Cruz spent the afternoon holding back-to-back meetings with small groups of RNC members — about a dozen in each 30- to 45-minute meeting, according to members who attended. The purpose of those meetings, said the Cruz campaign and RNC members, was to give Cruz the opportunity to get to know the RNC members as he prepares to fight for the nomination at the convention.
“People got to see him as a person,” explains Saul Anuzis, the former Michigan GOP chairman who is running Cruz’s delegate operation. “This is really a very powerful moment, when he was able to give all these people who are leaders in their own right in their own states — to get to know them better, to be able to go back and say, ‘This is the real Ted Cruz, this is the guy we talked to, this is the guy we know.’”
An RNC member in the meeting echoed that explanation, saying Cruz told them he knew they were influential within their state delegations, and he wanted to make sure they were comfortable with him and knew him.
The meetings were question-and-answer style — “just chatting,” says Peter Goldberg, the Alaska GOP chairman, who attended one of the meetings. Members got to talk to Cruz, take photos with him, and address the issues important to their states. In the meeting Goldberg attended, subjects ranged from Supreme Court nominees to the use and management of federal lands. Numerous members from western states were in attendance, and they discussed their concerns over how much land the federal government owns in their part of the country. Goldberg says he brought up the military, which he believes has become “a social experiment instead of a fighting force” under President Obama. “Senator Cruz indicated he would turn that around. He indicated he would overturn a lot of executive decisions that Obama made, going around Congress.”