Charisma Caucus

EXCLUSIVE: Is Ted Cruz a Reagan 2.0 Candidate?

Sen. Ted Cruz sounds a lot like Reagan, and even references Reagan, in his approach to economics and foreign policy.
Sen. Ted Cruz sounds a lot like Reagan, and even references Reagan, in his approach to economics and foreign policy. (Reuters)

Many conservative Republicans are looking for the next Ronald Reagan, a president who brought us out of economic turmoil and commanded the respect of our enemies with his policies. Sen. Ted Cruz sounds a lot like Reagan, and even references Reagan, in his approach to economics and foreign policy.

Charisma Founder Steve Strang and Senior Editor Jennifer LeClaire recently sat down with Cruz near Dallas, Texas, for an exclusive interview. You can still read part one—The Real Reason Ted Cruz Wants to be President. In part two, he discusses what he thinks he would accomplish in his presidency.

You can also listen to the podcast of the interview here and read Strang's endorsement of Cruz here and read LeClaire's endorsement here. 

Charisma: Under your leadership, what do you think the United States will look like in either 2020 or 2024?

Cruz: I believe we can and will once again achieve incredible economic growth. Economic growth is foundational to every other challenge we've got—whether it's turning around employment, whether it is turning around our national debt, whether it is rebuilding our military and keeping us safe, whether it is reforming and strengthening Social Security and Medicare. With growth, we can do all that. Without growth, we can't do any of that. We have a model for how to fix these problems.

The last time the country faced this same level of crisis was the late 1970s when we had economic stagnation at home and we had weakness and appeasement abroad. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us there's nothing new under the sun, and I believe the parallels between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter are uncanny. The same failed economic policies, the same misery, stagnation and malaise, the same feckless and naive foreign policy.

The reason that analogy gives me so much hope and optimism is that we know what happened in the late '70s, which is that millions of men and women came together and became the Reagan Revolution and it was a grass-roots movement. It came from the people and it turned the country around. If you look ... historically our economy has grown on average 3.3 percent a year since World War II. From 2008 until today, the economy has grown just 1.2 percent a year on average. We've been trapped in the Obama stagnation. Prior to that, the last four-year period when the economy grew less than 1 percent a year on average was 1978 to 1982, coming out of the Jimmy Carter administration.

If you look at what Reagan did when he came in in 1981, domestically he pursued two major things: tax reform and regulatory reform. He dramatically lessened the burden, the complexity of the tax code and he pulled back the regulators that were crushing small businesses and job creators. The result was extraordinary economic growth. By the fourth year of Reagan's presidency, the economy was growing 7.2 percent a year. That economic growth in turn provided the resources to rebuild the military and win the Cold War. It lifted millions out of poverty and into prosperity.

Likewise, after four or eight years in office, I believe we can achieve five percent economic growth year after year after year consistently and we can do that through using the same numbers that have worked over and over again. By the way, JFK campaigned on five percent economic growth and achieved five percent economic growth during his presidency—something modern-day Democrats have utterly forgotten about—and he did so using the exact same tools Reagan did: tax reform and regulatory reform. That's why I'm campaigning on a simple flat tax, a 10 percent personal flat tax that every American can fill out their taxes on a postcard, and we can abolish the IRS. A 16 percent business flat tax that funds entirely the federal government and eliminates the corporate tax, it eliminates the death tax, it eliminates the payroll tax, it eliminates Obamacare taxes and it will unchain incredible economic growth.

Secondly, the second major legislative initiative that I'm campaigning on is repealing every word of Obamacare. Obamacare is the biggest job-killer in our economy. Those two together will allow small business(es), which have been hammered for the last seven years, to do what they do best, which is to grow and create jobs. Two-thirds of all new jobs in our economy come from small businesses. That will be one of the central features.

A second element is defending our Constitutional rights. It's been heartbreaking to see the federal government assaulting the Bills of Rights almost one at a time, coming after our free speech, coming after our religious liberty. The threats to religious liberty have never been greater, we have never seen an administration with greater antipathy to faith and to Christians in particular. That will change the day I'm elected!

Indeed, I pledge that on day one, if I'm elected, to do five things: number one, to rescind every illegible and unconstitutional executive action taken by Mr. Obama; number two, to instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and these horrible videos and prosecute any and all criminal violations by that organization; number 3, I intend to instruct the Department of Justice and the IRS and every other federal agency that the persecution of religious liberty ends that day; number 4, I intend to rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.

The threat of nuclear Iran is the greatest national security threat facing America; and the fifth thing I intend to do on the first day in office is begin the process of moving the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the one and only eternal capital of Israel. And with real leadership, this country can turn around because our values are strong. It is our leadership that is at war with the American people, trying daily hand in hand with the mainstream media to undermine our values.

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