BEHNA: Ted Cruz’s Strengths And Weaknesses From His Presidential Campaign

Looking back on this crazy, unconventional 2016 election cycle, since no candidate is perfect, I wanted to reflect on what I thought were the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign of my top choice, [score]Ted Cruz[/score].


1) Ted Cruz is no doubt one of the best debaters. Don’t forget he was a top college debater in the nation when he attended Princeton University. Each debate during the primary paid off well, where he never had a “bad” debate. They were all either phenomenal or above average. He was passionate, enthusiastic, and resonated with the voters and the issues they deeply care about.

2) His campaign organization was by far one of the best out of all the candidates. Having a large army of grassroots efforts behind him, he came in second out of 17 candidates in the delegate count, which was impressive. The organization also helped him with consistency, which allowed him to stay in the race until May, and although he came up short on clinching the nomination, Cruz gave a good run at it.

3) Cruz’s conservative record and ideology helped put energy behind his campaign. His calls to abolish the IRS for example really resonated well and made him stand out. Instead of typical moderates trying to pander to all voters, Cruz wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in, which I greatly respected.


1) Cruz’s now infamous “cage match” tweet was not the best tweet to post, especially looking back now. It may have been just one tweet, but in today’s fast-paced world enriched with social media, presidential candidates need to be careful with everything they say or do.

He did go after Trump going into the beginning of 2016 but was criticized for his “bromance” in the first several months of the campaign. Although I’m glad Cruz went after him, I did wish he began his criticisms against Trump sooner.

2) Although it didn’t bother me at all, his unconventional move by choosing Carly Fiorina as a Vice Presidential choice shortly before the Indiana primary made him look “desperate” according to his critics. This also came when Trump was well ahead in the delegate count. Even though I understood Cruz’s strategy by trying to bring some new energy and hope to the campaign with a Fiorina announcement, it, unfortunately, didn’t resonate with Indiana voters.

3.) I wasn’t bothered by Cruz’s well-known “New York values” comment because we all knew exactly what he meant by it. He clearly was referring to Donald Trump’s longtime liberal views coming from a deep blue state like New York. However, many people tried to create fake outrage from it, and unfortunately, Trump used it against Cruz.

In the meantime, Cruz needs to focus on his 2018 U.S. Senate race, and potentially see if he wants to run again for president in 2020. He’s still young, energetic, and has a lot of potential in his future. He can learn from his mistakes, and continue to capitalize and his strengths that can make him a very good candidate.


Wayne Dupree

Wayne Dupree is owner and founder of He was named to the 2017 Newsmax’s 50 Most Influential African-American Republicans. He served in the USAF between 1987-1995. He saw time in Operation Desert Storm/Shield and is the father of three. He is the host of the Wayne Dupree Show.

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