On November 8, 2016, Americans will elect the 45th president of the United States. If the new commander in chief is a Democrat, he will accelerate the “fundamental transformation of America” begun by Barack Obama. Giving an Obama “third term” to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders will enmesh our Republic so deep in European socialism that our liberties may forever be lost and the American experiment with self-governance will end. Republicans must nominate a candidate who clearly recognizes the nature of this challenge and one who has demonstrated a record of standing for constitutional principles. If Republicans set forth a candidate who relies on campaign rhetoric instead of proven conservative actions, then they will lose.
There are three candidates with a realistic chance to seize the Republican nomination. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio. There is simply no pathway to victory for Dr. Carson or Governor Kasich. Trump and Cruz split the first caucus and primary. Trump won South Carolina on February 20th to become the clear front-runner. Rubio edged Cruz by two-tenths of 1% in South Carolina and by 2.5% in Nevada to claim second place finishes. The results of the “SEC Primary” on March 1st will either solidify Trump’s lead or possibly swing the pendulum toward Cruz or Rubio. It is critical that Republican primary voters know who their candidates really are and get this right. Let’s consider the three most viable candidates who represent three distinct wings of the party.
Donald Trump is the candidate of the angry masses who are fed up with political correctness and national weakness. He has emerged as a political enigma who has flummoxed the media and the Republican Establishment. This has endeared him to many Americans who feel ignored, disrespected, and demeaned by these institutions. Their visceral resentment for the political elite is so deep-seeded that there is almost nothing Mr. Trump can say or do that they will not countenance. He has elevated important issues and given voice to middle-America’s anger. But rage unmoored from founding principles is not a prudent guide for citizens of a Constitutional Republic. The greatest danger we face is to swing from a leftist tyrant to a populist-nationalist tyrant.
Senator Marco Rubio is the candidate of the Republican Establishment. He is the clear favorite of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal and is receiving the majority of endorsements from the political class. Marco is a natural politician and has held elective offices for much of his adult life. He enjoys personal charisma and is a gifted orator. The senator can articulate conservative ideals with passion and is a formidable debater. He is generally fiscally conservative and is solid on protecting the unborn as well as on most social issues. His conservative voting record is 79% (Conservative Review). Marco is a devout Catholic and appears to embrace a genuine Christian faith.
Senator Ted Cruz is the candidate of the constitutional conservatives. He is supported by those who are weary of Republicans who campaign as conservatives, but go native when they cross the Potomac. In contrast, in three years in the Senate, Cruz has proven to be more concerned with keeping faith with voters than being popular in Washington. This has made him a pariah with lobbyists, media, career politicians, and subsidy seekers, but revered by the grassroots. Ted has a record in Washington of doing exactly what he had told Texans he would do when he asked for their votes in 2012. His conservative voting record is 97% (Conservative Review). Rush Limbaugh has called Cruz “the closest we’ve seen to Ronald Reagan in our lives.”
FULL ANALYSIS ON DONALD TRUMP
President Obama and Mr. Trump have more in common than you may think. When Obama appeared on the scene he promised “Hope and Change” and the “Fundamental Transformation of America.” In 2008, war-weary Americans projected their own interpretations of what Hope and Change would be. Trump comes promising to “Make America great again” and that “America will win all the time.” In 2016, recession-weary Americans again substitute their individual aspirations for American greatness. But the soaring rhetoric is never defined with detailed policies. Americans were told to ignore Obama’s associations with domestic terrorists like Bill Ayers, communists like Frank Marshall Davis, political “fixers” like indicted felon Tony Rezko, and his long time membership in the church of the hate-filled Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Similarly, Republican primary voters are told to disregard Trump’s past support of partial birth abortion, universal single-payer health care, his advocacy of a 14% wealth tax, assault weapons ban, gun purchase waiting period, and his statement that his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, (a radically pro-abortion jurist) would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court justice. We are to overlook his current defense of Planned Parenthood, his confusing positions on immigration (“Everyone must leave and then the good ones can come back.”), as well as his on-going advocacy of universal health care. (“Everyone will be covered. The government will pay for it.”) All that matters is that he promises to “Make America Great Again.”
