The progressive wing of the GOP and the mainstream media are trying to downplay Ted Cruz's chances of winning - but has he already got the progressives running scared? Law professor Robbie George, Cruz's adviser at Princeton University, weighed in on claims that Cruz is unfit to be President.
Glenn: Is there any doubt in your mind that Ted Cruz is who we see in Washington?
Prof. George: Well, he’s a man who knows what his principles are, and he sticks by his principles. Now, interestingly, from the time he was a student here at Princeton, he was not a dogmatist. He was a person of very firm convictions, but he was genuinely interested in ideas and would entertain arguments, counter arguments. He was interested in what might be said against the view that he happened to hold, and he would, you know, he’d think about that and think what might be said in response to it.
In fact, since he and I largely agreed and we continue to agree on basic constitutional questions, we found ourselves often in the teacher-pupil relationship playing devil’s advocate with each other taking a position contrary to the one we actually held in order to see how far the argument would go.
If someone just dropped in from the outside and didn’t know anything about the two of us and listened to us arguing these points out, they would have thought we were fierce and bitter opponents. But what we were trying to do is to understand what the truth of the matter is, trying to understand what the truth is by engaging the best points to be made on competing sides of the argument.
Glenn: As they are printing stories today, I saw one headline that says Ted Cruz unfit to be President of the United States. How would you respond to that?
Prof. George: Well, I mean, that’s obviously someone who’s very afraid of Ted Cruz becoming President of the United States, and I think they’re right to be afraid of Ted Cruz becoming President of the United States because he very well could become President the United States. The argument that he’s unelectable, I think, is not a credible argument. People had better think about that. The smart people on the other side, James Carville, for example, have warned their fellow Democrats you’ve got a very formidable person here and a crack debater, a very rigorous thinker, and someone who is not afraid to take a controversial position and not afraid to lead. He’s not going to hold his finger up to the wind and try to figure out which way public opinion is going. He’ll actually try to lead public opinion, and that, as Carville rightly understands, makes him a dangerous man for the Democrats.
Glenn: One last question, I’ve heard several people today claim that he would be the closest thing to Reagan we have seen since Reagan. Is he Reaganesque?
Prof. George: Well, in the sense of being a guy who knows what he stands for and knows what his principles are and will stick with them, yes, he’s Reaganesque in that way. Also, of course, the substance of his views is quite Reaganesque. Now, he’s got a very different personality. It’s not the Reagan personality.
Glenn: Yeah, he’s not the Gipper.
Prof. George: That’s rare. I mean, we get those once a century, I think. Ted does not have that kind of personality, but Ted has the leadership qualities that Reagan has, and he’s a man who knows what he believes, why he believes it, and he’s not afraid to actually lead the public. He doesn’t have to begin with public opinion on his side to know where he stands. He’ll begin wherever public opinion is, and he’ll try to lead it in the direction in which he thinks it should go. That’s what Reagan did as well.
Glenn: Thank you so much, Professor George, always great to talk to you. God bless.
Prof. George: My pleasure, Glenn. Thank you, you too.