. Raul Labrador over current leadership team member Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

“We need to pray about this,” someone says.

“Can you tell us who he’s voting for?” Brown, 59, asks a staffer. The staffer claims he doesn’t know, and Brown responds, “Well, text him right now and ask!” Before he can respond, Mark Kober, an air-conditioner installer from Largo, gets a breaking news update on his phone: McCarthy has won the election. And in another disappointment for the day, the group is informed that Jolly won’t be able to join them. Brown immediately suggests another time for the meeting, and gets a “maybe” from the staffer. For now, that’s good enough for her. She does a little victory dance and says, “All you need to do is pretend you know what you’re doing!”

Next, the group heads across the street to take a tour of the Capitol before their appointment with Rubio, though Brown hasn’t been able to get confirmation they’ll actually meet him yet, just another “maybe.” As he walks through the Capitol, Kober, 35, marvels at how many famous men and women have walked these same halls, and how, at some point, reverence for that fact must wear off. “That’s why you need people like us,” he says. “To remind you of where you came from.”

Suddenly, Senator Ted Cruz walks by, and smiles. “Did you just see that?” “That was Ted Cruz!” “Did you see him?” The group titters. It’s the closest they’ve been to a lawmaker all day.

But such excitement is ephemeral. At this point it’s past four, so the rotunda is closed and sitting in the nearby gallery overlooking the floor of the Senate means looking down at a room full of empty chairs during a quorum call. The tour ends early. Disappointment begins to set in. “We’re just a day late and a dollar short everywhere we go today,” Misty says.

The group makes a final stop of the day at Rubio’s office. But there the tentative meeting “maybe” becomes “no” and the group meets instead with J.R. Sanchez, Rubio’s director of outreach and senior policy advisor. Still, this last meeting of the day is also their first, and they are eager to talk.

“Give me some solutions,” Sanchez says. “Tell me what I can relay back to Marco.” With an opening to bring up the talking points, someone mentions immigration reform. “Under the current administration, we’ve realized we will never be able to pass real, comprehensive immigration reform,” Sanchez replies.

The Oudshoffs then talk about how they feel the Left is infringing upon their religious freedom by not letting people express Christian religious views in schools.

“At the end of the day you can’t force your faith and values on people,” Sanchez says, “but you shouldn’t have your personal religious beliefs impaired.” How about the decay of the nuclear family unit in society? “We can’t legislate how people should conduct themselves in marriage or not,” Sanchez says, but that they should support laws that encourage the family structure.

The group seems disheartened by such non-committal rhetoric. Finally, Sanchez says, “At the end of the day, the best way you can deal with your outrage is by mobilizing grassroots and not staying at home.” That validation after a day of canceled meetings, “maybes” and truncated tours offers some solace. This group from Florida did not stay home.

But what did they accomplish by coming? That morning, when the buses pulled up and members of FFC got their first look at the Capitol building, Kober looked up and said, “It’s powerful just to be here.”

TIME Religion

Protesters Rally at the White House to Free Meriam

Protestors want the Obama administration to help save a Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan.

On Thursday morning, nearly 100 protestors gathered in front of the White House to push for the release of Meriam Ibrahim, a 27-year-old woman in Sudan who has been sentenced to death for marrying a Christian man. Representatives from the Institute on Religion and Democracy and more than three dozen affiliated organizations, including travelers from as far as Jacksonville, Fla., clasped paper red chains in their hands and gave speeches to urge President Obama to speak up in her defense.

Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced last month to 100 lashes and to death for apostasy for marrying a non-Muslim man, Daniel Wani. Her case has drawn western attention because her husband is a US citizen and because she gave birth while in prison. Her sentence has been delayed while she nurses the child, and she is being held with her newborn daughter and 20-month-old son while her case moves through an appeals process. “We’re here at the White House because it’s up to President Obama,” Faith McDonnell, event organizer and member of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD), says. “We need to get them out of prison and really it will take the administration to call and say you’ve got to stop this now.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a brief speech at the rally and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) attended. “We are here today to speak out for faith and for liberty,” Cruz said into a megaphone. “Meriam Ibrahim is a mom, she’s a wife, she is married to an American citizen, a New Hampshire resident.” He continued: “Her crime is very simple, she is accused of and convicted of being a Christian, and tragically in Sudan that is a crime that carries with it a horrific punishment.”

Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced a bill on June 9 to grant the mother and her children permanent resident status in the US, but Meriam supporters worry that the legislation would not pass quickly enough. Death rates at the prison are high, they fear, and many are concerned that the more time passes, the less likely the survival of Meriam, or her newborn baby, will be. Meriam’s case deserves attention, they argue, especially because it is about religious freedom and women’s freedom in the developing world more broadly. “This is an issue that completely shouldn’t be a partisan issue about whether someone should be executed for their faith,” JP Duffy of Family Research Council (FRC) says.

Other top U.S. voices are speaking out as well. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted last month that “Meriam Yahya Ibrahim’s death sentence is abhorrent. Sudan should stop threatening religious freedom and fundamental human rights.” Mia Farrow also has pushed a campaign on Twitter to protest Meriam’s fate to the Sudanese Embassy.

The protestors plan to continue their efforts until action is taken. On Friday, they took their protest to the Sudanese Embassy. The hashtag #FreeMeriam continues to gain popularity, the website rescuemeriam.com has been created to further increase awareness, and a WhiteHouse.gov petition to free Meriam has received more than 45,000 signatures.

TIME 2016 Campaign

Ted Cruz Renounces Newly Discovered Canadian Citizenship

Ted Cruz
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz address delegates at the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, June 6, 2014. Rex C. Curry—AP

The Republican senator gave up his dual citizenship months after first learning he was a Canadian citizen

Texas Senator (and possible 2016 presidential hopeful) Ted Cruz has formally given up his Canadian citizenship, about nine months after learning he had it.

While at home in Houston on Tuesday, Cruz was notified by mail that the renunciation became official on May 14, The Dallas Morning News reports.

“He’s pleased to receive the notification and glad to have this process finalized,” spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said.

Cruz intended to give up his Canadian citizenship, which was not a secret, after The Dallas Morning News first brought it to his attention — to the surprise of him and his family — last August.

“Nothing against Canada, but I’m an American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an American,” said Cruz, who was born in the Canadian province of Alberta, at the time.

Like U.S. law, Canadian law dictates that anyone born in Canada becomes a Canadian citizen automatically. Babies born in non-U.S. countries to at least one American parent are entitled to American citizenship as well. The U.S. Constitution requires presidents to be “natural born” citizens, which is commonly believed to include Americans born with the right to citizenship, even if they were not born on American soil specifically.

[The Dallas Morning News]

TIME Congress

Republicans Seek Revenge Against Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz promises delegates at the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth, Texas on June 6, 2014 to lead a conservative revolution unseen since the days of Ronald Reagan. Rex C. Curry—AP

Now that primary season is almost over, some Establishment Republicans are looking for retribution

Ted Cruz has not made himself a popular man in Washington. The Texas Republican would argue that’s the point. But even for a Senator — an elected office with the backing of an entire state — ticking off powerful people can have consequences.

In his first two years in Washington, Cruz has managed to help force a government shutdown, undermine the GOP’s chances of taking over the Senate and force uncomfortable votes for his fellow Republicans — not to mention the verbal bombs he lobs on a regular basis, many aimed at his own party. His colleagues, aware of the threats they face from primary challengers, have mostly held their tongues and their fire so far. But Cruz has already done some damage without much trying. A week after his election to the Senate in 2012, Cruz was named vice chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which works to elect Republicans to the Senate. But he subsequently refused to endorse incumbent Senators, or help them in their races, a fact that many Tea Party insurgents have seized upon. He hasn’t set foot in the NRSC in more than a year, sources say.

“They tried to channel him to be somewhat productive. They tried that with NRSC,” says John Feehery, a former longtime GOP Hill aide. “Lyndon Johnson once said he’d rather have people inside the tent pissing out. But [Cruz] seems to be inside the tent pissing in.”

Cruz hasn’t campaigned or raised money for GOP challengers, but he has forced a series of uncomfortable votes — the most prominent one being a debt-ceiling bill in February — that put imperiled incumbents on the spot. “After already forcing a strategic blunder on the conference, he stood up, looked his Republican colleagues in their eyes and said he wouldn’t work against them in the primaries.” says Kyle Downey, a former GOP Senate leadership aide. “Then he broke his word. Breaking your word, or lying, has consequences in the Senate, both seen and unseen. When it comes to the currency of relationships, he’s running up big debts.”

Not that Cruz needs much help. He remains enormously popular with a small but vocal part of the base. That has given him a powerful grassroots-fundraising platform. Even though he’s not up for re-election for another four years, Cruz has raised $1.8 million so far this cycle, $1.5 million of it coming from individual donations. He’ll need this kind of support and much more if he decides to run for President in 2016. By all accounts, Cruz’s push to shut down the government did not play well with business and corporate donors. “He’s the last person Wall Street would give money to,” says a big Republican donor. “They’re more interested in a Chris Christie or Jeb Bush. Even Rand Paul would be a preferable alternative to Cruz. How [Cruz] is going to run for President without big donors is beyond me.”

