Ted Cruz trumps Rand Paul
The Washington Examiner ^ | April 10, 2015 | David M. Drucker
Posted on 4/10/2015, 10:50:23 AM by 2ndDivisionVet
Round one in the battle of anti-Establishment Republican presidential candidates goes to Sen. Ted Cruz.
In competition for the Tea Party’s vote in 2016, the Texas Republican has bested Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky with a campaign rollout that GOP strategists say exceeded expectations and was almost flawlessly executed. Announcing for president two weeks later, Paul accomplished nearly the opposite, forcing a swift recalculation about which candidate is best positioned to win over the party’s insurgent wing and vie for the nomination.
“Cruz had a superb rollout. He hit all the right notes,” Republican guru Ed Rollins told the Washington Examiner on Thursday. “Paul had a disastrous rollout…He’ll get back on track, but it was not a good first impression.”
Heading into the primary, Republican insiders figured Paul was more likely to emerge as the choice of the party’s anti-Establishment voters with the potential to grow beyond the base. Indeed, the latest public opinion polling shows him to be a strong candidate.
The first-term senator, 52, appeals to Tea Party Republicans and also enjoys support among libertarian activists who backed his father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, in 2012. That group includes a significant bloc of younger voters. Paul was viewed as the more seasoned and innovative politician. He’s operated as a principled conservative, but has prioritized reaching out to ethnic minorities and others who don’t usually vote Republican.
Paul’s early fundraising has been strong and in line with Cruz, 44; the Kentuckian raised more than $1 million online the first 36 hours of his campaign.
But his choice of a Louisville hotel ballroom for his launch was deemed surprisingly staid for a new wave Republican, and compared unfavorably to Cruz’s launch before a packed arena of college students in Lynchburg, Va. Paul’s testy, thin-skinned television interviews on day two prompted another round of criticism from Republican power brokers. The purposely-timed announcement that Cruz supporters have raised $31 million in super PAC money was yet another drag on Paul’s launch.
“Cruz and his team showed they have a much better grasp on how to seize this moment and really break out of this eventual scrum on the right,” said an unaffiliated Republican operative who advised a candidate in 2012.
The Paul campaign dismisses the criticism. His team said the campaign website garnered more than 1 million views in the first 24 hours, with most coming from 24-35-year-olds. The candidate’s digital team, monitoring Facebook interactions and conversations about the senator, said he has been discussed in mostly positive terms among a broad cross section of voters since launching Tuesday. His Facebook page received more than 3.5 million unique views on Wednesday alone.
His campaign glossed the senator’s clashes with reporters. “Rand Paul has proved that he is not going to let the liberal media walk all over him,” campaign spokeswoman Eleanor May said in an email.
“Team Rand is very pleased with the announcement rollout,” she added. “Sen. Rand Paul was welcomed into the presidential race by over 1,500 supporters in his home state of Kentucky. During his rollout, he shared the stage with an array of constituencies — local students, pastors, community leaders, veterans and doctors — and they all stood united in defense of liberty.”
In trumping Paul’s performance, Cruz also set the bar for other midrange Republican contenders hoping to vault into contention. As underdog candidates enter the race, they’re likely to be judged against Cruz’s fast jump out of the box and smartly played first few weeks on the trail. Paul’s initial online fundraising totals will also be a measure for second and third-tier hopefuls.
There is no reason yet to believe that the launch of Cruz and Paul, two senators competing for roughly the same group of conservative primary voters, has upset the top shelf contenders, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and possibly Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who will launch his White House bid on Monday. They have less riding on their rollout, having already demonstrated viability for the nomination — Bush via his fundraising prowess and political machine, Walker because of his broad appeal across the party, and Rubio through his fundraising and fluency in international affairs.
Bush and Walker in particular can probably afford to………..MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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