Ted Cruz kicked off the speakers’ program at the Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream Summit in Columbus, Ohio, focusing on what’s hot in the minds of Republicans today: illegal immigration, Planned Parenthood, Common Core and Iran.
Americans for Prosperity is primarily focused on an economic agenda: rolling back the role of government, eliminating regulations, tax reduction and simplification. Cruz definitely hit those notes in the middle section of his remarks – eliminating the IRS, simplifying the tax code so that a tax returns would be as small as a postcard, uprooting “the alphabet soup of regulating agencies.”
But the pulse-quickening issues on the Right today are largely outside the economic realm: the nightmarish videos depicting what goes on behind the walls of Planned Parenthood facilities, Common Core in our nation’s schools, the impending Iran deal. the bloodthirsty menace of ISIS and like-minded extremist groups and illegal immigration – which, although clearly in the economic realm, is not really a focus of AFP. And these topics made up the meat-and-potatoes of Cruz’s remarks.
Cruz began by listing his agenda for the first day in the Oval Office, beginning with rescinding “every one of President Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional executive actions!”
“Obama likes to say he’s got a phone and he’s got a pen,” Cruz said. “You live by the pen, you die by the pen. My pen has got an eraser!”
Cruz said his next priority would be to instruct the Department of Justice to “investigate Planned Parenthood and prosecute any and all criminal violations by that organization!”
Cruz said he would rescind America’s participation in the Iran deal. He declared that if the Iran deal goes through, with its cash transfers, removal of sanctions, and approval of new foreign trade deals with Tehran, the Obama administration becomes the leading financier of terrorism against Americans in the world.
He noted he made this argument a few weeks ago President Obama had objected to his “ rhetoric.” Before the roughly 3,500 activists today, Cruz roared, “Truth is not rhetoric! If you don’t like being accused of financing Islamic radical terrorism, there’s a simple solution: Stop financing Islamic radical terrorism!”
Cruz also said he would immediately order the U.S. embassy in Israel be moved from Tel Aviv to “Jerusalem, the once and eternal capital of Israel!” To his credit, Cruz acknowledged previous presidents have made this promise – most notably, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush
“You get into the White House, and people say, ‘Other folks in the Middle East will be pretty unhappy with us,’” Cruz said. “If you haven’t noticed, they’re already pretty unhappy with us!” (Security concerns were one reason the embassy move was always delayed and studied endlessly in previous administrations.)
Finally, Cruz declared, “I will instruct the Department of Education – which should be abolished – that Common Core ends today!”
Cruz offered his half-joking proposal to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and reassign all the employees to protect the country’s border with Mexico.
“Imagine you’re going through the blazing heat… you’re crossing the Rio Grande… and the first thing you see is 90,000 IRS agents! You would turn around and go home, too!” Cruz joked.
The attendees ate all of this up with a spoon, chanting “Cruz! Cruz! Cruz!”