Ted Cruz stars during regressive gathering, though he’s not alone

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NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Sen. Ted Cruz warned regressive activists Thursday not to buy rivals’ claims that they’re loyal conservatives. None, he said, would ever indeed mount adult and confess forward of a 2016 race, “Actually, I’m a soft assuage who stands for nothing.”

Better, he said, to find a claimant who bears a scars of ideological combat. In other words, someone like him.

“Demand action, not talk,” Cruz told thousands of activists during a annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a vicious stop on a approach to a GOP nomination.

Anyone looking for signs that Cruz is critical about using for boss — and that he has some traction among a GOP bottom — could find them during a large Gaylord National examination outward Washington. Cruz’s spicy tongue has done him a star during a annual entertainment given before his choosing in 2012.

This year was different. This is a final CPAC before a competition starts in earnest. And Cruz came primed. Campaign volunteers handed out Cruz stickers. His discuss set adult a counter to allot T-shirts, buttons and other swag. A super PAC combined by a crony to support him if — when — he pulls a trigger on a bid, offering T-shirts, a purloin sketch and a private celebration with a senator.

But it’s also early, 11 months from a initial balloting in Iowa and New Hampshire. And copiousness of other Republican contenders, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, are during slightest as renouned among conservatives. More assuage contenders, among them Jeb Bush and Chris Christie, have a conduct start in fundraising and organization.

Many attendees cited Walker and Cruz as corner favorites, among them Steve Barnett, 58, from Raleigh, N.C., who works in cloud computing during IBM. And Walker has a corner — in partial since Cruz has alienated so many associate Republicans, in partial since of a bad ambience left by a ex-senator now in a White House.

“I feel unequivocally strongly about Ted Cruz’s message. And we feel unequivocally strongly about what Scott Walker has accomplished,” Barnett said. “We’ve had some senators. You would consider they’d know a machinations of D.C., though they seem mislaid when they get there.”

Cruz was unapologetic about his efforts to make waves in Washington. In his 20-minute audition, he compared himself to Uber and Lyft, a ride-hailing services that have wrought massacre in a cab industry.

“What I’m perplexing to do some-more than anything else is move a disruptive app to politics,” he said.

But a Texan also pronounced he would eventually be means to harmonize a party’s factions — like regressive favourite Ronald Reagan.

At a Cruz counter in a vaunt hall, CPAC attendees lined adult for shirts, cups and proxy “Make DC Listen” tattoos. It was all from his Senate discuss committee, and zero sincerely suggested aloft ambitions.

But everybody knew that Cruz is eyeing a White House.

“He’s a male of formidable principles, and we’re in unequivocally low straits,” pronounced Aaron Goldenberg, a consultant from New England — he elite not to contend accurately where.

He wore a red “Ted Cruz 2016” ball cap. A crony done it.

“I wish someone who their initial sequence of business is going to be a full, invariable dissolution of Obamacare” and executive amnesty, he said, adding that he doesn’t trust anyone else in a GOP margin to follow by since “they’re operative for a donor class.”

For him, “It’s Cruz or nothing.”

Duncan Rankin, a Texas AM comparison from McAllen who is interning in a bureau of Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, volunteered with a “Cruz Crew” to palm out buttons and stickers.

Some people see a senator as a “proprietor of gridlock,” he said. “I like his eagerness to mount adult for principle.”

Elsewhere in a cavernous hall, attendees collected T-shirts reading “I Can Imagine TED CRUZ as President” from a counter set adult by Stand for Principle, a super PAC founded by Cruz’s Princeton discuss partner and Harvard Law School classmate David Panton, an Atlanta investor.

The organisation also offering a offering a private celebration Thursday night with Cruz during a hotel. Originally billed as a journey on a Potomac — a “Cruz Crews Cruise” — a eventuality was changed to accommodate some-more people, pronounced PAC boss Maria Strollo Zach.

“There’s a pull from folks who unequivocally wish him to run,” she said. “They’re ready. They’re inspired for confidant leadership.”

In his speech, Cruz offering all demeanour of red meat.

He released a antacid examination of President Barack Obama’s doing of Islamic radicals and a nuance-free solution: “We kill a militant leaders before they kill us.”

He vowed that as president, repealing Obamacare and abolishing a IRS would tip his to-do list. He strike a Democratic front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton, observant she “represents a crime of Washington.” He also took a poke during her father in a QA on stage, when Fox News horde Sean Hannity tossed out Bill Clinton’s name and asked for a word association.

Cruz shot back, “Youth outreach” — a reference to a Monica Lewinsky novice liaison of scarcely dual decades ago drew hoots from a audience.

Cruz pulled few punches with associate Republicans, either.

Without fixing names, he bloody his associate Texan, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, and other GOP leaders, accusing them of caving this week in a quarrel to hindrance Obama’s immigration actions.

Ed Welch, a CPA from Albany, N.Y., arrived during his initial CPAC meditative Cruz has alienated too many people to have a legitimate shot in 2016. He left impressed.

“Loved it,” he said. “I’m saying him some-more as a Reaganesque figure.”

But CPAC lets lots of contenders woo activists, and it’s a swarming field. Among those adult Friday are former Gov. Rick Perry and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

On Twitter:
 @toddgillman

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