Cruz: 'Where We Are Today Reminds Me a Great Deal of the Late 1970s' & Carter

By Michael W. Chapman | April 30, 2014 | 2:42 PM EDT

Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Texas)

( – The economic and political scene in America today is similar to what was occurring in the late 1970s, but this is not all bad news for conservatives because “it took Jimmy Carter to give us Ronald Reagan,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in a tele-town hall sponsored by the conservative group ForAmerica.

“I understand that looking at what’s happening in this country, it’s easy to be demoralized, to feel despondent at the continual assault on our liberty,” said Cruz. “But I want to encourage everyone -- it often takes things getting really bad, to wake people up. It took Jimmy Carter to give us Ronald Reagan.”

Cruz drew a comparison between what was happening under President Jimmy Carter with the last five years under President Barack Obama, along with other observations about the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), youth unemployment, the national debt, foreign policy, and the Benghazi scandal.

ForAmerica, which sponsored the tele-town hall on April 29, was founded by author, columnist, and activist L. Brent Bozell III. ForAmerica supports personal freedom, a limited, constitutional government, a strong national defense, and a commitment to Judeo-Christian values.

Bozell is also the president of the Media Research Center, the parent organization of

For the tele-town hall, Bozell introduced Cruz and the two spoke briefly about Obamacare and how polls show the new health care law is not popular and likely will be a major issue in the 2014 elections. Cruz went on to talk about how politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are averse to taking risks and that, in his view, the best way to affect change is through the grassroots as happened in the late 1970s.

Former Democratic President Jimmy Carter. (AP)

“If we get back to the founding principles of this country, we can turn America around,” said Cruz. “I’m optimistic because Americans are waking up, they’re speaking out, and they’re holding our government accountable.  You know, the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing new under the sun.  And I think where we are today reminds me a great deal of the late 1970s.”

“In the late 1970s, Jimmy Carter was in the White House,” he said.  “We had the same failed economic policies, out of control spending and taxes and regulation. It produced the same stagnation and misery and malaise. And we had the same naïve and feckless foreign policy that was making the world a much, much more dangerous place.”

Cruz continued, “And in response, all across this country, we saw a grassroots movement – millions of men and woman who rose up to become the Reagan Revolution. That didn’t come from Washington.  Washington despised Ronald Reagan. It came instead from the American people.”

Former GOP President Ronald Reagan. (AP)

“And that tidal wave that swept in the Reagan Revolution, turned this country around, turned us back  from economic malaise and stagnation to vibrant economic growth, to expanding opportunity for all Americans,” said the senator from Texas.  “And it turned around our foreign policy to reasserting American  values to ultimately winning the Cold War without firing a shot.”

“That came from the grassroots,” he said.  “And the reason I’m optimistic, the reason I am hopeful is I’m convinced the same thing is happening.   I’m optimistic and hopeful because of each of you,  because as we stand up together, it’s only the American people that can turn this around. As we stand up together and we hold elected officials in Washington accountable, that’s how we’re going to get back to the principles this country was founded on.”

As the tele-town hall continued, Cruz answered questions from people calling in, as well as questions submitted through Twitter and Facebook.

In speaking to a college student, Cruz encouraged him to use his time wisely to study the history, ideas, and people that helped build America and to share his learning with his peers, face to face and through social media.

Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica.

Cruz also talked about the Benghazi scandal, stressing that in the nearly two years since the attack, “no one has been brought to justice – we haven’t apprehended the terrorists, we haven’t brought them to justice.”

Although Cruz talked about the necessity for strong leaders in government, he repeatedly emphasized the power of ordinary Americans speaking out for their beliefs and holding politicians accountable.

“What makes a difference, the reason why the Washington establishment is reacting with such terror to what is happening is because of you,” said Cruz. “The reason they’re reacting is because when millions of Americans rise up and hold elected officials accountable, it changes the rules.”

Following on Senator Cruz’s remarks, ForAmerica President Brent Bozell said that, for years, conservatives had been clamoring for a new generation of leaders who would not succumb to “Beltway Fever” and not compromise their principles.

“I can now say to our 5 million supporters around the country that the cavalry really has arrived,” said Bozell. “For the first time in a long, long time, I am actually optimistic about the future.”

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman