Is Ted Cruz, buoyed by his rise to the U.S. Senate, now trying to build up his national profile in hopes of running for president in 2016? Here are some of the headlines following Cruz’s Thursday night speech at the American Principles Project’s $300-a-plate dinner in Washington:
“Ted Cruz Speech Fuels 2016 Presidential Run Speculation” ( Fox News Latino), “Is Ted Cruz Running for President?” ( Commentary), “Ted Cruz and 2016?” ( NBC’s First Read), “Ted Cruz on a roll for 2016?” ( Beaumont Enterprise), and “Ted Cruz For President In 2016?” ( KEYE). And that’s just a handful. (To be fair, this publication also ran a piece in August titled “Ted Cruz for President?” after he scored his RNC speaking slot.)
Cruz used his Friday speech as an opportunity to unpack why the Republican Party lost on many fronts in 2012:
It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument. We didn’t even make the argument.
The Republican Party doesn’t need to overhaul its platform; it simply needs to better shape its message, Cruz said, according to Politico’s David Catanese. “We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder,” Cruz said. The subtext, of course, was that Cruz might be the man for