Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was the first big named speaker to hit the stage at CPAC on Thursday morning and he began by outlining how conservatives can win in 2014 and beyond. He believes that in order for Republicans to win they need to “stand for principle” by drawing a clear contrast between themselves and the Democrats.
“There are a lot of D.C. consultants who say there’s a choice for Republicans to make. We can either choose to keep our head down… to not rock the boat, to not stand for anything. Or we can stand for principle.”
This was not a new message for Cruz or for those of us in the conservative movement. But many Republicans and conservatives alike have said that standing on principle doesn’t always win elections. Cruz addressed those fears:
“They say if you stand for principle you lose elections. The way to do it, the smart way, the Washington way… is don’t stand against Obamacare. Don’t stand against the debt ceiling. Don’t stand against nothing. I want to tell you something… that is a false dichotomy.”
Cruz also addressed the issue of the youth vote within the Republican Party. He believes Republicans can do better, pointing to former candidates like President Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul who drew so many young followers because they presented a clear vision for a better country
He believes the GOP has an opportunity to reach out in a new way to the youth, particularly because of the current financial and economic circumstances that have resulted in large part from failed liberal policies in Washington D.C.
Cruz even showed the audience his funny side by impersonating Jay Leno while jabbing ObamaCare.
Watch the entire speech below: