A second villain has emerged in the Cruz campaign, and that is Mike Tyson, the former heavyweight champ who was found guilty of rape and served prison time in Indiana. Trump has spoken positively of Tyson as a “tough guy,” giving the Cruz camp an opening. On Sunday, Fiorina told the crowd that the Indiana campaign has become “a tale of two Mikes.” On the Trump side, there is the convicted rapist Tyson. On the Cruz side, there is the respected Gov. Mike Pence, who has said he will vote for Cruz. Could there be a sharper contrast?
Cruz is a better candidate than he was early in the race. The streamlined jobs-freedom-security agenda he introduced before a double-digit win in Wisconsin last month has given Cruz an easy framework to focus on some key issues for Indiana Republicans: regulation, taxes, Second Amendment, Obamacare, religious liberty. But talk to people who come to Cruz events, and you’ll soon discover many, perhaps most, are with him for two basic reasons: God and the Constitution…
But one thing that worked for Cruz in Wisconsin has also been working in Indiana, and that is the quiet engagement of ministers across the state. When the campaign moved to New York and Pennsylvania, Cruz’s father, Rafael, a minister himself, spent a couple of weeks here in Indiana meeting with small groups of pastors, recruiting them to support his son.
Rafael talked about some political issues like the Supreme Court, but his larger message was about character, leadership, and faith. “He was giving a message about what the Bible says about leadership,” said Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, who attended a couple of the meetings. “He said we need to be biblically correct, rather than politically correct…He impressed the pastors with his knowledge of the Bible, which was diverse and strong; he would quote a dozen or more verses on character in his talk.”