In light of the common assessment among conservatives that Barack Obama – a one-term senator prior to becoming president – has been an abject failure, some pundits are now suggesting the next commander-in-chief should be someone with executive experience. In a recent question-and-answer session with Republicans in New Hampshire, Cruz responded to one audience member’s concern over this issue.
“Obama is not a disaster because he was a senator,” Cruz explained. “Obama is a disaster because he’s an unmitigated socialist. What he believes is profoundly dangerous; and he’s undermined the Constitution and the role of America in the world.”
Furthermore, the Texas senator insisted that the GOP’s moderate wing is leading the charge for a governor to win the party’s nomination because the governors expected to enter the race line up more closely with their ideology.
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When a conservative governor – Ronald Reagan – sought the presidential nomination in 1980, Cruz recalled the Republican establishment backing a more moderate candidate without executive experience.
“So none of those voices said, ‘We need a governor,’” he explained. “They said, ‘You know what? We need a former congressman named George Herbert Walker Bush. Likewise, in 2008, the moderate choice was a senator, John McCain. Go back and look at the TV discussions to find any of these voices going on television saying, ‘We need a governor’ in 2008. Then, the choice of those voices was that candidate, so that argument didn’t get used.”
He concluded that presidents historically have been roughly half former governors and half former senators. That difference, he pointed out, has had no noticeable bearing on the subsequent performance of the president.
“There have been good and bad presidents who were both,” he said. “Jimmy Carter was a governor. He was a train wreck.”