But the similarities don’t end here. President Obama has revealed an un-presidential tendency to mock and ridicule his opponents instead of engaging in debate. Mr. Obama resorts to name calling and obscene gestures when he becomes particularly annoyed or desires to convey his extreme distain, referring to tea party members as “tea-baggers” and occasionally scratching his nose with his middle finger when discussing Republicans. Mr. Trump also employs derision and scorn when his arguments go flat. His language is punctuated with expletives, he exercises vulgarities to describe women he dislikes, and recently used unrepeatable crudity to insult Ted Cruz. (Trump wants to push Cruz out of the crowded race because polls show that he loses by 16% in a head to head contest with the Texas senator.) During debate, Mr. Trump constantly talks over and thunders insults toward any candidate who attempts to set out an argument or dares to examine his record. It has become impossible to engage in civil discourse with the man.
Donald Trump has been outspoken politically and an influential donor for 40 years. Yet he demands conservatives ignore his past positions and only consider the statements he has made since he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination. In presidential elections since 1980, he has supported Carter over Reagan, Clinton over Dole, Kerry over Bush and has showered President Obama with praise. He has demonstrated that he holds no philosophical anchor or constitutional foundation. His only guiding principle is to promote the Trump Empire, regardless if that means supporting pro-abortion Democrats or moderate Republicans. Mr. Trump believes his support of left-wing democrats like Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi is justified because those contributions advanced his business interests. Mr. Trump is not at all troubled that the very candidates he helped elect conspired to pass Obama Care and the Gang of Eight Amnesty bill. These are not the convictions of a principled leader or a true conservative. Anyone who has demonstrated such unequivocal bias for personal financial advantage above the national interest should never be entrusted with the office of the Presidency.
FULL ANALYSIS ON MARCO RUBIO
Marco campaigned for the U.S. Senate in 2010 as a Tea Party conservative and defeated the RNC endorsed candidate, Governor Charlie Crist. He waged a constitutional conservative campaign and won a lop-sided victory in a three-way race in the General Election. His signature campaign issue was his promise to Florida voters that he would oppose amnesty or even a path to legalization for illegal aliens. Marco rode the Tea Party tidal wave into Washington in 2011 largely on the strength of his “no amnesty” pledge.
Shortly after arriving in Washington, Marco joined with those who had opposed his candidacy. Conservative activists who supported Marco at great personal cost were dismayed by his rapid conversion to the establishment. But when he joined Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to champion the Gang of Eight Immigration Bill that granted amnesty to illegal immigrants, they felt completely betrayed. How could any true conservative mount the same horse as Chuck Schumer and think he was riding in the right direction? According to polls, Marco is no longer Florida’s favorite son and is currently running a distant third in the state’s March 15 primary.
In order to capture the Republican nomination, Establishment candidates must convince primary voters that they are true conservatives. The main obstacle facing Marco is his recent and very inconvenient sponsorship of the hugely unpopular Gang of Eight Bill. The Gang of Eight is Marco’s “threefer” meaning it carries three strikes in one swing:  A signature campaign promise was broken;  A deal was cut with the most fringe elements of the Democrat party (President Obama, Senators Schumer, Durbin, Menendez, Bennett); and  It violated the core immigration principle (NO AMNESTY) that has become a litmus test for Republican voters in 2016. To make matters worse, Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator who was largely responsible for defeating the Gang of Eight, happens to also be a leading candidate for the Republican nomination. Senator Cruz is very inconvenient for Rubio.
