Minnesota’s conservatives are coalescing around Cruz

MinnPost photo by Brian Halliday
Sen. Ted Cruz greeting Minnesota supporters during a Thursday night rally at the Harriet Island Pavilion in St. Paul.

The Ted Cruz campaign for president took a chance booking a venue as large as the Harriet Island Pavilion in St. Paul for a rally. 

Not to worry. Thursday night, 500-plus Cruz supporters packed the place, a testament to the Texas senator’s increasing strength in the Republican field of presidential candidates. They cheered, hooted, and hollered at the candidate who spits out bites of his conservative philosophy with a Texas drawl and John Wayne simplicity.

When he is president, he said, “We will have a president willing to utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ ” 

When he is president, he said, “We will take on … the alphabet soup of federal agencies that descend like locusts,” destroying businesses.

When he is president, he said, he would padlock the IRS building and “take all 90 thousand [employees] and put them down on our southern border.” “That’s somewhat tongue in cheek,” he added, addressing the qualifier to the national and local media in attendance. 

His supporters say they believe he will keep his promises. “I like that he’s bold. I like that he says he what thinks, that he’s willing to stand up to bullies,” said Jessie Nordvall of Savage.

Cruz displayed that directness to reporters as he doubled-down on positions he took during the Republican candidate debate Tuesday. “I oppose amnesty. I oppose citizenship. I oppose legalization for those here illegally,” he said, referring to the jousting match between him and Sen. Marco Rubio about immigration legislation.

He scorned criticism from Hillary Clinton and others that his proposal to “carpet-bomb” ISIS strongholds was naïve foreign policy.  “Democrats and many of their supporters in the mainstream media have howled loudly at the notion that we would have a commander in the chief that would actually stand up and be serious about defeating ISIS,” he said. “If am elected president, we will not weaken, we will not degrade ISIS. We will utterly destroy ISIS. We will carpet bomb them into oblivion and any militant across the face of the planet will understand if they go and join ISIS, if they take up arms and wage jihad against innocent Americans they are signing their death warrant.”

Comments like that are “hurtful, divisive, and downright dangerous rhetoric,” said Minnesota DFL party chair Ken Martin in a statement.   

But Minnesota Republicans, like conservatives in other caucus states where Cruz is focusing his efforts, appear to be coalescing around his candidacy. By a two to one margin, Cruz won a recent straw poll taken at a Minnesota GOP leadership convention. His state campaign says Cruz is now well positioned to win the Minnesota Republican caucuses on March 1.

“People are tired of what I call campaign conservatives, people who talk a good game on the trail but haven’t walked the walk,” Cruz said before he addressed the crowd. He referred to supporters as “that old Reagan coalition come back together,” who during the caucus and primary season next year will unite behind his candidacy. 

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Comments (24)

  1. Submitted by Jim Million on 12/18/2015 - 10:21 am.

    Yes, but…

    He still needs to get his passion out of his nose, as previously posted. At its worst, the Cruz Whistle sounds rather like our Moscow ambassador’s screeching phone near the end of Fail-Safe (1964).
    Thought someone might have passed that on to his people.

    If he would just tighten his abdomen and speak properly from his diaphragm, well, maybe…

  2. Submitted by David Frenkel on 12/18/2015 - 11:42 am.

    Carpet bombing

    Scary to think how many politicians have no clue about national security. Cruz wants to carpet bomb terrorists not knowing there might be innocent civilians killed. His correction was ‘smart’ carpet bombing, really? Does SNL pay these guys to make these comments?

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/18/2015 - 11:56 am.

    Turn out

    There were more people at the Cruz rally than at the Clinton speech two days prior, but more importantly, we were smiling.

    • Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 12/18/2015 - 07:45 pm.


      only count when the ballots are tallied and Cruz’ numbers in Mn. will be very small if he is the chosen one from the gop.

  4. Submitted by David Markle on 12/18/2015 - 11:59 am.

    Scary guy

    Trump may be something of a demagogue but he’s a moderate compared to Cruz. Carpet bomb parts of the Mideast? Switch from progressive to flat tax and eliminate the IRS? And what has become of our state’s Republicans, the party that formerly produced leaders such as Harold Stassen, Al Quie and Arne Carlson, if they now favor such an unashamedly ambitious and radical candidate?

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/18/2015 - 12:13 pm.

      Turn Up the Volume

      Cruz said he’d abolish the IRS. That means no flat tax, no progressive tax, no tax at all. Someone has to collect taxes

      Or would he just abolish the agency in name, and transfer it’s responsibilities to some other agency?

      • Submitted by Steve Rose on 12/22/2015 - 06:34 am.

        Department of Treasury

        The IRS is one of the many bureaus under the Department of Treasury. If we adopted a flat tax, the IRS as we know it would be abolished. The Department of Treasury would still be in charge of collecting taxes and stuffing their coffers.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 12/23/2015 - 12:48 pm.


          With President Cruz and his flat tax we will abolish the IRS and leave it to treasury to collect from a few hundred million people and things. Of course this will not be an insignificant task and will require quite a group to accomplish it. So; Treasury will propose an agency to do this and a conduct a naming contest: I am betting on: “Internal Revenue Service”.

          • Submitted by Steve Rose on 12/24/2015 - 07:22 pm.

