Texas Sen. Ted Cruz might be the right politician to galvanize the fractured Republican Party, influential Iowa Christian leader Bob Vander Plaats says.
He made his comments after Cruz electrified a crowd of supporters during a speech in Ames, Iowa, over the weekend.
"Cruz is a phenomenon that I haven’t seen the like of in a long time, probably ever," Vander Plaats, CEO of The Family Leader, told TheIowaRepublican.com
Vander Plaats, who endorsed Rick Santorum in the 2012 Iowa Caucus, also reviewed a list of causes Cruz fought for as solicitor general, including keeping the words "under God" in the nation’s Pledge of Allegiance.
The Iowa Republican website also gushed over Cruz’s speech, which touched on Obamacare and the IRS scandal.
"The Republican Party is desperately in need of a leader who can bring the party together and excite the base. Early signs indicate that . . . Cruz might be that man," it wrote on Monday.
The website, which bills itself as being written by Republicans for Republicans, said much of Cruz’ allure is his "willingness to stand up for conservative principles . . . He is leading a charge in the U.S. Senate to defund Obamacare. When he mentioned that during his speech, Cruz received an extended standing ovation
"The same thing happened when he said we should abolish the IRS. These are not new lines that are exclusive to Ted Cruz. The difference is, when he says them, you actually believe he will fight for those stances."
The Iowa Republican also lauded Cruz for his ability to easily chat with supporters as well as the press.
"The hottest rising star in politics remains extremely approachable and that will endear him to presidential voters," it said.
"Popular with libertarians, social conservatives and making waves with mainstream Republicans, Ted Cruz is exciting Iowa Caucus goers in ways that few candidates ever have."
Dane Nealson, chairman of Iowa’s Story County GOP, told the website: "That was the first political speech to get me excited in a very long time. He’s the best shot I’ve seen so far to unite the factions."
The Iowa Republican concluded: "We are two and a half years away from the 2016 Iowa Caucuses, but we already have a frontrunner in the race. His name is Ted Cruz."
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