Addressing a packed ballroom at the National Review Summit, Texas Senator Ted Cruz stood without a podium or notes. His rhetorical style, reminiscent of an evangelical minister, conveyed a clear and optimistic message regarding the future of the GOP.
“Tattoo these two words on your arm,” he said gesturing to his forearm. “Growth and opportunity.” Focusing on these inherently positive concepts, he claimed, would have a powerful impact on the electorate by demonstrating more effectively how Republican policies can improve social mobility and generate much needed revenue.
“I would love to double your taxes,” Ted quipped to an imaginary businessman, “after you have doubled your profits.”
Cruz also connected these terms to why he thought Republicans didn’t capture the White House in 2012. Republicans failed to win the argument by not showing how their policies aid the fateful “47% percent”. Focusing like a laser on “Opportunity Conservatism,” he predicted, would win over the youth vote as well as the much-discussed Hispanic vote.
To support this, Cruz cited internal polling of Hispanics in Texas that showed only a very small percentage put any emphasis on immigration reform, compared to the more than 50% that emphasized wealth creation. Regarding the youth vote, he relied on less data and more on his own experience. He claimed that young people are attracted to an optimistic leader and message, such as Ronald Reagan who they voted for overwhelmingly.
“We in Congress were mostly children when Reagan was president,” he explained, and therefore, in more ways than one, “We are the children of Reagan.”