Ted Cruz ‘respects Obama’, ‘thinks he’s an extraordinary politician’

Ted Cruz ‘respects Obama’, ‘thinks he’s an extraordinary politician’

The way you talk about empowering the grassroots reminds me a lot of Barack Obama. Disagreements in policy aside, did you watch Obama in 2008 and build certain elements of your approach off his?

I think Barack Obama is an extraordinary politician. And I respect Barack Obama a great deal. I think he is committed to his principles, which is rare in politics. Now I also think, and please don’t leave this part out, that the principles he believes in are profoundly dangerous. I respect that he believes, I think genuinely, with all of his heart, that government control of economy and redistribution of wealth betters the world. I think moving in that direction has wreaked havoc to the American economy. The people who suffer in the Obama economy have been young people, African Americans, Hispanics, single moms.

There were two campaigns on which we modeled our campaign for Senate, and they were Obama’s campaign for President in 2008 and Marco Rubio’s campaign for Senate in 2010. If you look at that 2008 Democratic primary, there was no more formidable, unstoppable candidate — other than an incumbent President — in modern times than Hillary Clinton. And Barack Obama ran a guerrilla campaign that empowered the people. So for Christmas I gave a number of campaign staffers David Plouffe’s book, The Audacity to Win.

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