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Ted Cruz Rallies Supporters at Gilley’s. Will Texas ‘Put a Nail in His Coffin’?

He's one of a host of candidates in town in the last few days.
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North Texas is lousy with presidential campaign electioneering ahead of tomorrow’s Democratic and Republican party primaries.

Following Friday’s events for Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, Ben Carson spoke to a Tea Party town hall on Saturday morning in Irving, and Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders drew about 7,000 people to the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie on Saturday afternoon. This morning at Gilley’s, Texas Senator Ted Cruz took to the stage after a series of liked-minded politicians chummed the crowd of hundreds for him.

State Senator Don Huffines praised Cruz’s courage. Congressman Louie Gohmert said anyone who calls Cruz a liar is “the biggest liar,” in reference to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

Radio talk show host Mark Davis talked up Texas exceptionalism, saying “We have Democrats. We just don’t let them run the place,” before ushering former Gov. (and former presidential candidate) Rick Perry to the stage. Perry declared that he wants someone in the Oval Office who takes cues from “two checklists”: the Bible and the U.S. Constitution.

When Cruz himself appeared, he expressed his pleasure at being back in his home state, among “the greatest people in the world.” He positioned himself as an outsider aiming to shake up Washington. “There’s a reason Louie [Gohmert] and I both need food tasters in the Capitol dining room,” he joked, counteracting all the effort Gohmert had made earlier to emphasize that Cruz is not hated by everyone in Congress, by reciting the names of all the House members who are willing to say they like Cruz.

Then Cruz got into stump speech territory: attacking Trump’s conservative bona fides, pledging to repeal the Affordable Care Act, vowing to abolish the IRS, and reciting the well-worn GOP legend of how Saint Ronald Reagan single-handedly won the Cold War by bankrupting the Soviet Union. “I am going to do the exact same thing with Islamic militants,” he declared.

In delivering the official introduction of Cruz, current Gov. Greg Abbott had earlier awkwardly attempted to fire up the crowd by imploring them to transform our country by “putting the nail in the coffin” for Ted Cruz’ chance of being the Republican nominee for president. If voters don’t turn out for Cruz tomorrow, that’s likely what they will have done.

Meanwhile, President Bill Clinton is speaking this afternoon in Fort Worth to rally support for his wife.