Last presidential candidate in Jefferson – Sen Ted Cruz

CruzThe steering committee of the 2015 Bell Tower Festival was a few months ahead of the times when it selected a circus theme. Area residents had the Bell Tower Big Top in June; the Iowa Caucus Big Top had its last act in the county Monday afternoon at the Greene County Community Center.

Republican presidential candidate Sen Ted Cruz of Texas made his last campaign stop before the caucus, saying he was completing a “full Grassley” by visiting all 99 counties in the state. (Iowa Sen Chuck Grassley has visited every county in the state every year since being elected in 1981.)

Cruz media 1Television cameras and still photographers slinging thousands of dollars worth of equipment were in abundance, as were interviewers and pollsters. Pollsters worked the crowd with questionnaires before and after the event.


Carl Cameron taping feed from the Community Center
Carl Cameron taping feed from the Community Center

FOX News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron reported from inside the Community Center gymnasium and again from the front sidewalk. He said the attendance was “sparse,” comparing it to the 1,000 or so people who attended Cruz events this weekend. By Greene County standards, attendance was excellent, with standing room only in the half gym reserved for the event.

Former Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is Iowa chair of the Cruz campaign. He said Cruz has stood up to the Washington cartel and he knows he’ll stand up for his family and his children. Schultz named Cruz’s stand against abortion and the fact that he gets on his knees and prays for guidance as examples of why he supports Cruz.

Heidi Cruz
Heidi Cruz

Schultz introduced Cruz’s wife Heidi Cruz. She named three things she loves about her husband: he is consistent; he questions the status quo; and that he is very intelligent and very thoughtful. She spoke for about 10 minutes and then concluded,  “This is a person who is one of us. He will put our us first and do the job that we elect him to do.”

In a campaign all is fair, and Cruz started by noting the school children in the audience and promised that if he were elected, French fries would be added back on school lunch menus.


Cruz waits while his wife speaks.
Cruz waits while his wife speaks.

Cruz said it was appropriate to finish his campaign in Jefferson because of its namesake.  He loosely quoted Jefferson’s words from the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal and endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, words that Cruz reminded the audience changed the course of history.

Cruz said all the ills of the country could be solved by returning to the wisdom and principles of Jefferson, James Madison and George Washington and the brave people who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Cruz spoke for about 15 minutes, giving sound bytes from well-practiced stump speeches. He provided a punch list of what he would do his first day in office he would: rescind “illegal and unconstitutional” executive orders; instruct the Department  of Justice to immediately begin an investigation of Planned Parenthood and prosecute any and all criminal violations; instruct that the persecution of religious liberty end; “rip to shreds the catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal”; and move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

He would then repeal every word of Obamacare; end the Common Core; secure U.S. borders and end sanctuary cities; rebuild the U.S. military and honor all commitments to veterans; guarantee the right of citizens to bear arms; announce to the world an intention to defeat radical Islamic terrorists and destroy ISIS; and then take on the Environmental Protection Agency.

He answered questions about Congressional “pork,” states’ rights and Guantanamo. He also referred to the “lawless, activist, out of control Supreme Court” and said he would invest enough political capital to appoint conservative justices. He derided Republicans who “keep putting left wing nut jobs on the court.”

He asked those present not only to caucus for him, but to take nine other supporters to the caucus with them.

He said the time for the noise and “nonsense,” the “media circus” has passed. “This is now our time. This is your time. This is the time for the men and women of Iowa to make the judgment ‘who can we trust?…” Cruz said.

He ended asking voters to commit to lift up the country in prayer every day between now and Nov. 8 asking that a spirit of revival and awakening descend on the country.Cruz rally



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