But instead of admitting he had made an error in judgment or defending his open immigration position (as the very principled Jeb Bush has done) Marco has obfuscated and attempted to brand Cruz as a “hypocrite” and “liar” who actually has the same immigration position as he does. Fox and the Wall Street Journal have been very helpful to Rubio in this endeavor. You will recall that Ted had introduced multiple “poison pill” amendments to the Gang of Eight bill, one of which provided that no illegal could ever earn citizenship. Marco and the other Gang of Eight sponsors defeated this amendment thereby revealing their true motives. Mr. Rubio’s incredible assertion (“Ted has the same position on immigration as I do.”) is predicated upon the fallacy that Ted’s introduction of an amendment to his bill evidences his support for a path to legalization. Evidently, Senator Rubio doesn’t think voters are smart enough to understand the difference between a friendly amendment and a “poison pill” designed to prevent a very bad bill from becoming law. Senator Jeff Sessions, (Alabama-R) who also led opposition to the Gang of Eight, states that he is “flabbergasted” at Marco’s allegations and clarifies that, “Without the vigorous opposition of Ted Cruz, this bill would have likely passed.”
Since 2009, the country had been in near rebellion over passage of Obama Care. Despite the people’s revulsion, Republican Party leaders selected the governor who had implemented an Obama Care prototype in his own state and force fed Mitt Romney to the voters. As a result, millions of conservatives and Reagan Democrats stayed home and a very unpopular president was re-elected. In 2016, the animating issue for Republicans is the lack of border security and President Obama’s Executive Amnesty. Now the Establishment is attempting to engineer the nomination of Senator Rubio, who is the face of the Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill. If Marco Rubio is forced on the voters the Party that never learns will likely reap the same result.
To understand why a Tea Party upstart could be so popular with the Republican Establishment just follow the money. Crony capitalists who comprise the mega donor class of the Republican Party want open borders to insure the free flow of cheap labor. Marco tried his best to deliver an endless supply of sub-minimum wage employees via his Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill. As a result, Washington power players know his heart is in the right place. The Establishment also wants the continued flow of funny money from Washington to subsidize ethanol, sugar, wind, solar, and a myriad of other schemes that aren’t viable without subsidies. These programs have enriched the politically connected for decades at the expense of consumers and taxpayers. Rubio promised Iowans that if elected he would not only preserve their sacred corn subsidies and renewable fuel mandates, but would increase them. In addition, Marco has long fought in favor of Florida sugar subsidies that happen to enrich his key political benefactors. Senator Rubio has signaled to Washington that he can “talk the talk” of a conservative with the best of them, but he “walks the walk” for the Establishment on immigration and crony subsidies.
FULL ANALYSIS ON TED CRUZ
When Cruz was sworn in to office in January of 2013, he promised to “uphold and defend the Constitution.” Unlike some senators, Ted was intimately acquainted with the founding documents and understood precisely the responsibilities that the oath of office imposes upon members of the Senate. In his mind it was irrelevant whether he was a freshman or had served for decades, the obligation to “uphold and defend the Constitution” was the first principle. Apparently, this is considered “dirty pool” by the old bulls of the club who called him a “wacko bird” and much worse. Over the years, the Senate has devolved into an institution that shows greater fidelity to re-election and the hallowed Rules of the Senate than the Constitution of the United States. So why do so many idealistic freshman Senators wilt under the Establishment pressure and why did Ted Cruz have the fortitude to stand his ground?
Rafael Cruz taught his son that freedom was precious, that this new country had been founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and that abiding faith in God should be his compass in life. As a youth, Ted memorized the Declaration of Independence and Constitution and spoke to Rotary Clubs on the subjects. He attended Harvard Law School where Professor Alan Dershowitz (no conservative) described him as “among the brightest of students I have ever had” and a “principled debater.” Cruz went on to clerk for the great William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, before becoming Solicitor General of Texas. As Solicitor General, he argued 9 cases before the Supreme Court where he defended state’s rights, religious liberty, and won the landmark “Heller” case that upheld our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The core value rooted in Rafael’s home now manifest in Ted’s adult actions is that adherence to first principles is preferable to popularity.
