Immediately after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's endorsement, "the phones lit up like a Christmas tree," and over 1,000 donations poured in over the next 48 hours, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz said during an interview with LaDonna Hale Curzon, host and executive producer of Sarah Palin Radio. Like Fischer and Mourdock before him, Cruz is the underdog candidate competing against those who have more money and deep connections to the GOP establishment. Her endorsement has given the Cruz campaign such a boost that the power behind it has been dubbed "the Palin Effect."
"It has been absolutely incredible! The impact and the momentum were enormous!" Cruz said about Gov. Palin's endorsement.
"We've got a tremendous grassroots organization. We've got virtually every major Tea Party leader across the state unified behind the campaign. We've got Republican women unified behind the campaign. At the grassroots level, we have an enormous advantage, because conservatives are unifying behind this campaign and they are fed up with the same tired establishment, moderate incumbents that have led to our country being on the verge of bankruptcy. As you know, it has been career politicians in both parties who have been responsible for building a $16-trillion debt, and we've got to have strong conservatives and fighters who will stand up and stop the spending and turn the debt around."
Texas Ground Zero in Battle Between Moderates and Tea Party
Curzon said Cruz has been described as a "Cuban, Ivy League Tea Partier," and asked how he would describe himself.
"Well, I'll tell you, this race in Texas presents a simple, clear choice between a timid career politician in David Dewhurst, who is the incumbent Lieutenant Governor, and a strong conservative fighter. This race in Texas has been called 'Ground Zero' in the battle between the moderate establishment and the Tea Party tidal wave that swept the nation."
Cruz had been the Solicitor General of Texas serving under Attorney General Greg Abbott.
He said, "in five and one half years in office, over and over again, Texas led the nation in fighting for conservative principles. We defended the Ten Commandments monument before the U.S. Supreme Court and won 5-4. We defended the Pledge of Allegiance in front of the Supreme Court and won unanimously. We defended the Second Amendment in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and won 5-4. And, we stood up and fought the World Court, the United Nations and the President of the United States, and we defended U.S. sovereignty, and we won 6-3. That's the record and I'm running on it. The record of a strong conservative fighter, because our Constitution is under assault and our liberties are under assault, and we need warriors to stand up for liberty with the same unapologetic embrace of the Constitution, of free market principles that Gov. Palin has exemplified for so many years."
Hispanic Values: Faith, Family, Patriotism
Curzon asked Cruz what the GOP can do to attract more Hispanic voters.
He answered, "I think it is absolutely right that the Hispanic community is fundamentally conservative, and unfortunately most Republicans are lousy at reaching out to Hispanics. They tend to do one of two things. They either hang a piñata or they throw a Cinco de Mayo party. It's condescending and patronizing. It doesn't work. Or, the other thing they do is often even worse. They try to become Democrat Lite. They try to say, 'we'll give you part of a welfare state.' They think that will appeal in the Hispanic community. The values that resonate in the Hispanic community are faith, family, patriotism. You know the rate of military enlistment is higher among Hispanics than any other demographic?"
He noted that he had never seen a Hispanic panhandler in his life, but has seen many "lining up looking to work to the bone." He said "Republicans need to champion those values: faith, family, patriotism, hard work, responsibility, and do so in a way that connects with Hispanics and says 'your values and our values are one of the same.'"
If we Lose our Freedom Here, Where do we Go?
Curzon asked Cruz why he is running.
"I am running because our nation is at a crossroads. Barack Obama is the most radical President our nation has ever seen, and we're going broke. The last three years, we have seen an explosion in government spending, and power, and debt, and if we don't turn it around, we are going to lose our country."
Cruz's father immigrated from Cuba. He fought against the Cuban revolution as a teenager, was thrown in prison and tortured.
"Today, he is a pastor just north of Dallas. To this day, his front teeth are not his own, because when he was a kid, his teeth were kicked out of his mouth in a Cuban jail. And, he fled Cuba in 1957 and came to Texas. He did not speak a word of English. He had nothing except $100 sewn into his underwear, and he got a job washing dishes making 50 cents an hour, and paid his way through the University of Texas. And he and my mother ended up starting a small business - a seismic data processing business in the oil and gas industry. When I was a kid, my dad used to say to me over and over again, 'When we faced oppression in Cuba, I had a place to flee to. If we lose our freedom here, where do we go?' LaDonna, there is no question that better explains why I'm running than that question right there."
