By Joe Holley
On a village green in The Woodlands, north of Houston, Friday evening, an enthusiastic crowd of approximately a thousand tea partiers joined U.S. Senate hopeful Ted Cruz in a “Yes, We Can” chant parodying the current occupant of the White House and gave a rapturous welcome to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who told the crowd that those “who cling to our guns, God and Constitution” have a friend in Cruz.
A relaxed Cruz, wearing boots and faded Levis, his wife Heidi standing on an outdoor stage with him, told the crowd on a hot, sultry evening they had the power to restore the U.S. Constitution, retake the U.S. Senate, retire Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, repeal Obamacare and “retire President Barack Obama.” The crowd responded with a long ovation. “That, my friends, is change we can believe in.”
Palin, who endorsed Cruz before the May primary, also mocked Obama, who predicted during a recent Texas trip that the Lone Star State soon would become “a battleground state.”
“There will be an Alaskan-sized blizzard on the Brazos before Texas turns blue for Barack,” said Palin, who wore dark sunglasses and black boots given to her by Gov. Rick Perry, who’s backing Dewhurst. Palin assured the crowd they would all be back on the same team after Tuesday.
Earlier in the evening, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., the leader of the Senate’s tea party caucus, predicted a landslide Cruz victory.
“We’re on the two-yard line,” Cruz told the crowd. “It’s the very end of the game. We have marched the entire length of the field, we started out deep in our end zone – we started out up at the hot dog stand – and I tell you the other side has brought in the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers to guard that end zone. But we are facing a battle to push those final two yards. I gotta tell you that collectively when the men and women here got us to this runoff, there was a collective shriek of terror from the Austin political establishment.”
Palin spent most of her 20-minute remarks lambasting Obama and what she called “the permanent political class” in Washington. Palin called Cruz’s election “a come-to-Jesus moment.”
“There is good news,” she said, “and that is, there is nothing wrong with America that a good, ol’ fair election can’t fix.”
She described Cruz as “a proven, common-sense constitutional conservative, and he’s a fighter and he will bring new leadership to the United States Senate. He will shrink government, he will be putting government back on the side of the American working man and he will defend the Constitution.”
“Ted is not going to D.C. to make nice with the foo-foo, chi-chi cocktail crowd,” she said. “He’s going to do the heavy lifting to rein in our out-of-control government.”
Luis Nieto, 72, a retired engineer from nearby Oak Ridge, liked what he heard. “I’ve already voted for Ted Cruz,” he said, “and I’m definitely going to vote against Barack Obama. I’ve never been a fan of Dewhurst. He goes with the flow. I don’t think he really takes a stand against anything.”
Palin also injected herself into the Chick Fil-A dustup over its owner’s support for traditional marriage. “Jason,” she said, talking to an aide, “you’re going to have to take me on our way back to the airport later. We drive back a Chick Fil-A. We don’t have that in Alaska. Love me some Chick Fil-A. So, we’ll go there, Jason, on the way, OK?” The crowd cheered.
Sandy Robinson, 53, a Woodlands business consultant, said she wasn’t sure who she supported until her mother-in-law in Dallas complained to her about “some nasty TV ads that Dewhurst was running. She was thinking they didn’t reflect the character of a man that ought to be in the U.S. Senate. Because my mother-in-law’s pretty sharp, she convinced me. Before I talked to her, I couldn’t really find the differentiation between the two men.”
Robinson said she had voted earlier in the day for Cruz. “They’re both Republicans, so I don’t thing we could go too far wrong either way.”
- Palin, DeMint to attend Cruz rally; DeMint PAC airs ad (trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com)
- Sarah Palin to join Cruz on campaign trail (statesman.com)
- Sarah Palin To Campaign With Ted Cruz in Texas (abcnews.go.com)
- Palin, DeMint to rally for Ted Cruz in Houston on Friday (hotair.com)
- Sarah Palin gets out the vote for Ted Cruz (twitchy.com)
- Dewhurst wins support of Combs, Patrick (statesman.com)
- Rick Santorum joins Sarah Palin in getting out the vote for Ted Cruz (twitchy.com)
- Texas Senate Candidate David Dewhurst Campaign Radio Ad: “Texas Means Business” (uneditedpolitics.com)
- Palin on Facebook (shepherdspiehole.typepad.com)
- Tea party stars stump for Senate hopeful Ted Cruz (amarillo.com)