Cruz (R-Texas), a likely 2016 presidential contender, was asked here at the South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention how the GOP can engage more young people, a group with whom Republicans performed miserably in the last several presidential elections. The senator advised that candidates “speak the truth” and be “inspiring,” suggesting that Republicans can offer effective messaging on health care and jobs. But he also suggested they show some humor.

“Would it kill Republicans to crack a joke?” he said. “I actually think for some Republicans it might. You know, lighten up a little. … So many Republicans run a Soviet-style campaign.”

He proceeded to demonstrate, in a mock Russian accent: “‘This is a Politburo! You do that! You do that! You do that!’ And a lot of young people are like, ‘Forget that!’”