Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz closed the annual Conservative Political Action Conference by saying that conservatives have been winning in Washington over the past few weeks and imploring the audience not to “surrender” in the fight for their values in politics.
The newly elected Cruz was chosen as the keynote speaker Saturday after a heady first several weeks in Congress in which he voted against practically everything -- including Senate rule changes to curb filibusters and aid for Superstorm Sandy victims.
He said he arrived in Washington to find a defeatist attitude among some Republicans, including those who “patted me on the head,” then told him to vote ‘no’ and quietly move on.
The 42-year-old Cruz said Republicans won on three different fronts in recent weeks -- Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s epic filibuster that forced answers from the Obama administration about its drone program.
Republicans won, he said, by not stopping the billions in federal spending, known as sequester, from kicking in this month.
“That was the first small step in reigning in our uncontrollable spending,” Cruz said to applause.
He cited the third instance as voting on his amendment to repeal President Obama’s new health care law.
Cruz, who finished with 4 percent of the vote in CPAC’s 2016 presidential preference poll, also offered a plan to conservatives to go forward.
“How do we keep winning?” he asked the crowd.
He urged them to defend the Constitution and fight for economic growth.
“Liberty is under assault from every direction,” he said. “The Second Amendment is in Obama and his fellow Democrats’ crosshairs.”
Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general and Harvard Law School graduate, closed by citing a litany of issues that he thinks are also of major concern to conservatives or are under attack.
“Do we surrender or do we stand up now?” he asked, citing such issues as the need for more school choice, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and protecting Americans’ right to bear arms.