In the three years that Ted has served in the Senate, he has called out leadership whenever they have broken trust with the American people. When Congress funded Obama Care after campaigning to defund, Ted filibustered. When they funded Executive Amnesty and Planned Parenthood after promising to not do so, Ted stood against Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan. He has skillfully defended the right to keep and bear arms against Democrat bills that would have limited the Second Amendment. He joined with Jeff Sessions to defeat the Schumer-Rubio Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill in 2013. Ted was advocating for a border wall and biometric security as early as 2011, long before the thought ever occurred to Donald Trump. Cruz has opposed subsidies for ethanol and other crony schemes for his entire career and would not compromise his position to garner votes in Iowa, even as Rubio and Trump pandered shamelessly promising still larger handouts for the phony fuel that ruins engines and raises food prices around the world.
The Washington political elites and media traditionally discredit conservatives by raising questions about their intellect or competence. (This was famously applied to Ronald Reagan.) Of course that becomes a difficult sell with a man who Dershowitz describes as “among the brightest students” and “principled debaters” in the history of Harvard Law School. So the attack upon Ted is entirely personal and targets his honesty, integrity, and ethics. While the shenanigans of other campaigns are ignored and glossed over, any misstep by the Cruz campaign is magnified a thousand fold and repeated in a coordinated effort to portray him as an insincere hypocrite. Trump is allowed to monologue endlessly about this “nasty guy” who “nobody likes” and is the most “dishonest person I have ever met.” Fox offers Marco daily airtime to slander Ted as someone who “tells a new lie every day” and closes boyishly with “but I’m not going to attack him personally.” As syndicated talk show host and former Reagan Justice Department attorney Marc Levin has said of Marco, “He lied on my program about amnesty. He lied to get into the United States Senate. He wants to lie to get into the Presidency. This is a very, very serious matter. And then, with a Saul Alinsky twist, he accuses the man [Ted Cruz] who was there watching it on the Senate floor and trying to oppose it of exactly what he has become, a serial liar.”
So who is Ted Cruz? A few weeks ago a friend of mine related this story. His son was sitting in the balcony of a church in Houston when a man took a seat nearby just as the service began. The hour concluded and the gentleman arose apparently attempting to slip out inconspicuously; but the young man now recognized Senator Ted Cruz and introduced himself. After a cordial exchange, Ted exited quietly so as to not draw further attention to himself. The funeral for Justice Antonin Scalia was held in Washington on the day of the South Carolina primary. Ted skipped the final contentious day of vote gathering in order to pay his respects to his friend and perhaps the greatest originalist Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Not one of the other presidential candidates or President Obama attended the ceremony. Marco edged Ted for 2nd place by 2 tenths of 1% and announced triumphantly that it was now a 2 man race between Donald and himself. In the early stages of the campaign, Ted met with a well-known major donor to ask for his support. The man told Ted that he couldn’t support him because of his positions on “social issues.” Senator Cruz responded that he had essentially the same position as all of the other candidates. The man replied, “I know that Ted, but you really mean it.”
Yes, Ted Cruz does “really mean it.” He “means it” about enforcing immigration laws and border security, appointing conservative Supreme Court nominees, abolishing the IRS, fighting and destroying radical jihadists, repealing Obama Care, defunding Planned Parenthood, defending states’ rights against an oppressive federal government, and restoring religious liberties that have been under attack by this administration. Ted Cruz can win this presidential election, and he may be the only Republican who can win. Not only do polls show that Cruz beats Trump by 16 points in a head-to-head match up, but more importantly, he has tied or defeated Hillary in 8 out of the last 10 national polls. I believe Senator Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has demonstrated the judgment, character, knowledge, and resolve to meet the challenges that the next president will face and to guide our nation with a steady and trusted hand.
Mr. Stallings is a small businessman in the oil and gas industry in Midland, Texas. He is a long time supporter of Senator Ted Cruz.