By Ryan Miner
My fellow libertarian friend, Leah, (who lives in New Hampshire, just outside of Manchester) and I attended a Ted Cruz meet and greet this afternoon at a restaurant in Goffstown, N.H., a small town just outside Manchester. Cruz arrived at The Village Trestle shortly after 3 p.m., holding a press conference first followed then by an audience town hall.
I raised my hand and Cruz called upon me.
My question for Cruz was this:
“Senator, I drove from Maryland to volunteer for Sen. Rand Paul. He dropped out today and now I’m candidate shopping. I’m a libertarian. I’m not sold on you yet. Can we trust you.”
Cruz answered my question. He highlighted his constitutional roots and his fight for the Bill of Rights. Fine, but I remain skeptical about Cruz’s foreign policy positions. I suggested to Cruz he hold a summit of sorts with liberty leaders from around the country and hear their concerns and ideas. Cruz may find himself courting the liberty movement for quite some time. If Cruz fails to convince even the most ardent of the liberty activists and rejoin the Ron Paul movement from 08′ and 12′, Cruz can forget it.
I was impressed, however, that Cruz never broke eyesight wite me when answer my question. It means something when a candidate can look you square in the eye, as the old saying goes, and answer your question.
The Washington Post captured the moment and quoted my friend Leah and yours truly:
At a stop in Goffstown, N.H., Cruz said he is “encouraged” by the number of supporters he has from the liberty movement and urged those who supported Paul to come to his campaign.
“To everyone in this race who was supporting Rand Paul or who was supporting other candidates who have dropped out of the race I would say we welcome you to our campaign,” Cruz said.
Some Paul supporters in Goffstown said they are considering Cruz but haven’t made up their mind.
“I’m candidate shopping,” said Ryan Miner, a partner at a Maryland advertising firm who came here to support Paul. “Sen. Cruz hasn’t made the pitch to libertarians like myself on civil asset forfeiture and criminal justice reform.”
Miner said he remains undecided, but is ‘open’ to Cruz.
Leah Wolzcko of Goffstown is a Paul supporter who said she hasn’t yet decided if she can support Cruz – she thinks he is too militaristic with his pledges to “carpet bomb” the Islamic State. She wrote in Paul’s father, Ron, for president in the general election in 2012 but wants to see libertarians consolidate around one candidate this time.
“You’re attractive,” she said to Cruz at a stop in Goffstown. The audience laughed.
“Well, thank you,” Cruz, laughing, said.
“Intellectually,” Wolzcko said.