Turn our Country Around or Lose our Country
He said the most important issue facing Texas is "the assault on our liberty and the need to stop the out-of-control debt and spending in Washington. He reminded listeners that just last year the U.S.' credit was downgraded for the first time in history and our debt also for the first time exceeds our Gross Domestic Product. "Career politicians in both parties have put us on the path to where Greece, Italy, and most of the countries in Europe are, and if we don't get new leaders to stand up and turn our country around, we are going to lose our country."
Curzon asked Cruz how he would handle illegal immigration.
He said, "neither party wants to really solve the problem and both parties are demagoguing the issue." Cruz continued, "I strongly oppose illegal immigration and I categorically oppose amnesty, and I strongly support legal immigrants who come here, follow the rules, seeking the American dream." He said, "eighty percent of Americans agree with all three of those propositions." He said that everything humanly possible must be done to secure the borders. "That means fences, walls, helicopters, technology - and most importantly, it means boots on the ground. I intend to lead the fight to triple the U.S. Border Patrol, because we don't need to just reduce illegal immigration; we need to drop it to zero as a law enforcement matter and a national security matter."
Keystone XL for Prosperity, Security, and the Environment
Cruz strongly supports the Keystone XL Pipeline.
He said the pipeline "is a great example of what I call 'President Obama's War on Jobs.' There are 25 million people in this country out of work and this administration has waged a relentless war on jobs. With the Keystone Pipeline with the stroke of a pen, President Obama killed tens of thousands of jobs....it continues our dependence on Middle East oil, which means we're sending billions of dollars to nations that hate us and many of whom want to do us great harm. It doesn't even help the environment! He claims it does."
He said the danger of spills from tankers coming from overseas is far greater than from a pipeline.
Repeal Every Syllable of Every Word of ObamaCare
If elected, Cruz said the first thing he would do is "lead the fight to repeal every syllable of every word of ObamaCare." He said, "that is going to be an epic battle. Just today in the papers, there are stories about Republicans wanting to compromise - wanting to cut the baby in half - to keep some of ObamaCare, repeal some of ObamaCare. We need to repeal it in its entirety...I will throw my body in front of a train to stop anything short of a total repeal."
Grassroots vs. Lobbyists
He urged listeners to early vote for him and said financial resources are critical. Both Cruz and Dewhurst have raised over $5 million each; however, Cruz's money came from over 19,000 conservatives nationwide, while Dewhurst's came from 2,500 donors, "mostly lobbyists from Texas and Washington," Cruz said. "[Dewhurst] is worth over $200 million personally, so he is writing $2 million a week in nasty attack ads coming after me." Despite Dewhurst's superior financial resources, Cruz said the momentum is with his own campaign, which is currently winning the race.
Gratitude for Electric Palin Surge
"Gov. Palin's endorsement last week was a game-changer in this race, and let me step back for a little bit and put it in context. In 2010, a tidal wave swept this country. All over the country from Marco Rubio in Florida to Mike Lee in Utah to Rand Paul in Kentucky to Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania to Ron Johnson in Wisconsin, voters said 'enough already with the tired establishment moderate politicians who don't believe in anything. Give us new leaders who are strong conservatives who are fighters who will get back to the Constitution.' Now fast forward to 2012, as you know the mainstream media fell all over itself to write the story, 'the Tea Party is dead.' As Mark Twain put it, 'rumors of its death were greatly exaggerated.'"
He recounted how "three weeks ago in Indiana, the 36-year entrenched incumbent moderate was 10 points ahead in the polls, and every pundit said he couldn't be beat. Gov. Palin endorsed the conservative challenger, Richard Mourdock, and last Tuesday, Mourdock didn't just win! He won by 21 points! That is a staggering impact. In Nebraska, just over a week ago, Deb Fischer was in third place. Gov. Palin endorsed Deb Fischer and on Tuesday, she won the race outright."
Before Gov. Palin endorsed Cruz, Dewhurst was in first place at 38% and Cruz was in second place at 27%, and two other candidates are in single digits.
"We were 11 points back, almost where Mourdock was at the time Gov. Palin endorsed him, and I can tell you the effect has been electric. It has unified conservatives all over the state and all over the country. I am immensely grateful for Gov. Palin's courage, for her fearless outspoken defense of liberty and the Constitution, and the effect - the Palin Surge - has transformed this race! If conservatives continue to unite in Texas and nationally and continue to provide us the resources to get our message out, we're going to win this race."
"When we win this race, Texas is going to lead the fight to stop the Obama agenda, to defend free market principles, and to restore the Constitution."
Earlier this week, Cruz's campaign manager referred to Gov. Palin's endorsement as being "sunspot hot."
Ted Cruz's website is: www.tedcruz.org.
Complete Audio Transcript of Interview with Ted Cruz