This morning, I made clear I think Ted Cruz needs to get involved in the Mississippi runoff. The outcome may be set with McDaniels winning, but none of us should underestimate the very powerful signal it would send if Ted Cruz got involved. Rand Paul has said he would sit it out. Cruz going in would be a very bold move.
For a number of reasons, I think Cruz, who is active behind the scenes, needs to be a bit more public in the primary season. It has been a demoralizing season for a lot of activists, many of whom look to Cruz. Rand Paul has made his mark on the issue of drones and civil liberties, but Cruz has chosen a broader path within conservatism. These two will be compared in 2016 if they both run. Rand's latest statements on immigration reform and standing with Mitch McConnell in Kentucky won't help him with a lot of conservative activists outside of those his father already had.
Cruz seemingly has more potential there. Endorsing McDaniel would bolster that and cement Cruz as the conservative leader in Washington. But in all of this and what he should nor should not do, none of us, including the media, should forget that Ted Cruz has made a number of these victories, including David Brat's victory, possible.
Cruz forced many of the votes that exposed other Republicans for the frauds and charlatans they are. Cruz inspired grassroots activists around the country to #MakeDCListen. Cruz led town hall meetings around the country ahead of and during the government shutdown that forced Republican leaders to claim they would still fight Obamacare, just not then. I know a number of Republicans who have become activists because through Cruz's message and activity on the Hill they saw many Republicans who once were viewed as solid fold like cheap suits.
Conservative activists, many of whom dropped out of the fight after the 2012 election, got back into the fight because they saw Ted Cruz fighting. They finally had a guy who wasn't going to make nice and go along to get along. They had a guy who would work to make DC listen. So they got off the sidelines, got re-engaged, and have been fighting ever since. That fight led to last night in Virginia.
That, again, is why I think going in for McDaniel now would be so meaningful and important. While Cruz has been fighting in Washington, often at great political risk from fellow Republicans who continue to attack him in the press, the base has been fighting for him in the states. Mississippi would reunite the general and the troops on the same battlefield and go to the next level.
From making DC listen, they'd be making DC fear the base — which they clearly do not. They clearly thought they had us beat. We all need to keep showing them that they are wrong and we are united. Only Ted Cruz has what it takes to unite the groups.