Cruz to test 2016 waters with South Carolina trip
April 2nd, 2013
07:51 AM ET
2 years 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. HoustonOilMan

    Chris
    Not that I think Cruz should be running for President but he can run:

    8 USC § 1401 – Nationals and citizens of United States at birth:
    a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years

    So under the law, Senator Cruz is a Natural Born Citizen since his mother was a citizen who had lived in the United States for at least 5 years with at least 2 of those 5 years being after the age of fourteen.\
    ----------------------------------------------
    Where have you been for the last 5 years? So it doesn't matter if President Obama was born in Hawaii or Kenya does it.

    April 2, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Where have you been for the last 5 years? So it doesn't matter if President Obama was born in Hawaii or Kenya does it."

    This is a conversation I am looking forward to reading. All so very delicious to watch GOPers backpedal their own self made hypocrisy.

    April 2, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Ferret out the BS

    He hasn't been in congressional office long enough to find his seat and now he's considering running for president? I would say his interest is ambition and ambition alone, not what's good for the country.

    April 2, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. ST

    Who in the right mind thinks that GOP can nominate anyone who carries baggage like "birth certificate"?. If they will do, they will be doomed to fail for one more time!

    April 2, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. Chris

    Why do you assume that because I know the law I am not applying it equally? Also why do you assume I am a member of the GOP? I guess since I am not spouting ridiculous nonsense about a member of the United States Senate I must be a fan of him.

    The law is the law, plain and simple. IF there is an issue with Mr. Cruz being eligible it will not be solely because he was born in Canada. Just as if there had been an issue with President Obama it would not of been solely because his father was not a Citizen.

    April 2, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Jeb

    Cruz is a con artist.

    April 2, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. davetharave

    I hope he is the Republican nominee .. Hillary will swat him like a bug

    April 2, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. ST

    @Nealski
    With due respect, your perspective was read and not necessary received. If Cruz's mother was a US citizen what about Pres. Obama's mother? Wasn't she a US citizen? What matters is the "birth certificate". It will be demanded the way GOP demanded the current President's certificate. If it will show something different, I am sorry and afraid to say, your man will not be accepted.

    April 2, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Ted Cruz , Marco Rubio or Scott Walker

    Who looks and acts more like Joseph McCarthy ?
    ------------------------
    Rafael Edward Cruz takes the cake.

    April 2, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. JK-MN

    More rose-colored glass views from the wingnut corps. the senator needs a reality check on his popularity outside of tea party land.

    April 2, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Someone needs to call his office and ask them what they think about Obama's birth certificate. See how he likes them apples.

    April 2, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  12. ART

    Oh pleeeaaase be the GOP nomination for President, If you thaught Romney lost by a lot you just haven't seen anything yet. This man is CRAZY

    April 2, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Chris wrote:

    Correct. Cruz is no more eligible to be POTUS than Arnold Schwarzenegger.
    He is not a Naturalized citizen. He was a citizen at birth which makes him a Natural Born Citizen.
    If you are going to talk about the issues at least know the law you are speaking about.
    ---------------------------
    Oh, okay. So, even if Barack Obama were born Kenya. or at any of the other conspiracy theory locations, then he'd be eligible to be POTUS because his mother was a US citizen. Correct?

    April 2, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  14. Trance

    Let the clown show begin again.......pass me the popcorn......

    April 2, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. T

    ...........This is like Hershey.......testing Chocolate in Hershey PA.............

    April 2, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Nealski

    The Washington Post ran an article on the question of Cruz's eligibility. According to the Post, this question has been asked before with George Romney's presidential campaign in 1967 given that he was born in Mexico to U.S. citizens. Even then it was determined that this satisfied the 14th Amendment and has been used in cases before and since, the most recent being John McCain who was born in the Panama Canal zone.

    In short, since Cruz's mother was a U.S. citizen at his birth and U.S. law states that any child of a U.S. citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen regardless of the fact that he was born in Canada.
    -------------
    Not quite correct. McCain was eligible because he was born in an "outlying territory" of the United States. He was born on the US soil of a military base hospital in Panama. The law that was cited doesn't even apply to John McCain. The cited law applies to people NOT born on US soil,

    Again, that law does not determine your "natural born" status. It is used to determine if you have any citizenship status, should you wish to enter the United States, or would need to go through the regular immigration channels.

    April 2, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Steven Harnack

    More GOP alternate reality politics. 10% of the craziest of the 30% who claim to be Republicans get wet panties when he rants so he MUST be Presidential material. Bachmann is a Mensa candidate compared to this fella!

    April 2, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "He was a citizen at birth which makes him a Natural Born Citizen."

    Only if he fell out on US soil. Period. THAT is what "natural born" means. Anything else is "naturalized."

    April 2, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Chris

    Sniffit

    "He was a citizen at birth which makes him a Natural Born Citizen."

    Only if he fell out on US soil. Period. THAT is what "natural born" means. Anything else is "naturalized."

    ___________________________________________________________________________________
    Untrue. Natural Born means that you do not have to be naturalized. It does not mean born on US Soil. That is legally incorrect.
    Natural Born citizen means having United States Citizenship at birth. That is why when I was stationed in Iceland and we had children born in the Icelandic Hospital to US Service Members (since the base hospital couldn't accommodate births with problems) those children are still Natural Born Citizens. They do not lose their right ot be President just because their parents were not on US Soil at the time of birth.

    April 2, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Chris wrote:

    Untrue. Natural Born means that you do not have to be naturalized. It does not mean born on US Soil. That is legally incorrect.
    Natural Born citizen means having United States Citizenship at birth. That is why when I was stationed in Iceland and we had children born in the Icelandic Hospital to US Service Members (since the base hospital couldn't accommodate births with problems) those children are still Natural Born Citizens. They do not lose their right ot be President just because their parents were not on US Soil at the time of birth
    ---------------------–
    You're overlooking the obvious, or the unspoken. Both of your parents were US citizens, as were John McCain's.

    April 2, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. Dumbpolitics

    He was born in Canada it can't happen.

    April 2, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Chris

    Rudy,

    This is the law to determine if you are a Natural Born Citizen. 8 USC 1401. Congress made that law and Congress has the power to determine citizenship. Including if you are a Natural Born Citizen. Currently (Unless the Supreme Court says otherwise) you are a Natural Born Citizen if you citizenship was passed down to you by at least 1 of your parents if they meet the other legal requirements.

    While stationed in Iceland my friend had a child with his "Icelandic wife of non US citizenship" out in an Icelandic hospital. That child is still a Natural Born Citizen because her citizenship was passed down at birth from her Father.

    Once agian here is the law:

    a person born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its outlying possessions of parents one of whom is an alien, and the other a citizen of the United States who, prior to the birth of such person, was physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of fourteen years

    April 2, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Kuron

    This guy Cruz makes our governor Rick Perry look like a sophisticated intellect. It would be nice if he got the nomination in 2016 because it would be a landslide for the Democrats.

    April 2, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Facepalm

    Sending a politician with an R next to their name to South Carolina is not a barometer. Mother Teresa could be a D and Charles Manson could be an R and in SC the people here will rabidly follow the letter, not the candidate. If you wanted to truly see how nationally popular a potential nominee would be, see how well they do in a 'blue' state. A guy like Chris Christie actually can poll well with some people in blue states because he speaks openly and honestly.

    April 2, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    "He was born in Canada it can't happen..."

    Calgary. (For the record). Not exactly what I'd call a "US Service Members" US residence. We'd have to see his original long form birth certificate of the official Canadian birth hospital for verification. With the official notarized stamp of approval. Showing his baby foot prints. In triplicate.

    April 2, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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