Live Blog: Ted Cruz Speaks in Manchester, NH
The DPolitics is at the American Legion Henry J. Sweeney Post in Manchester, New Hampshire to listen to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) talk to voters.
3:52 p.m.: Sen. Ted Cruz enters the room after lengthy introductions from different endorsers and supporters. The venue is overpacked; luckily DPolitics team arrived early and snagged some good seats.
3:53 p.m.: “Sovereignty rests with we the people,” says Cruz as he talks about the values the United States was founded on and what real conservatism is.
3:55 p.m.: “The role of government is to follow its constitutionally allocated responsibilities and to protect our civil liberties. We are on the final stretch and soon this quadrennial pestilence will migrate south,” says Cruz.
3:56 p.m.: “Both Iowa and New Hampshire have the wonderful ability to vet presidential candidates. It is a marvellous thing. It doesn’t begin in the plateaus of power. Rather in the IHOPs, in the dinners, in the bars, in the small towns,” says Cruz, who has built up his speech by defining the philosophical foundations of his campaign and vision for the U.S.
3:59 p.m.: “Ignore our campaign rhetoric, because lots of people know how to give a good talk. Instead we should follow the biblical text: ‘Show me by your fruits,’” says Cruz as he goes on to talk about how he has fought to repeal Obamacare, to stop amnesty and to secure the border.
4:03 p.m.: “Test character when it is hard. When there is a price. We have seen an illustration of that last week. I just came back from campaigning against the ethanol mandate. That should have been political suicide in Iowa. That’s like coming here and campaigning against the New England Patriots,” says Cruz. Crowd erupts in laughter. “Don’t worry, I won’t do that. I’m not that crazy,” says Cruz to the amusement of the crowd.
4:04 p.m.: Cruz refers to Trump as the “fellow from New York” and describes how Trump tried to “buy” votes in Iowa by advocating for an expansion of the ethanol mandate.
4:06 p.m.: Referring to Trump, Cruz says, “The answer isn’t to elect a dealmaker that will cut deals with Democrats and make things worse.”
4:09 p.m.: “It is about remembering who you are working for. What matters to me is the 27 million Texans that sent me up there to the Senate,” says Cruz. “That is the accountability we need. We are 24 hours away from the primaries. Right now, all that matters is turnout.”
“We are showing up to vote,” someone in the room says. Cruz points at crowd member and says, “That’s exactly what we need.”
4:15 p.m.: Cruz finishes his speech and opens the floor to questions. A young lady in the crowd asks Cruz about his stance on immigration and its compatibility with the Bible. Cruz answers and talks about the legality of immigrants in the U.S. and draws on how Europe enforces its immigration laws.
The young lady wants to refute his point, but Cruz makes it adamant that he is here to, “answer questions, not debate.”
4:21 p.m.: The retiree we met earlier — who used to support Trump, but now endorses Cruz — stood up and offered a flag of the U.S. to Cruz on behalf of war veterans. Very genuine exchange, Cruz seemed touched by the gesture.
4:24 p.m.: A young man asks Cruz about heroin addiction. Cruz, as he did in the last Republican debate, talks about the death of his half-sister due to heroin. He quickly transitions to how the U.S. must reduce the influx of drugs into the U.S. Talks about building a wall (throwback to when Trump and Cruz were on more amicable terms) and tripling border patrol.
4:26 p.m.: “Knowing what we know now, of course I would not have supported the invasion of Iraq,” says Cruz as he answers a question about Iraq. He points out that he was not in the Senate when the vote to invade Iraq was carried out. Cruz goes on to talk about Obama’s and Clinton’s failed foreign policy.
4:38 p.m.: A crowd member looks to challenge Cruz and asks about how he intends to address the student debt crisis. “We should privatize the student loan industry, we should do a lot to lower college tuition, but that should be driven at the state level,” says Cruz.
4:41 p.m.: Cruz finishes his speech by urging voters to “pray for this nation," for “the great awakening to continue," because “there is no force more powerful in politics than ‘we, the people.’” He receives a final round of applause and many in the crowd make their way to the front to take pictures and selfies with the Texan senator.
4:44 p.m.: Thank you for tuning in. Alex, our DP photographer, must be somewhere around here taking photos of Cruz, probably at the front with the rest of the crowd. We are officially done with our second event of the day. Now waiting on DP President Henderson to pick us up in that soccer mom van of his so we can make our way over to a Trump or Rubio event. Not quite sure which one is next. It has been a hectic day. Stay tuned.