Let the intra-party debate begin over which direction should lead the way in 2016. On the one side, you have candidates like Ted Cruz who draw ire from the GOP establishment. On the other side, you have candidates like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, who are being actively pushed by GOP inner circles.

Report from Business Insider:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) believes the Republican Party needs to avoid one crucial mistake in the 2016 presidential election: running a candidate “in the mold” of Mitt Romney, the 2012 nominee.

“If we run another candidate like that, Hillary Clinton will be the next president,” Cruz said Thursday morning on CNBC.

Cruz, a conservative firebrand who is considering a presidential campaign, urged Republicans to “learn from history.”

“We need to look to history and what works and what doesn’t,” he said. “The one thing is clear is if Republicans run another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole, or a John McCain, or a Mitt Romney — and let me be clear, all three of those are good, honorable men. They’re decent men. They’re patriots. But if we run another candidate in the mold of a Bob Dole, or a John McCain, or Mitt Romney, we will end up with the same result.”

So, is Cruz correct? Was it McCain’s, and perhaps Romney’s, inability to rally the conservative base on Election Day that ultimately sealed Barack Obama’s back to back victories? Could a different, more conservative candidate have carried the mantle to victory in 2012? How about 2016?