Cruz’s office did not return a message seeking comment.

Not only are business groups not giving to Cruz, they aren’t giving to many of the outlets that helped elect him, like the Senate Conservatives Fund. “There’s been a push to consolidate the party behind the Establishment and stop the divisive freelancing that has twice cost us the Senate,” says another big GOP fundraiser, referring to the 2010 and 2012 cycles where Tea Party candidate losses prevented Republicans from gaining the Senate majority.

Turning off the big money taps is just one form of revenge. Another is committee assignments. There have not been any overt threats to strip Cruz of committee assignments, but if he refuses to vote for Mitch McConnell for leader next year, that could change. Cruz in February declined to commit to voting for McConnell for leader. “If Cruz votes against McConnell and decides he’s not going to be caucusing with Republicans, kicking him off all his committees is an obvious move,” Feehery says. “This is how [House Speaker John] Boehner is thinking about punishing those who vote against him speaker: no committee assignments and make sure that they get no money from” Republican campaign groups.

Indeed, former Senator Jim DeMint, a South Carolina bomb thrower who was Tea Party before the Tea Party existed, says he was pulled off of committee assignments for being too much of a troublemaker. “Yeah, there were some committee assignments that I was in line for that were put off,” DeMint says. “I was in line after 2010 for Finance Committee and I never got it … Certainly, there were a few cold shoulders here and there.” DeMint was also passed over for ranking member of the Commerce Committee.

But DeMint warns there’s a danger in ostracizing Cruz and his ilk. “As the leadership knows that can cut both ways, if the Republican leadership drives a wedge between outside conservative groups and the Establishment rather than try and bring them together, I think you’ll see grassroots fundraising dry up for the party,” says DeMint, who left the Senate in December 2012 to head the Heritage Foundation, the conservative think tank whose Heritage Action arm helps conservative candidates get elected. “You’ve seen that in the past.”

At home in Texas, Cruz has little to worry about, given the Tea Party’s dominance of Texas primaries. He’s much more secure than fellow Senate Tea Party Caucus member Mike Lee, a Utah Republican Senator who’s up for re-election in 2016 and is likely to be facing a tough primary at home. That said, Texas is a state with changing demographics. “If he’s not careful the changing demographics in Texas is going to make it harder for him to get re-elected,” Feehery says.

But what’s clear is that Cruz represents a wing of the party that is now losing ground, not gaining it. Unless Chris McDaniel, who is challenging six-term GOP Senator Thad Cochran, wins his primary runoff in Mississippi — by no means a guarantee — the Senate Tea Party Caucus will not gain any new members this cycle, which makes Cruz’s voice increasingly lonely.

“He’ll likely be a Jesse Helms, one of the lone conservative Senators who says outspoken and crazy things,” says a former GOP Senate leadership aide. “He’ll largely be marginalized.” Helms, who relished the title “Senator No,” was best known for his 16-day filibuster of a resolution declaring a public federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. “Like with Helms, there’ll be a certain amount of appeasement,” the Senate aide says. “But it’s like Star Wars: you don’t want to give in to the Dark Side.”

TIME Afghanistan

Taliban Commander: More Kidnappings to Come After Bergdahl Deal

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl waits in a pick-up truck before he is freed at the Afghan border
U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl (C) waits in a pick-up truck before he is freed at the Afghan border, in this still image from video released June 4, 2014. Al-Emara/Reuters

Behind the Scenes of Bowe Bergdahl’s Release

A Taliban commander close to the negotiations over the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl told TIME Thursday that the deal made to secure Bergdahl’s release has made it more appealing for fighters to capture American soldiers and other high-value targets.

“It’s better to kidnap one person like Bergdahl than kidnapping hundreds of useless people,” the commander said, speaking by telephone on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “It has encouraged our people. Now everybody will work hard to capture such an important bird.”

The commander has been known to TIME for several years and has consistently supplied reliable information about Bergdahl’s captivity.

The U.S. agreed on May 31 to exchange five Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Bergdahl, America’s only living prisoner of war. Following the deal, the outpouring of relief by those who had long lobbied to “Bring Bowe Home” was soon eclipsed by accusations and recriminations as Republican lawmakers accused the administration of making a dangerous precedent.

