The Birth of the “Draft Ted Cruz for President” Campaign

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 19 2014 10:00 AM

The Birth of the “Draft Ted Cruz for President” Campaign

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He's coming up, with a little help from his friends.

Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

When the existence of RunTedRun.com was first pointed out to me, I wondered if a grift was in the offing. The vast, wide Internets are thick with petitions and polls promising that such-and-such Republican will win if you sign this petition. A WhoIs search found that RunTedRun was registered on Sept. 18, 2013, before the government shutdown, but during a time when Cruz (and Utah Sen. Mike Lee) were appearing in TV ads asking voters to sign a defund-Obamacare petition. The site was updated/launched last week. A call to the registrar led to the switchboard of Professional Data Services; a message for Paul Kilgore, listed as the registrant, has not yet been returned. The front end of the site includes not an office, but a P.O. Box and contact form.

Sometimes it pays to be less cynical. RunTedRun is real, founded by former American Majority grassroots trainer and Cruz regional director Raz Shafer, who's still in his 20s. "If I could do something to fight for what the founders fought and died for," he told a profile writer in 2013, "if I could go out and get votes, then that would be good enough for me." At RedState, Shafer laid out his plans and rationale.

I know there are other candidates who may run as conservatives, but I believe Ted Cruz has demonstrated that he’s the only consistent conservative who will do what it takes to roll back Barack Obama’s agenda. He’s the only one who has the passion, principles, and courage needed to deliver real results for Americans.
I’ve never spoken to Ted about him running for president and I honestly don’t know if he will do it, but I do know he won’t succeed unless freedom-loving Americans like you and me begin organizing this effort now.
Ted Cruz is the people’s candidate and we need to be the ones driving the effort to elect him.
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Shafer's previous RedState diaries, over a few years, record a long courtship with the Cruz-for-Senate campaign. He's wanted this for a while, but he was a conservative organizer before he was a Cruzophile. He sees Cruz's potential—if not the next president, certainly a terrific force for getting conservatives to sign up for a list.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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