Texas Sen.-elect Ted Cruz advised the Republican Party to rebrand itself under a banner of “Opportunity Conservatism” during a sweeping speech Thursday night that will only stoke speculation about a 2016 presidential run.

Speaking before the conservative American Principles Project dinner at a downtown Washington hotel, Cruz said the GOP’s thumping in the 2012 elections was more the result of poor messaging and communication than the wrong ideology.

“Why did we lose? It wasn’t as the media would tell you: because the American people embraced big government, Barack Obama’s spending and debt and taxes. … That wasn’t what happened. I’m going to suggest to you a very simple reason why we lost the election: We didn’t win the argument,” Cruz said before pointedly lowering his voice. “We didn’t even make the argument.”

While the 41-year-old Cuban-American warned that Republicans need not abandon their principles in order to rebound electorally, he did suggest the party should retool its rhetoric on economic and cultural issues.

“We need to embrace what I call ‘Opportunity Conservatism.’ We need to conceptualize, we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder,” he said.

Read More at politico.com. By David Catanese.

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