“What does this tell terrorists?,” Republican Senator Ted Cruz said on ABC’s This Week the day after Bergdahl’s release. “That if you capture a U.S. soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorist prisoners?”

With reporting by Mushtaq Yusufzai / Peshawar

TIME Religion

Ted Cruz’s Father: “The Bible Tells You Exactly Who To Vote For”

Rafael Cruz
Rafael Cruz speaks during a tea party gathering on Jan. 10, 2014, in Madisonville, Texas. Pat Sullivan—AP

At a conference for pastors, Rafael Cruz explains the biblical prescription for the ballot box

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rev. Rafael Cruz, has voting advice for Christians nationwide who find themselves unable to decide at the ballot box.

“Let me shock you a little bit,” he said Thursday in Washington, D.C. “Did you know that the Bible tells you exactly who to vote for?”

He made the claim at the Family Research Council’s annual Watchmen on the Wall briefing, where Cruz counseled some 600 pastors and church representatives that it is time to put Judeo-Christian leaders with Biblical morals in office. In the last election, by Cruz’s calculation, 48 million evangelical Christians did not vote. “If the righteous do not run for office, if the righteous are not even voting. . . that leaves the wicked electing the wicked,” he says. “We get what we deserve.”

The Bible, Cruz went on to explain, tells you exactly how to vet a politician. He turned to Exodus 18:21 and made his case. Moses is in the wilderness trying to govern the Israelites, where his father-in-law gives him leadership advice: “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, ruler of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”

Then Cruz broke down the specifics:

1. Able men. “And women of course,” Cruz added. “That means elect someone who is capable of doing the job—don’t elect the village idiot!”

2. Fearing God. “That means you follow a Judeo-Christian ethic,” he explained. “It is a moral code by which you live. . . honesty, integrity, individual responsibility, hard work, the rule of law, and yes, limited government and free enterprise.”

3. Men of truth. “Haven’t we had enough men and women of lies in government?” he asked, to the audience’s applause. “Look at what has been happening with this administration: they would tell you a lie to cover up the previous lie. And it’s lies after lies after lies and we see scandal after scandal,” he added, referencing the recent Veterans Affairs situation.

4. Hating covetousness. “Covetousness in government doesn’t have to do so much about money as it has to do with power and control,” he said. “These politicians covet power and they covet the control that that power gives them over your lives and mind.”

5. Rulers of thousands, ruler of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. “That’s equivalent to federal government, state government, county government, local government. . . . That’s Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution, that’s the 9th Amendment, and that’s the 10th Amendment,” Cruz explained. “If it isn’t there [in Article 1 Section 8], the federal government’s got no business being involved.” He gave two examples: education—“Does it make sense that some unelected bureaucrats in Washington DC would tell us how to educate our children and our grandchildren? Absolutely not.”—and environment—“The EPA is the single most agency for thwarting economic growth in this country.” The crowd, again, erupted into applause.

Pastors, Cruz concluded, should set up voter registration tables in their lobbies every Sunday, preach sermons about Christian issues, provide voter guides to congregants and encourage churchgoers to vote for candidates with Biblical values.

Cruz’s son, Ted, is eying a 2016 presidential run. One has to wonder: will Ted, like Moses, listen to a father’s advice?

 

TIME 2016 Election

Cruz Supporters Launch 2016 Super PAC

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators state Capitol day event, on March 18, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators state Capitol day event, on March 18, 2014, in Des Moines, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall—AP

Supporters say they'll raise money and collect signatures to help the Tea Party favorite run for president in 2016

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is getting a new super PAC dedicated to helping the Tea Party favorite win the presidency in 2016.

Draft Ted Cruz For President launched its website Wednesday, citing a goal of collecting one million signatures this year to “lay the groundwork for the kind of grassroots army of volunteers, donors, and early-primary voters that is needed to win in 2016.”

The super PAC, which can raise unlimited sums to bolster a possible presidential bid by the Lone Star State Republican, filed organizing paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in January. Its treasurer, Paul Kilgore, is a former aide to Newt Gingrich who also served as treasurer for a super PAC supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential bid. The new group devoted to boosting Cruz has not yet filed any financial disclosures.

The effort was announced on the conservative website Redstate.com by Raz Shafer, a regional director for Cruz based in Texas. “I’ve never spoken to Ted about him running for president and I honestly don’t know if he will do it,” Shafer writes, “but I do know he won’t succeed unless freedom-loving Americans like you and me begin organizing this effort now.”

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