Charisma Caucus

Conservative Activists Ignore Leader, Back Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz Speech
Ted Cruz has just picked up the endorsement of several state and grass-roots leaders from one of the leading conservative organizations in the country. (Reuters photo)

Phyllis Schlafly founded the Eagle Forum in 1972 to enable conservative and pro-family men and women to participate in the process of self-government and public policy making.

The goal: that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for family integrity, public and private virtue and private enterprise. The past 40-plus years have arguably been a testament to the Eagle Forum's success.

Recently, Schlafly—while not using the words "I endorse"—effectively endorsed Donald Trump for president just before Christmas. She has doubled down on her sentiments more recently, making the argument to Breitbart News the businessman is the "only hope to defeat the kingmakers."

A bunch of her grass-roots activists, however, disagree. Monday evening, a group of 20 Eagle Forum state leaders and activists endorsed Ted Cruz for president, naming him the "leader America needs and the best of the candidates competing for the Republican nomination."

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The full text of their endorsement letter states:

In the conservative trenches, Eagle Forum activists have been shaping American policy and electing conservative leaders for nearly 45 years. We know the urgency of this presidential election, and we have weighed the candidates seriously and thoroughly.

Among the Republican candidates, Ted Cruz stands out. His courageous conservatism is indisputable. As Solicitor General of Texas, he successfully protected the Ten Commandments and the Pledge of Allegiance. He stood up for veterans' free speech rights. Ted Cruz defended religious liberty in public schools, the workplace and the church. Ted Cruz's resume is just as remarkable as his courage: Cruz does not simply choose the right side in the battles that matter: He leads the battle to victory.

As a United States senator, Ted Cruz has led the fight against Planned Parenthood and Obamacare. He has defended marriage, opposed judicial activism, exposed Common Core, and worked to secure our border. He has eloquently defended our freedom of speech and 2nd Amendment rights.

The Washington cartel has betrayed the American people. Too many Republicans have abused the trust of conservatives. It is time for conservatives to claim our nation for liberty and to restore opportunity: as Ted Cruz says, to reignite the promise of America.

Ted Cruz embodies Eagle Forum's mission: "to enable conservative and pro-family men and women to participate in the process of self-government and public policy making so that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for family integrity, public and private virtue, and private enterprise."

Ted Cruz is the Reaganesque leader our country needs in 2016. While establishment Republicans led the charge for amnesty and betrayed the trust of those who elected them, Ted Cruz fought to uphold the law and defend our borders. Ted Cruz has demonstrated steadfastness, character and intelligence in Washington.

Fifty years ago, during another strategic election, Phyllis Schlafly reminded America that ultimately, the people do not serve the government: government must serve the people. Now once more, it is time for a law-abiding, truth-telling president in the Oval Office.

With this in mind, we, the undersigned Eagle Forum state leaders, enthusiastically endorse Ted Cruz for president of the United States. From the grassroots up, we will work to ensure his victory: Ted Cruz is our choice, and we refuse to be an echo.

The letter was signed by the following Eagle Forum leaders:

  • Anne Cori, State Leader, Missouri Eagle Forum
  • Cathie Adams, State Leader, Texas Eagle Forum and Eagle Forum Board Member
  • Trayce Bradford, Incoming State Leader, Texas Eagle Forum
  • MerryLynn Gertenschlager, Vice President, Texas Eagle Forum
  • Betty Anderson, Montgomery County Texas Eagle Forum Leader
  • Skeet Workman, Lubbock Texas Eagle Forum Leader
  • Pat Andrews, State Leader, Florida Eagle Forum
  • Nena Arias, State Leader, North Carolina Eagle Forum
  • Eunie Smith, State Leader, Alabama Eagle Forum
  • Elaine Little, Vice President, Alabama Eagle Forum
  • Jayne Schindler, Co-Director, Colorado Eagle Forum
  • James Schindler, Co-Director, Colorado Eagle Forum
  • Rosina Kovar, Leader, Colorado Eagle Forum and Eagle Forum Board Member
  • Gayle Ruzicka, State Leader, Utah Eagle Forum
  • Orlean Koehle, State Leader, California Eagle Forum
  • David Lehman, Orange County Leader, California Eagle Forum
  • Sandy McDade, State Leader, Louisiana Eagle Forum
  • Susan Ellsworth, Vice President, Arizona Eagle Forum
  • Cindy Honcoop, State Leader, Washington Eagle Forum
  • Lois O'Brien, State Leader, Oregon Eagle Forum

Schlafly has been kind in her comments about Cruz, and said it is her hope he could one day take the bench at the U.S. Supreme Court. Cruz has been equally kind in his comments about Schlafly, in spite of her support for Trump.

In an official response to the activists' endorsement, Cruz said:

"I am honored to have the support of so many Eagles, at the grassroots and all across this nation. Phyllis Schlafly has given me much good advice over the years, and I admire the courageous grass-roots activists who are carrying on her great work. Our nation is indebted to Eagle Forum for their conservative leadership, now in its fifth decade. Eagle Forum understands the unequaled power of the American people when they rise up against the Washington cartel and in defense of our nation's founding freedoms."

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