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July 19, 2013 6:16 PM Cruz Missile Lands in Iowa

By Ed Kilgore

In his first trip to the First In Nation Caucus State, Sen. Ted Cruz did not disappoint those hungering for red meat, per this report from Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register:

In a fiery, Bible-quoting first speech during his first time in Iowa, Republican Ted Cruz called on evangelical conservatives to demand their GOP elected officials actually stand for the conservative principles they pretend to believe in.
“Belief, saying I believe in something, is not sitting there quietly doing the golf clap,” Cruz told hundreds of Iowa Christian conservative ministers this morning at a private conclave in Des Moines.
This morning, Cruz spoke for nearly an hour at the Iowa Renewal Project, a two-day, all-expenses-paid forum organized by David Lane, a political activist from California who has been quietly mobilizing evangelicals in Iowa for six years.

That’s a bit of an understatement about Lane, a major organizer whom the very well-informed Sarah Posner has described as a “Christian nation absolutist.” Lane is also close to Rick Perry, and organized the trip by Rand Paul (who’s also spoke at the Renewal Project today) to Israel that got so much attention earlier this year. He’s the heaviest of heavy hitters in the heavy world of Iowa Christian Right leaders. But I digress:

Cruz lectured for 30 minutes, his voice at times rising to a shout. He answered questions for another 20 minutes, then stood at the center of a circle as pastors laid their hands on him and the whole audience - a predominantly white group with about 20 black pastors - bowed heads to pray for him.

Cruz, who told The Des Moines Register he has never been to Iowa before, laid out his social conservative credentials in some detail, explaining all the religious issues he defended in court cases he worked on as a private lawyer and as solicitor general in Texas. He introduced his Cuban immigrant father, Rafael Cruz, who sat in the audience…..
The biggest applause and loudest whistles came when Cruz talked about abolishing the IRS. He said that’s “viewed as scary radical talk” in Washington, and that career politicians don’t want it to happen.
He told the pastors they have a special charge to urge their flocks to become more active in politics.
“It is so easy to hide from the public square. It is so easy to say the challenges of the country are someone else’s problem. But the pastors, and your husbands and wives who are here, ya’ll are not content to do that and I’m so grateful for that.”
Cruz said each one was there because they heard the call to stand up for their values.
“Book of Isaiah tells us: My people perish for lack of knowledge. Edmund Burke put the points a little differently when he said the only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. And the prophet Ezekiel charged us, son of man, you are a watchman for the house of Israel.”
Several pastors said after Cruz’s speech that they were impressed.

I’m sure they were.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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