Iowa back in the 2016 spotlight, again
July 19th, 2013
08:52 AM ET
9 months ago

Iowa back in the 2016 spotlight, again

(CNN) – The 2016 Iowa caucuses may still be two and a half years away, but two possible Republican White House hopefuls head Friday to the state that traditionally votes first in the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

Sen. Rand Paul is making his second trip to the Hawkeye State this year. The Republican from Kentucky will speak to evangelicals gathering at the influential "Pastors and Pews" event, as well as talk with reporters at a news conference in Des Moines. (Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will also attend both events.)

A press release from RandPAC, the senator's political action committee, says that Paul will be in Iowa "to meet with various leaders in the Evangelical, African American and Latino communities."

During an earlier trip to Iowa this year, as well as stops in the other early primary and caucus voting states of New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, Paul has mingled with donors and supporters, reached out to grassroots activists, and helped raise money for the party in those states. It appears to be part of his strategy to build stronger bonds with establishment Republicans in the crucial early voting states, while at the same time staying close with the grassroots, tea party, and libertarian crowds, which helped put the ophthalmologist in the Senate in 2010.

Starting late last year, soon after the 2012 presidential election, Paul has been very open about the possibility of running for the White House. He told CNN last November that "I won't deny I'm interested."

And Paul, the son of former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who ran for president as a libertarian in 1988 and made bids in 2008 and 2012 for the GOP nomination, has said in numerous interviews that he expects he'll decide next year on whether he'll follow in his father's footsteps.

The other possible presidential contender in Iowa Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, is less public about any possible 2016 aspirations.

(Both men were on the same flight to Des Moines, as tweeted by ABC News' Jonathan Karl.)

Cruz, the former solicitor general of Texas who was elected to the Senate last November with strong tea party and other grassroots conservative support, will also speak at "Pastors and Pews," a closed-to-the-press meeting of about 800 pastors and their spouses in Des Moines that is put on by the American Renewal Project.

During his brief visit to the Hawkeye State, Cruz will also headline the Iowa GOP's summer picnic, and he'll attend some smaller, separate meet-and-greets with Republicans.

Cruz made his first pilgrimage to one of the crucial early voting states when he keynoted the South Carolina GOP Silver Elephant Celebration in May. Cruz, who has become an increasingly popular speaker among grassroots Republicans thanks to his blunt conservatism and willingness to take on the GOP establishment in Congress, heads back to Iowa in August to attend another social conservative gathering.

A visit next month to New Hampshire to headline a Republican Party fundraiser and a speech Labor Day weekend at a tea party related event in Florida, another early voting state, are also on his itinerary.

While Cruz's travel plans give the appearance of a man with 2016 on his mind, the senator's advisers say Cruz is fully focused on his work in Congress. Cruz press secretary Catherine Frazier adds that "we've been receiving an overwhelming amount of requests to speak. The senator is willing and excited go anywhere where people want to listen to his vision and message for restoring our nation's economic growth."

And talking to reporters following his Iowa GOP event, Cruz further tamped down on talk of 2016, saying "we just had a presidential race a few months ago...as a voter I think it's premature to decide who we should support."

"Right now the Senate is the battlefield and I think if we focus on substance, the politics will take care of itself," added Cruz.

Cruz's eligibility to run for president has been subject to debate. He was born in Canada to a Cuban father, but his mother was an American citizen. Those close to Cruz say that the senator is an American citizen by birth because his mother is an American-born citizen.

That the "Pastors and Pews" event is drawing both Paul and Cruz to Iowa is no surprise. Evangelicals and other social conservatives are an influential force when it comes to Iowa Republican politics, and a force in the caucuses.

The social conservative event Cruz is returning to Iowa on August 10 to attend, the Family Leader's Family Summit, will also draw Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, another possible White House contender, as well as former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, two 2012 GOP presidential candidates who may make second runs for the GOP nomination.

Another potential Republican 2016 contender, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, is also returning to Iowa later this year. CNN has confirmed that the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee will headline Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's birthday event and fundraiser on November 16.


