On Friday, candidates for US Senate in Texas squared off in a debate. I have made clear my view that Ted Cruz is the only candidate with a proven commitment to conservatism and that he is the guy to beat David DewCrist, the candidate everyone knows to be a squish but who deftly continues to hide behind the conservatism of Governor Perry and the people of Texas. Last week I asked whether DewCrist would defend his record and demonstrate that he is conservative. The answer is as it always is — that first, it's almost impossible to glean anything meaningful from a Dewhurst speech or debate performance, and second, that there's no actual conservative record to defend that wasn't written or fought for by someone else.There’s no wonder Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewcrist has skipped 30 candidate debates or forums in this Senate race. He was yet again widely panned for a rather lackluster debate performance. One observer noted, “Dewhurst came across as stiff, very aloof and really blah… He had no charisma, to say the least. And it explains why he hasn’t showed up at the other forums and debates.”
Cruz was criticized by the punditry as well, to be fair. But the criticism as best as I can tell was that Cruz was too pointed or that he was attacking too hard. The same article as above said pointed out that, “[f]rom the outset, Cruz turned every question into a criticism of Dewhurst, trying to paint him as a moderate lieutenant governor who had allowed state spending to increase.” Seriously? Apparently it is arrogant to attack DewCrist’s lackluster record and penchant for spending.Cruz said, “I don’t consider a $72 billion increase a cut,” referring to how much DewCrist has increased spending since 2003, when he took the reins as Lt. Governor. The worst part about it is that Dewhurst has been a thorn in the side of conservatives in Texas for a long time – often leading the legislature to bigger spending and fighting Governor Perry’s record of cutting back the size and scope of government. For example, a 2003 Dallas Morning News Article noted: “The tussle between the governor and Mr. Dewhurst underscores a widening budgetary rift. Mr. Perry and House GOP leaders want more dramatic spending reductions than do Mr. Dewhurst, many Senate Republicans and most Democrats in both chambers.” (Robert T. Garrett, “Perry-Dewhurst Rift Over Budget Grows,” Dallas Morning News, 3/26/03)We have too much fuzzy math in DC already. It’s imperative that we elect Ted Cruz to join Senators Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey, and Tom Coburn – they need support and can count on Cruz to help them fight the establishment rather than joining the club on day one.This debate confirmed that the battle for Texas’s open U.S. Senate seat is a two-man race between Cruz and DewCrist. Cruz gave a detailed accounting of why DewCrist cannot be trusted to be a real conservative in the U.S. Senate – spending increases, accounting tricks used to ‘balance’ the budget, questionable health care statements, and dismissal of grassroots conservatives. DewCrist’s response? To fumble around and obfuscate. We should not lose sight of the importance of this race – electing a U.S. Senator from Texas. Think about it. Conservatives need to support Ted.