Image credit: Photo by Grant Miller/www.ericdraperphotography.com via The American Conservative Union
Sen. Ted Cruz closed out Saturday the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference ("CPAC"), with a terrific keynote speech.
Sen. Cruz began by responding to Sen. McCain's derisive comment calling Cruz and Rand Paul wacko birds:
"When Rand and I first heard that we thought maybe that was a new kind of drone.
If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution makes you a wacko bird, then count me a proud wacko bird."
Cruz said his biggest surprise since coming to Washington has been the defeatist attitude among so many Republicans that have been in Washington a long time.
He let the CPAC crowd in on a "dirty little secret" the main stream media won't pass on:
"For the last three weeks, conservatives have been winning the political debate in Washington."
Senator Cruz cited Rand Paul's recent filibuster, sequestration implementation, and Cruz’ amendment to repeal funding for ObamaCare -- unanimously supported Republican Senators of evidence of his premise.
The main theme of Cruz' speech was how Conservatives can continue to win. Cruz said Conservatives must (1) defend the Constitution and (2) champion growth and opportunity.
Cruz talked about the campaign finance, the administration's disregard for religious freedom, the campaign to restrict gun rights, called for repeal of the National Defense Authorization Act ("NDAA"), in highlighting the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Tenth Amendments, as well as Article VI of the Constitution.
With regard to championing growth and liberty, Cruz focused on the difference in how Presidents Obama and Reagan dealt with severe recessions and the contrasting results. To ease the "ascent up the economic ladder," Cruz said we need to:
- Repeal ObamaCare
- Repeal Dodd Frank
- Eliminate corporate welfare
- Build the Keystone pipeline
- Reign in the EPA
- Audit the Fed
- Stop quantitative easing
- Abolish the U.S. Department of Education
- Champion school choice
- Stand with Israel
- Stop sending foreign aid to countries that hate us
The Senator also mentioned how he thought about his family's story as he was being sworn in as a U.S. Senator:
"In 1957, my father came from Cuba. He had been imprisoned, he'd been tortured in Cuba. And he came to Texas with nothing, with $100 in his underwear, didn't speak a word of English, washed dishes, making 50 cents an hour.
As I was standing on the Senate floor, I couldn't help but think if someone had come up to that 18-year-old kid as he was washing dishes and suggested to him that 55 years hence, his son would be sworn into office as a United States senator representing the great state of Texas ... that would have been unimaginable. That would have been beyond anything he could possibly have conceived. And yet there was my father, sitting in the gallery, looking down as I took the oath of office."
In closing, Senator Cruz said we face a choice:
"We're here because we're not willing to give up on America. We are facing a fundamental choice, a choice that cuts across all issues. It is a choice between surrendering or standing up now to defend our liberty. On guns, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On drones, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On spending, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? On debt, do we surrender, or do we stand up now? And on the Constitution, do we surrender, or do we stand up now?"
It was an impressive and inspiring speech, delivered without the aid of Teleprompter or notes. I encourage you to take a half hour and watch or listen to the speech. It is available below.