Filed under: 2016 • Iowa • Rand Paul • Ted Cruz
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Obama was born in Hawaii. Clearly. There is no doubt about that whatsoever. The "birther" crowd's arguement, as I understand it, centers around whether there was a renunciation of citizenship at some point in his life. Still quite a stretch if you ask me.
    -----------------
    Read the Constitution. It doesn't matter wether he renounced his citizenship, or not. All that the Constitution calls for is that the individual be "natural born" and a US citizen for the previous 14 years.

    July 19, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. teaparty days are numbered

    where was Cruz born? if he was born in Canada he's a Canadian, no matter if his mother is American, if he was born in America he's an American Damn simple as that it's not rocket science.

    July 19, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Sniffit

    Jonathan Karl? The guy who claimed to have seen all the Benghazi memos that "proved" everything was politically motivated and then it came out that all he saw were Issa's aide's doctored notes? He's a scumbag and not even remotely a journalist. Apparently, he's humping Randroid and Cruz's legs now.

    July 19, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. Just a thought

    Rick McDaniel

    I will IGNORE that, as Iowa is NOT representative of this country, at all, and their gestapo tactics, in controlling politicians, is totally unacceptable to this citizen.

    I am an advocate for ALL politicians to simply ignore and avoid Iowa.
    -------

    LOL...Ricky are you the possessor of a BA and Masters without the use of loans but working 9 days a week at night working at a place 90 miles away having to walk up hill in both directions to get there? Ok I jest....but Please call your fellow GOP/Tea Trolls and give them that great advise. You can help them extend their streak for losing national elections...go ahead I dare ya genius

    July 19, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Sniffit

    "The "birther" crowd's arguement, as I understand it, centers around whether there was a renunciation of citizenship at some point in his life"

    No it's not. They literally started with "born in Kenya" and then it just kept changing it over and over and over and moving their goal posts, such as they are, whenever anything they said got debunked. The root of the entire thing was the basic, fundamental, core belief of these people that a black man should not and cannot be POTUS because "this is supposed to be a white people country" and they flipped out so badly when it happened that they immediately began rationalizing any way they could attack his basic right as a natural born American citizen to be in the WH if elected. Add in that they pretty much knew that they couldn't just come out and say "no n-bombs in the WH!!!!!!" and you get all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories from them in order to make an end-run around what they really meant.

    July 19, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Larry in Houston

    I can tell you for a fact, that IF this country elects Cruz for the nomination in 2016, this country will be in big trouble. That POS is nothing but a High End Lawyer – I know some prominent republicans down here, that has said he's comparable to E.F. Bailey / Robert Shapiro /& Johnnie Cochran – all he has to do is point that 5" index finger to the Jury, and they will go with whatever he says. lol

    July 19, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Just a thought

    Rick McDaniel

    I will IGNORE that, as Iowa is NOT representative of this country, at all, and their gestapo tactics, in controlling politicians, is totally unacceptable to this citizen.

    I am an advocate for ALL politicians to simply ignore and avoid Iowa.
    ===============

    Go ahead ignore Iowa...The rest of the country has consciously decided to ignore the GOP/Tea Potty party. So we're even. Now resume your previous position .......quietly moving to the background of history as being a message that this country rejected as hateful, uninformed, divisive and down right innane. and don't forget your tin foil hat

    July 19, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  8. Larry in Houston

    I can tell you for a fact, that IF this country elects Cruz for the nomination in 2016, this country will be in big trouble. That POS is nothing but a High End Lawyer – I know some prominent republicans down here, that has said he's comparable to E.F. Bailey / Robert Shapiro /& Johnnie Cochran – all he has to do is point that 5" index finger to the Jury, and they will go with whatever he says

    July 19, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. California Gary

    I hope the GOP clown car has been serviced and washed........looks like it's gonna start getting some action sooner rather than later. The clowns are already beginning to stir.

    July 19, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  10. DJ Reality

    These are two guys that have absolutely no chance of becoming president. But, it is nice to dream.

    July 19, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  11. Larry in Houston

    There has been republicans that have said that Cruz is the best in TX – and most likely one of the best (if not the best) in this country. To be perfectly honest that guy on the front cover of R.S. magazine should have got on the horn to 'ol Cruz – same way w/ GZ. – but O'Mara done the Job anyway.

