Interview with Ted Cruz at Values Voters Summit

Could Ted Cruz be the next Marco Rubio?  After a speech that wowed the Values Voters Summit on Friday, I sat down with the Republican hopeful in the US Senate race in Texas to talk about his primary fight, and the overall battle for conservatives in the nation. Cruz says that the Texas primary poses a very similar question to Republicans: will they vote for someone who has a track record of fighting for conservative values, or someone who’s supposedly “safe” as an establishment figure?

That message won unsurprising support and enthusiasm at this conference, but the Cruz-Rubio comparison goes a little deeper than that, as well. Both men have fathers who fled oppression in Cuba and who worked their way to success in America. Cruz looks to Rubio as well as other Republican newcomers to the Senate to change the nature of government, such as Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and the more senior Jim DeMint. Cruz explains in this video that his father’s question is what drives him in public life: “When we faced oppression in Cuba, I had a place to flee. If we lose our freedom here, where do we go?”

That is a compelling question. Cruz hopes that will resonate with Texans in a cycle where it should be resonating throughout the nation.

I’ve interviewed Cruz twice before, once at CPAC last February, and in April 2010 at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.