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Cruz vs. McConnell and Why it Matters

Note from Erick: Matt Bevin is a candidate for the United States Senate, challenging Mitch McConnell in the Kentucky primary.

The most shocking thing about Ted Cruz’s 21-hour marathon speech was not that the courageous Texan managed to stand for 21 and 19 minutes. What was truly shocking were the criticisms coming from Sen. Cruz’s own Republican colleagues.

Every Republican politician in Washington has campaigned against Obamacare. A good number of senators and representatives were elected to Congress on a platform of repealing Obamacare no matter what it takes. But when push came to shove, when the occasion demanded courage and guts, most of these Republicans were nowhere to be found, including the so-called leader of the Republican Party, Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Where was Mitch McConnell while Ted Cruz was standing and fighting? Well, he was sleeping. Literally. And when he wasn’t sleeping, he was whipping his fellow Republicans to vote against Sen. Cruz’s effort.

For weeks, Sen. McConnell has actively campaigned behind the scenes against efforts by Senators Cruz and Lee to defund Obamacare while publicly railing against Obamacare. Like most politicians in Washington, he has perfected the art of saying the right thing, while doing absolutely nothing. Or worse, doing the wrong thing.

Sen. Mitch McConnell represents the old guard in Washington, a class of political elites who believe they are entitled to power by virtue of the fact that they sit in fancy offices in the nation’s Capitol. They grow indignant at the idea that the American people in their small towns and communities would dare to hold them accountable. They have conveniently forgotten that the people they scorn are the ones who have the privilege of deciding their electoral fate.

Ted Cruz represents a new kind of legislator, one who is not beholden to Mitch McConnell, party leadership or the Washington status quo. Ted Cruz and his fellow conservatives are beholden only to the American people and the Constitution of the United States.

I am running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky against Mitch McConnell because I am sick and tired of the old guard’s hollow leadership. Like so many folks all across Kentucky, I believe that the role of leadership is not an entitlement, but a responsibility that our elected officials must earn by working to represent the will of the voters every single day.

If ever there was a moment worthy of authentic leadership, it was this one. Obamacare is one of the worst pieces of legislation in the history of our great nation. It will not only hurt hardworking families and small businesses all across America, it will fundamentally change the role of government in our everyday lives. If ever there was legislation worthy of a 21-hour call-to-arms, it is Obamacare.

And on this important night, with so much at stake, Senator Mitch McConnell, with 30 years of Senate experience under his belt, was asleep at the wheel.

Cruz’s courageous stand was a rallying cry for action in Washington. It was not the first rallying cry and it won’t be the last. The old guard in Washington should consider themselves warned: We are sick and tired of their empty words, and we, The People, are going to keep on fighting until the Washington elite start to listen.

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