            Place Your Bet

            The Internal Revenue Service is an organization with insufficient accountability whose code has bloated to 74,608 pages. Were it to be abolished, nothing in America would ever again bear that name.

            We are well aware of the most egregious deeds of the IRS; here are some more examples of the lack of accountability that the IRS enjoys at taxpayer expense. According to Huff Post Business:

            “The Internal Revenue Service has paid more than $2.8 million in bonuses to employees with recent disciplinary problems, including $1 million to workers who owed back taxes, a government investigator said Tuesday.

            More than 2,800 workers got bonuses despite facing a disciplinary action in the previous year, including 1,150 who owed back taxes, said a report by J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. The bonuses were awarded from October 2010 through December 2012.”


  5. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 12/18/2015 - 12:19 pm.

    Foreign Policy

    Carpet bombing is not an effective way to win a war against insurgents. When you waltz in and blow up everything in sight, all you do is take people who are neutral or favorable to your position and turn them into new enemies. Heck, just look at all the flak Obama is getting because he targets militants with drones. Sometimes the missiles from the drones hits a family or a wedding party and then America becomes the Great Satan. If you start carpet bombing whole villages and towns, you can take that ire and multiply it by a couple thousand percent.

    Telling people on the campaign trail that you’re going to put on your cowboy boots and swagger around the bedroom is a poor excuse for a foreign policy. Personally, I prefer someone a little more intelligent and nuanced to take the reigns of the most important position in the world.

    • Submitted by chuck holtman on 12/18/2015 - 12:40 pm.

      Well, no.

      You missed the part where Mr. Cruz stated that he first would ask all committed radical jihadists to assemble together in a large open space with no other folks present.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/18/2015 - 02:30 pm.

      Kill ’em All, Let God Sort ’em Out

      That’s what it’s called. But won’t God sort all of us out, too?

  6. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 12/18/2015 - 02:27 pm.

    Conservatives coalescing around Cruz is like…

    …the passengers on the Titanic gathering around the deck chairs in hopes their rearrangement will solve the problem.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 12/19/2015 - 03:06 pm.


      Liberals gathering around Clinton like interior decorators simply re-arranging White House furniture to create the illusion of a new look.

      • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/19/2015 - 06:26 pm.

        True Enough

        It looks like we’re heading toward replacing one corporate Democratic with another. More free trade agreements, more standing idly by while trade unions circle the drain, more approaching Wall Street on bended knee.

        The point one percent will continue to accumulate money at the expense of the dwindling middle class. One thing that will change is that we’ll have even more military mis-adventures in the Middle East, what with a more hawkish resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

        I have no idea why some liberals are excited about this.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 12/21/2015 - 08:53 am.

          “what with a more hawkish resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave”

          So; your saying we should look at the “doves” being offered up by the GOP as a practical alternative to more war in the Middle East?

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/21/2015 - 10:51 am.

          Why some liberals are excited about this

          You’re forgetting one very important function of the Chief Executive: judicial appointments. Are you comfortable with the idea of a President Trump or President Cruz appointing two or more Supreme Court Justices, especially if Republicans retain control of the Senate?

  7. Submitted by Roy Everson on 12/19/2015 - 09:16 am.

    Minnesota Political History 101

    Imagine if George Wallace was the front runner for the Democratic nomination in 1972 while DFL supporters of folks like Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern just sat around twiddling their thumbs. No, it’s impossible to imagine. But that’s the parallel to today’s party formerly known as “Independent Republicans” acting comatose while multiple versions of George Wallace run roughshod over the “Party of Lincoln.”

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 12/19/2015 - 02:52 pm.

      Well Said

      Perhaps the most level-headed observation of this topical turmoil. Thank You.

      (A good many of those IRs have simply dropped the Big Red R and turned truly Independent, comfortably astride the center line for years.)

  8. Submitted by Tim McCarthy on 12/19/2015 - 10:35 am.


    Is he going to magic carpet bomb Agrabah? Do we really want to let that genie out of the bottle?

    What about the native people? They are a colorful and animated bunch.

    Jafar looks like a guy we could do business with.

  9. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 12/21/2015 - 01:27 pm.

    Help me out here….

    For the past 8 years the far right Cruz base has hounded Obama on his legitimacy to even be President because of having a foreign born father and a US born mother and maybe, just maybe, Obama was born in Kenya. Now we have Cruz as the absolute darling of the Obama birther crowd, and despite the fact that we definitively know Cruz was not born in the US, these folks are A OK with a foreign born President who is the son of a US born mother and a foreign father. Could this possibly be hypocrisy in action? And I guarantee there is someone out there right now wearing a Cruz button wailing on and on about the illegitimacy of the Kenyan Obama presidency.

  10. Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 12/22/2015 - 02:00 pm.


    He’s rather clueless on many things including foreign policy, national security and biofuels. He displays a poor amount of science understanding.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/22/2015 - 04:25 pm.


      You have just listed the reasons why he is beloved by conservative activists. His retrograde positions on social issues are a bonus.

      • Submitted by Russ Hilbert on 12/28/2015 - 09:43 am.

        it’s unfortunate

        I guess I don’t consider myself an activist but he isn’t beloved by this conservative. This will be a very difficult election for me with zero candidate I would consider good.

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