    July 19, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  12. Sniffit

    "all he has to do is point that 5" index finger to the Jury, and they will go with whatever he says. lol

    I have some suggestions as to where he can stick that finger. Besides, no...he's not terribly convincing unless your someone who he's telling what you want to hear. He's staked his ground as a radicalized, extremist conservative Teatroll and the only people I've ever hear laud his blather are cut from the same burlap.

    July 19, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. DJ Reality

    Clause Five of the Constitution states:

    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.

    I don't bet the birther movement at all. Even if Obama was not born in the US. He still has been a citizen long enough.

    July 19, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    " ... all he has to do is point that 5" index finger to the Jury, and they will go with whatever he says ... "

    Perhaps in Texas. Nationally, though? Not going to happen.

    July 19, 2013 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Larry in Houston

    Thanx sniffit 4 ur response – I like other opinions – lol

    July 19, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. chilly g

    this guy cruz was born in canada and is not elgilable for potus and will be attack by other republicans who want to be potus about him not being a us born citizen.

    July 19, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Steveo

    The Constitution limits the Presidency to "Natural Born" Citizens. As far as I know, the problem is the Constitution does not define "natural Born" citizen. Does it mean ONE parent has to be American? If that is the case, Cruz IS eligible and that also means the BIRTHER movement was ridiculous from the start! No doubt lawyers will get involved as they did with McCain (who was born to a US military parent).

    @Mallory Acher, true we have not bases in Canada BUT NORAD is a Joint fuction and Americans are assigned in Canada in support of it.

    July 19, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. jinx9to88

    Do these 2 nuts think they actually have a chance?

    July 19, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. DWB

    @Larry in Houston
    The lawyers name is F. Lee Bailey not E.F. Bailey

    July 19, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. Vince

    I want to see Cruz's birth certificate.

    July 19, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  21. lolo

    If the tea party can accept Cruz as being a U.S. Citizen then they just proved to the world that all of their hollering and screaming was actually because of the black man being elected president. As we all knew the GOP/TP Klan is racist and hypocritical of anyone who is not pure white. Please put these two clowns up to run as presidential candidates, I dare you.

    July 19, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. rs

    lolo

    If the tea party can accept Cruz as being a U.S. Citizen then they just proved to the world that all of their hollering and screaming was actually because of the black man being elected president. As we all knew the GOP/TP Klan is racist and hypocritical of anyone who is not pure white. Please put these two clowns up to run as presidential candidates, I dare you.
    ______________________________
    Proof of the GOP/TP's racism came from the Tea Party Rally yesterday in Washington. Ken Crow- co-founder of the TEA Party Community, with Sarah Palin at the podium said:
    "From those incredible blood lines of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and John Smith. And all these great Americans, Martin Luther King. These great Americans who built this country. You came from them. And the unique thing about being from that part of the world, when you learn about breeding, you learn that you cannot breed Secretariat to a donkey and expect to win the Kentucky Derby. You guys have incredible DNA and don’t forget it."

    The GOP is dead until it loses the wackos. Paul, Issa, King, Cruz, Palin and more typify the radical fringe that is killing the GOP.

    July 19, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. lolo

    The GOP sheep need to stop letting fox news tell them how to think and do research for themselves. No wonder they think Americans are stupid.

    July 19, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    DJ Reality posted:

    Clause Five of the Constitution states:

    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.

    I don't bet the birther movement at all. Even if Obama was not born in the US. He still has been a citizen long enough.
    ---------–
    Thanks for beating me to the punch. Saves me the effort. Good call, to. What makes the whole entire birther conspiracies so ridiculous is that they postulate one hypothetical version of Pres. Obama's past after the other. Now how stupid is that? Arguing over different versions of possible past histories? "Maybe it happened this way. Maybe it happened that way." The hypocrisy of outright ignoring the facts is nearly life threatening. They're gonna give themselves heart attacks.

    July 19, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Ron L

    It is July 2013, why in the world are we talking about 2016 when there is so much work to be done between now and then. The 2016 Presidential contest should be forgotten about until September of 2014. GIVE THE NATION A BREAK!!

    July 19, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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