Among the invited guests: Former South Carolina Senator James DeMint, current head of the Heritage Foundation; conservative activist Richard Viguerie; former Cincinnati Mayor Kenneth Blackwell; Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List President; and economic group Club for Growth President David McIntosh.
In constructing a sober party platform and strategy for victory, the individual whom attendees most pinned their hopes to leading a conservative resurgence nationwide in 2020, also found himself on the guest list: Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Devising a robust and comprehensive Republican strategy for the next decade, many of the invitees consider Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid nearly indistinguishable from President Ronald Reagan’s losing bid in 1976.
Although the guests remained quiet when queried about specifics of the meeting, Bozell did reveal a general theme guests agree with when the meeting broke.
Describing a “feeling of enthusiasm for Cruz,” Bozell related:
“There was just discussion of the future of the movement and the future of Ted Cruz as the leader of the movement. There are a lot of similarities with Reagan in ’76, where Reagan came very close and then in ’80 won the presidency.”
“It wasn’t a function of ignoring [Trump] or he wasn’t worth our time. There were people in that room who’ve taken different positions on this race. You’ve got the Never Trump and you’ve got people who are for Trump in that room.”
“I wanted to keep the focus on the future of the movement and Ted Cruz. He was with kindred spirits, and I would say most people in that room see him as the leader of the conservative movement.”
Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, Cruz’s first term as the junior senator from Texas ends in January 2019, less than two years before the 2020 presidential election.
[The Hill] [MRC.org]