In all the talk about how Marco Rubio was hurt by Saturday night’s Republican debate, Ted Cruz’s performance has gone overlooked. Because Cruz is not expected to fare well in the New Hampshire primary, pundits were more focused on the four establishment candidates hoping to place second to Donald Trump’s assumed first. But Cruz’s comments on President Obama shouldn’t be missed.
“There are three avenues of presidential authority to change the direction of this country,” Cruz said on the ABC debate stage. “The first is executive power, the second is foreign policy, and the third is legislation. Executive power, as we all know, has been the preferred vehicle of President Obama, abusing his authority, abusing his constitutional authority.”
Cruz continued, vowing to undo the damage wrought by a lawless president. “Now, the silver lining of that is everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power, so I have pledged on day one I will rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action Barack Obama has done,” he said.
Cruz specifically cited Obama’s gun control orders and his amnesty actions as being the first to go under his administration.
This, essentially, is the difference between electing a Ted Cruz and electing a Marco Rubio. No other candidate in the field, save Trump, is willing to hammer Obama with this kind of ruthless precision. Some of them, including Jeb Bush and John Kasich, seem vaguely uncomfortable criticizing him at all. Listen to them long enough and you might come to believe that Obama was a halfway decent president. Very few of them are willing to come right out and accuse the president of breaking the law.
This is an extremely important distinction because it says so much about the mindset of these establishment Republicans. This isn’t 2000. We’re not emerging from the Clinton administration, where Newt Gingrich was able to keep the worst of his excesses in check. We aren’t in need of some minor course correction. We need a president who understands that today’s Democrats, led by Obama, have done significant damage to this country with their reckless pursuit of change. As is the case with Islamic terrorism, you can’t fix a problem you can’t name.
Cruz, as evidenced by his work in the Senate, is one of the only Republicans in Washington with his eyes open to Obama’s treachery. When he and Trump talk about this administration, they seem as though they’re talking about an entirely different president from the rest of the candidates. They recognize that he’s not just some nice-guy, tax-and-spend Democrat, and they recognize that our country needs more than a Band-Aid to recover from his presidency.
Hopefully, the voters recognize this as well.