Cruz to test 2016 waters with South Carolina trip
April 2nd, 2013
07:51 AM ET
1 year ago

Cruz to test 2016 waters with South Carolina trip

Cambridge, Massachusetts (CNN) – He’s been in Washington only three months, but U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is already planning a pilgrimage to a critical presidential primary state.

The outspoken Cruz, a conservative attorney who has sprinted headlong into the Washington media spotlight since his election last November, will be the keynote speaker at the South Carolina Republican Party's Silver Elephant Dinner, CNN has learned. Cruz spokesperson Catherine Frazier also confirmed his attendance at the dinner, slated for May 3 in Columbia.

Cruz has been an increasingly in-demand speaker among grassroots Republicans thanks to his blunt conservatism and willingness to ruffle feathers on Capitol Hill. He has delivered speeches at glitzy dinners in Washington and even at a local GOP event in Ohio.

But his trip to South Carolina will be his first public foray into an early primary or caucus state, a signal that he is dead serious about being a part of the 2016 presidential conversation despite his limited time on the national stage.

“His popularity among the activists in South Carolina is already so huge he was a natural choice for the Silver Elephant,” a Republican involved in the planning of the event told CNN. “Our activists have been begging us to bring him. He is a rising star. He’s a Jim DeMint style of Republican.”

Indeed, this year’s Silver Elephant Banquet - a fundraiser for the state GOP - will be a tribute to DeMint, the former South Carolina senator who recently left office to head the conservative Heritage Foundation. DeMint endorsed Cruz in his successful 2012 GOP primary fight against Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

The South Carolina dinner has for years sought to highlight up-and-coming GOP leaders and presidential aspirants in a bid to stir up excitement among party activists. Speaking at the event also gives ambitious Republicans a chance to road test their message with an influential slice of the party's conservative base.

Past Silver Elephant speakers have included Ronald Reagan, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, Mike Pence, and last year, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, another possible 2016 White House contender.

Adding to the intrigue this year: Cruz will speak on the very same night that Vice President Joe Biden, himself a potential 2016 candidate, is set to make his early state debut as the headliner at the South Carolina Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, held just a few miles away in downtown Columbia.

CNN's Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: South Carolina • Ted Cruz
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Donthateelusidate

    This has got to be a joke. Three months in, and already presidential timber? What an ego he has.

    April 2, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  2. edward

    LOL......2016 candidate....LOL....wait...wait.....LOL

    April 2, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. Jules

    Are you kidding me? The clown bus is starting to load already with the same nutty candidates they had in the last election.

    April 2, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  4. steve

    Isn't he Ken.. er I mean Canadian heh?

    April 2, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Republicans have let the genie out of the bottle and don't know how to put it back.

    April 2, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  6. GI Joe

    Joe McCarthy will never be president of this country. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    April 2, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  7. king

    if this McCarthy lying repub ever run for national office, i wonder what the birthers is going say, since he was born in Canada. i want to hear trump view on this one, since for the last four years, him and his repub ilk tortured this president with lies and ineowindow remarks about his African ascendance. if they even consider this severely right winger to office, our opinion of the re pub party would go even lower, which is hard to phazam. come on folks, if this guy is president, main street will go down the drain, and the only interest they will have is to the corporations, and lobbyist who is selling our country to china and her war machine.

    April 2, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  8. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    This gop teaparty pre wee Herman look a like will go no where in a nation election just like the savior of the gop ,anchor baby Rubio of Florida . When will the gop realize the country already rejected the gop teaparty conservative base and they will never win an election for them. Scott of Florida and Rubio and the teabag trey radel won't be realected in 2024 and 2016!!!!

    April 2, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  9. steve

    Isn't he Canadian?

    April 2, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Joe McCarthy reincarnate can run for President is he pleases. If by some miracle he wins his party's nomination, he'd get destroyed in a general election. If he thinks Sen. Feinstein tore him a new one, Hillary will dig up in his behind even further. Run Cruz, run!

    April 2, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  11. chilly g

    cruz were born in canada and can not run president of the united states but he can run for prime minister of canada

    April 2, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  12. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Cruz ,the Canadians wet back anchor baby will never be president,maybe in the garbage industry ???? Let's see your papers and birth certifications !!!!!

    April 2, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    “Our activists have been begging us to bring him. He is a rising star. He’s a Jim DeMint style of Republican.”
    -------------------------------------------------
    Is that supposed to be a compliment? To be compared to Jim Demented?
    Maybe Sen Cruz will drown while "testing the presidential waters" or at the very least realize that he is quite out of his depth.

    April 2, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Oh Please, this little jerk should just be thankful he has a job!

    April 2, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. ST

    Testing waters!!! Wow, this might be real news. Is this STRAIGHT TALK NO:2 OR WHAT? This coming election will be more crazier than 2012 just missing only the most craziest one: Michelle Bachmann!

    April 2, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    TED -aka- Rafael Edward Cruz was born on December 22, 1970 Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He wasn't born here.

    April 2, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That's right he is Canadian isn't he....WTH?
    Rudy NYC, what does the Constipation, er Constitution say in regards to this?
    @ edward
    LOL......2016 candidate....LOL....wait...wait.....LOL
    -------------------------------------------------
    You made me spit out my Bustelo all over my keyboard!!

    April 2, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    How do you get Ted from Rafael? Or do you get Bobby from Piyush(Jindal).

    April 2, 2013 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  19. Peace

    @ Dutch/Bad Newz, VA
    Many thanks for the information. If that is the case, I am the first "BIRTHER"from the DEM side to register myself and demand to see the Birth Certificate of this Canadian boy.

    April 2, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  20. Rudy NYC

    excerpt from Article II, Section 1, U.S. Constitution:

    "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."
    ------------------------
    Somehow Canadian born Cruz thinks he can successfully run for POTUS. I see a different of birtherism emerging, one with truth and facts on its' side.

    April 2, 2013 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  21. Mack

    Extreme republicans = more presidential election loses

    April 2, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  22. Wake up People!

    Yo Ted,

    Show us yer papers you Canadian!! LOL. No offense to my lovely Canadian friends I was just being facetious.

    April 2, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  23. Joi Gibson

    Am I missing something? Was not Mr. Constitution born in Canada and therefore ineligible to be president of these here United States? Oh I know, a constitutional amendment will be in making. These Tea Party Republicans always have looks on their faces like they just smelled a skunk fart. Their lives are just soooo miserable with that gubermint health insurance and $174,000 job with all those little gubermint perks. Go away!!!!

    April 2, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Thanks for posting that Rudy NYC. Rafael, you just opened up a bag of worms. You must have our Constitution confused with la Constitution du Canada.

    April 2, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC

    excerpt from Article II, Section 1, U.S. Constitution:

    "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States."
    --------
    Somehow Canadian born Cruz thinks he can successfully run for POTUS. I see a different of birtherism emerging, one with truth and facts on its' side.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Thank you Rudy NYC, and will someone please thank our lovely contestant Ted Cruz and tell him what his parting gifts will be?!
    ROFLMAO!!! You just can't make up these people!!

    April 2, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
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