Nashua Telegraph: Republican Ted Cruz coming to New Hampshire for fundraiser, presidential toe-dipping
By Kevin Landrigan
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, will make his first New Hampshire visit for a GOP fundraiser since he confirmed interest to run for president in 2016.
Former Ambassador Joseph and Augusta Petrone will host Cruz, 42, at their Dublin home for the Aug. 23 event.
By Labor Day, Cruz, who’s a first-term senator, will have made stops at all four of the early presidential calendar states – Iowa, South Carolina, Florida and New Hampshire.
Cruz’s strong speaking style and conservative views have made him the darling of many tea party activists across the country.
Last fall, Cruz was a big upset winner to the Senate seat after knocking off Lt. Gov. and establishment candidate David Dewhurst in the Republican primary.
Cruz’s father was a Cuban national who fought to help bring Fidel Castro into power though the elder Cruz said he didn’t know Castro was a communist.
Cruz was born in Canada and the family moved to Texas when he was in fourth grade.
An honors graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Cruz became the first Hispanic to serve as clerk to the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and went on to become one of the highest-rated appellate lawyers in the country.
During his brief tenure in the Senate, Cruz helped Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul stage a filibuster against legislation requiring background checks before firearm purchases at gun shows. Cruz also came out strongly against the bipartisan, immigration reform bill that had the support of Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.
“I think Ted Cruz is a magnetic personality and someone who will really excite the base of the party,” said Greg Moore, state director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.
“The establishment view on Capitol Hill may be that he hasn’t paid his dues to be thinking about running for president, but in reality, this 2016 primary is wide open and Ted Cruz hasn’t gotten where he is by doing what the establishment told him to do.”
Rich Killion is a longtime GOP strategist who helped direct Mitt Romney’s New Hampshire primary campaign in 2008.
“Ted Cruz had to clearly be looking at what Barack Obama did in 2006, which is these opportunities can sometimes come up only once a generation, so you’ve got to be ready to seize the moment when it comes,” Killion said. “What this also says is how soon this race is getting started since even coming to New Hampshire to dip your toe in the water is still a pretty big step to take.”
A spokesman for the New Hampshire Democratic Party said Cruz’s visit will be the latest one from ultra-conservatives all bidding to become the next GOP presidential nominee.
“It looks like the entire flock of GOP ‘wacko birds,’ as John McCain named them, are migrating north for Kelly Ayotte’s Republican Party, where they continue to welcome the most radical and extremist right-wingers like Rand Paul, Allen West and Ted Cruz – with open arms,” said Communications Director Harrell Kirstein.
“From voting against the bi-partisan Violence Against Women Act, to supporting the radical Ryan budget that would end Medicare as we know by turning it into a voucher program costing seniors thousands of dollars a year, Ted Cruz represents the most extreme fringe of the national Republican Party and should be right at home with the NHGOP.”
Cruz’s visit follows trips to New Hampshire from three other, potential GOP hopefuls in recent months, Sens. Paul and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., along with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Tickets for the Cruz event cost $100 apiece.