With all the media attention focused on Orlando, you might have missed the (formerly) confidential dinner more than 20 conservatives had this week to discuss a comeback for Ted Cruz.
Before Trump supporters get angry — or #NeverTrump supporters get too excited — it appears this dinner was focused not on usurping Donald Trump as the GOP nominee in 2016. Rather, it was focused on positioning Cruz as a “movement leader” — both from his seat in the Senate and, yes, possibly in a future run for president.
As The Hill reports:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) attended a confidential dinner with more than 20 top conservatives on Tuesday night to plan his comeback as a movement leader in the mold of Ronald Reagan.
The dinner was at the Virginia home of conservative activist Brent Bozell, and the agenda was to plot Cruz’s future and the future of the conservative movement.
The undertone of the dinner was about how to position Cruz for a future tilt at the presidency and to spearhead the conservative movement from his seat in the Senate, those in attendance said.
Dining with Cruz and his chief of staff, Paul Teller, were some of the most powerful figures in the conservative movement.
The spectrum of economic, national security and social conservatives seated at the table included Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, Club for Growth President David McIntosh, direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie, National Rifle Association board member and former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, and Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, sources confirmed.
According to those in attendance, the leaders discussed how they could work more effectively together and how to harness their vast financial and human networks in the service of conservative principles and Cruz’s career.
There was no specific discussion of electoral politics or whether Cruz will support presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump this cycle.
Many of the leaders at the dinner want Cruz to run for president again, and they are viewing Cruz’s unsuccessful 2016 run as similar to Reagan’s failed attempt in 1976 to unseat the incumbent Republican president, Gerald Ford.
Contacted late Wednesday, Bozell said he wouldn’t reveal off-the-record conversations but stressed the dinner “was not about what Ted Cruz was going to do with Donald Trump.”
“There was just discussion of the future of the movement and the future of Ted Cruz as the leader of the movement,” Bozell told The Hill.
“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.
While the dinner may not have included anti-Trump discussion, it did include digs at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Asked about anti-McConnell comments at the dinner, Bozell laughed and said, “In any gathering of conservatives, if you don’t have a negative comment about Mitch McConnell then you didn’t have a good conversation.”
Right he is!
And with RINOS like McConnell still inexplicably still in power and allowing the progressive socialists to run roughshod over the foundations of our republic, keeping people such as Sen. Cruz involved as a staunch and unabashed advocate for conservative principles has never been more critical.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]