Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at Heritage’s Annual Leadership Conference and Board Meeting Tuesday.
Speaking today to Heritage Foundation President’s Club members today in Washington, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) offered three tributes in honor of Heritage’s fortieth anniversary and our leadership transition.
1. A Tribute to Heritage President Ed Feulner
Feulner built Heritage from humble beginnings into a powerhouse that provided the intellectual and policy foundation for the Reagan administration and later conservative successes. Today, he said, Heritage is the “preeminent source for conservative and free market policy ideas.”
2. A Tribute to Heritage President-Elect Jim DeMint.
Demint, Cruz says, is a “recovering politician” who “lacks a fear of ridicule.” When he first came to Congress, his was a lonely voice for free enterprise and limited government. Thanks in part to DeMint’s work to support conservative candidates, he explained, there are today many more voices for these timeliss principles. “If it weren’t for Sen. Jim DeMint, I would not be in the U.S. Senate,” Cruz said.
3. A Tribute to The Heritage Foundation
Finally, Cruz praised The Heritage Foundation as an institution:
- The fight for freedom is central to Heritage’s mission, he said. And we cannot take freedom for granted, since, “as Reagan said, freedom isn’t passed through blood. It has to be fought for.”
- Heritage knows ideas matter, and the organization “serves as a laboratory for growing, restoring, and percolating ideas,” Cruz said. “For example, if Reagan’s ideas were in use now, we would have 7 million more jobs. Refining these ideas will be the tools that will save our country’s future.”
- Heritage has the courage of its convictions. “All of us were taught in junior high that invertebrates can’t walk upright,” Cruz joked. “But politicians disprove that every day!” Courage is rare inside the Beltway, but Cruz said DeMint has the necessary fortitude: “it bodes well for Heritage that our new president has unflinching courage.”
Cruz also encouraged conservatives to remember that message matters. While we cannot and should not compromise our principles, he said, we need to reach out to new audience and not simple “preach to the choir.”
And he reminded President’s Club members not to give up. Not only are conservatives blessed with a cadre of young new leaders, he reminded us that political fortunes can change overnight. After all, he said, it was less than a decade ago that the pundits were predicting a permanent GOP majority—a prediction followed shortly by liberal victories in 2006 and 2008.