Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has been rising in the polls for a while now. Before the fourth GOP debate in November, the Tea Party favorite was polling just behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in Iowa, with 12.3 percent, putting him effectively in fourth place. Since then, the Texan has been ascending in both state and national polls, with the most recent Washington Post / ABC News poll putting him at second place, with 15 percent of the Republican vote. Cruz's debate performances have played a significant role in his recent success, and though he got into numerous policy arguments with Rubio during the debate, Cruz's closing statement demonstrated this.
In the wake of recent attacks in Paris, Beirut, and San Bernardino, as well as Donald Trump's appalling proposal to ban Muslims from traveling to the U.S. and attempts by numerous governors to turn away Syrian refugees, national security has become an increasingly contentious topic of discussion — and disagreement — among the Republican candidates. However, while most of them have worked hard to distance themselves from Trump, there is at least one category on which Cruz finds himself in agreement with the frontrunner: immigration. Earlier this month, Cruz said that he not only supports Trump's proposal to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but that he would also hire Trump to lead the project. But as the debate came to an end, Cruz — though careful not to directly tread on Trump's toes — managed to distance himself from the business mogul, and his closing statement concisely illustrated his platform.
During Tuesday night's debate, Cruz — like the other candidates — was asked to explain in his closing why he would make a good president. He did so by going after President Obama and praising Ronald Reagan, insisting that he would do what Reagan did to "reignite" the economy and rebuild the military. Read the full text of his closing statement below.
Judgment, strength, clarity, and trust. Barack Obama has said he doesn’t believe in American leadership or America winning. He is wrong. America can win again and we will win again. Ronald Reagan reignited the American economy, rebuilt the military, bankrupted the Soviet Union, and defeated Soviet communism. I will do the same thing, cutting taxes, cutting regulation, unleashing small businesses, and rebuilding the military to defeat radical Islamic terrorism. Our strategy is simple. We win, they lose, we’ve done it before, and we can do it again.