Cruz blasts away


Junior U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks to an audience about his future political strategies inside the Dutch Country Inn in Kalona, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Cruz will run for the 2016 presidential race as a republican. (The Daily Iowan/Brooklynn Kascel)

Aaron Walker, [email protected]

OSKALOOSA, Iowa — The Rivola Theater’s canopy and its bright, neon lights used to welcome Oskaloosa’s movie-goers, but on Wednesday, Sen. Ted Cruz stood beneath it during a townhall meeting at Smokey Row Coffee.

Cruz says he is a straight talker, a trustworthy, honest man. He said he will fulfill each of his promises that day to ensure a streamlined government and a liberated population.

Cruz called for the Abolition of the Department of Education. He asserted his flat tax will do away with the IRS, and all citizens will be able to file their taxes on a post card.

“We will take on the EPA, and the [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] and the alphabet soup of federal agencies that have descended like locusts on small businesses and farms and ranches, killing jobs throughout this country,” Cruz said.

On his first day in office, he said, he will repeal every one of President Obama’s executive actions, Obamacare, investigate Planned Parenthood, ensure the end of religious prosecution, and rip up the Iran nuclear deal.

The barrage of presidential condemnation did not stop there. He fiercely objected to Obama’s decision to allow 100,000 worldwide refugees over the next two years.

“That is simply lunacy,” he said. “It makes no sense whatsoever for us to be bringing terrorists who are coming here to wage jihad and murder innocent American citizens.”

Obama wasn’t the only target of his attack. After his speech, a reporter asked him about Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders “enough with the damn emails” comment from Tuesday’s Democratic debate.

Cruz speculated the statement was a political move motivated by possible collusion.

“It made me wonder, perhaps Hillary emailed Bernie and asked him to say that,” Cruz said. “That was a smart political move for Bernie Sanders to say because politically that will appeal to partisan Democrats.”

During the town hall, he did not shy away from topics that may alienate him from Iowa voters. He affirmed his desire to ween the nation off ethanol subsidies, but that seemed to be the only issue on which those in attendance disagreed.

He soon fired from the Christian right, promoting his passionate, god-fearing opinion on the state of society in the US. He condemned Planned Parenthood and promised to prosecute anyone involved who he considers a criminal.

The proud Southern Baptist emphasized his faith and his belief the rule of law should mirror that of his Lord. The heavily elderly crowd emphatically nodded their heads, interjecting “yes sir” and “that’s right, that’s right” throughout his speech.

Cruz is polling at an average of 7 percent nationally, behind four other GOP hopefuls, according to an average calculated by Real Clear Politics. But he is polling better in Iowa. Real Clear has him in fourth place, averaging 8.3 percent.

And a positive reception was made clear through thundering applause and dedicated conservative caucus goers proudly promising Cruz their vote. Many of whom, based their agreement of his approach to faith-based policy making, specifically his undying support for Israel.

“God said in his holy word, ‘He who curses Israel, he will be cursed,’ ” said David Kruse, 67, of Lovilla, Iowa. “And we can’t take that away, whether you believe it or not, it’s true. And Obama curses Israel by defying it.”

Although there were few young people of voting age in attendance, Jacob Lanferman, 19, of Pella, was outspoken in his support for Cruz. Lanferman said protecting Israel and Christian values are Cruz’s most convincing factors.

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