The Iowa Freedom Summit, an event sponsored by Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, was held today in Des Moines. Most every 2016 GOP contender, aside from Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul, were in attendance and delivered what can essentially be called an opening statement for their candidacy. Here is a rundown of each candidate and a link to video of their full speech.

Sarah PalinVideo (40 mins)

She offered a loosely organized speech that included well-received broadsides against the “left in Hollywood,” the media, radical Islam, Obama’s policies and Hillary Clinton. “It’s going to take more than a village to beat Hillary,” she said, to cheers. “I’m ready for Hillary. Are you coming?”

Fueling speculation of her own possible bid, Palin said GOP should leave room for a female candidate in the primaries in order to end the “no girls allowed” view of the White House.

Ted CruzVideo (28 mins)

Cruz peppered his speech with applause lines, and the hundreds of conservative activists packing a historic theater in the state capital lapped it up.

He spoke of “sending the locusts of the EPA back to Washington” and the needs to abolish the IRS as “the most tax reform we can do.” He reiterated his tongue-in-cheek plan to padlock the IRS and send all 110,000 employees to the U.S.-Mexico border to scare off illegal immigrants. He railed against intrusion into religious liberty by the federal government and back in his hometown of Houston, insisting that “Caesar has no jurisdiction over the pulpit.”

At each one-liner, the audience burst into applause.

Like other potential 2016 candidates, Cruz stroked the Iowa ego, lauding the state’s “unique and special role in the political process” and urging Iowans to take with a grain of salt claims of just how conservative a candidate it.

“`Gosh darn it who-diddley, I’m conservative,’” Cruz said, mocking the pandering. “Talk is cheap. The Word tells us you shall know them by their fruit.”

Chris ChristieVideo (28 mins)

Christie has spent years trying to reach across the aisle in preparation for a presidential run, but has been dogged by questions whether he could win over the party’s base.

“I have heard and read all the conventional wisdom that somehow a guy from New Jersey would not be welcomed or understood at the Iowa Freedom Summit—that somehow I’m too loud, I’m too blunt, and I’m too direct,” Christie said, as the crowd chuckled. “The conventional wisdom from Washington, DC that says we aren’t friends…They’re wrong again today.”

King used his introduction to boost Christie’s conservative credentials. “He vetoed the gay marriage bill in New jersey,” he said. “He is pro-life.” Christie has since declared gay marriage a “settled” issue in his state after the State Supreme Court declined to stop same-sex unions in 2013.

Speaking calmly and slowly, Christie was self-effacing about “the blunt New Jersey stuff,” using it to introduce himself to Iowa voters with the story of his childhood.

Rick SantorumVideo – (30 mins)

Santorum said that Republicans have to move beyond criticizing Obama if they want to expand the party’s appeal. “Look for that message that can bring us together,” Santorum said, “Because as good as it feels to hear the bad stuff, as good as it feels to beat up on the other side for what they’ve done to this country—and it’s been substantial—that pointing the finger and blaming somebody doesn’t win us the arguments.”

Rick PerryVideo (23 mins)

He boasted that he signed seven balanced state budgets in Texas and created the best economic climate in the country. He said Texas has adopted “smart regulations,” improved its educational system and “stopped frivolous lawsuits at the courthouse.”

But Republicans can’t simply criticize Democrats. They need to offer a positive agenda and a vision, he said

“The time has come to usher in a new era of reform and American revival,” Perry said.

Several political activists stood in the balcony at Hoyt Sherman Place and tried to interrupt Perry as he spoke about his tough stance on immigration enforcement on the Texas-Mexico border.

Scott WalkerVideo (28 mins)

“We weren’t afraid to go big and go bold,” Walker told some 1,200 people at the Iowa Freedom Summit.

“Maybe that’s why I won the race for governor three times in the last four years. Three times, mind you, in a state that hasn’t gone Republican for president since I was in high school more than 30 years ago… If you’re not afraid to go big and go bold, you can actually get results. You can applaud for that. And if you get the job done, the voters will actually stand up with you.”

And applaud they did. Walker — one of several potential presidential candidates who spoke Saturday — received hearty responses as he talked about putting restrictions on abortion, approving a voter ID law, giving people the right to carry concealed weapons and tightly limiting collective bargaining for public workers.

Ben CarsonVideo (28 mins)

Speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit, Mr. Carson said strengthening the nation’s borders should be a top priority for the next president.

“Whoever wins in 2016, I’m pretty sure it is going to be a Republican,” Mr. Carson said. “I think they should make it their goal to seal that border within year.”

Mr. Carson’s said his “common sense” approach to the problem includes a revamped guest worker program for immigrants as long as they take jobs that American citizens won’t fill.

Under the plan, he said the illegal immigrants living here already would have leave the country before they could apply for a work visa.

Carly FiorinaVideo (26 mins)

With a calm tone and polished delivery, Fiorina introduced herself to Iowans as a business-savvy outsider, the kind capable of creating real change in government.

“Like Hillary Clinton, I too have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe,” Fiorina said. “But unlike her, I’ve actually accomplished something.”

That line prompted applause, hoots and hollers.

Fiorina also touted her international business experience to help position herself as one familiar with America’s allies and enemies.

“And unlike Hillary Clinton, I know what difference it makes that our American ambassador and three other brave Americans were killed in a deliberate terrorist attack,” she said, alluding to the 2012 attack at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The line brought a standing ovation from attendees, halting her mid-speech.

Mike HuckabeeVideo (33 mins)

“Not to diminish anything about the climate at all, but Mr. President, I believe most of us would think that a beheading is a far greater threat than a sunburn,” he said, echoing criticism the president took last year for not taking seriously enough the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) amid the beheadings of journalists.
Huckabee is exploring another run for president, recently ending his eponymous Fox News show to do so. That anticipated time conflict was one reason the former governor was given the final slot of the evening, so he could have made it from New York City to speak to the conservative gathering.

Instead, the audience that had been there since early morning had thinned out and was much more muted, something the former Baptist preacher even joked about.

“They that endure to the end shall be saved,” he said, referencing scripture.

He bemoaned Democrats assailing the GOP about income inequality, blaming over-burdensome regulations and government overreach for stunting economic growth.

“Sometimes I think the greatest challenge we face economically is intelligence inequality,” Huckabee said to laughs. “We will never be able to build a strong economy when we punish productivity.”

I included Palin and Fiorina in the list since they’ve both indicated they may have interest in a 2016 run. I’ve heard Fiorina say that several times now so it wouldn’t shock me if she launches a campaign. As for Palin, I doubt she will launch a 2016 presidential campaign but it never hurts to float the idea for the sake of publicity (See: Donald Trump).

Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney were not in attendance at this event though they were invited.

28 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent speeches, yet having heard it through I do beleve that Senator Cruz gave a speech that was a cut above the rest and, given his completely conservative record, would make the candidate most likely to be able to defeat anyone the DNC puts forward for next year. If our Republicans have overcome their DNC lite suicidal tendencies and really want to win this time, they will run Ted Cruz for President in 2016, to the rescuing of America!

    • victoriadelacy:

      Ted Cruz is not presidential material — his undeniable oratory skill
      is offset by gesticulating way too much, speaking about miracles instead
      of patriots’ accomplishments, and his zionist leanings do not make him
      “one of us”.
      However, he’ll make a great barker at a carnival show…. or TV Evangelist squeezing money from old ladies.

      • Senator Cruz has been tops in past polls and his conservative record as Senator in Texas proves his capacity to represent a majority of We the People who cheered when he spent over 23 hours on the floor of the Senate speaking out against the very socialized medicine bill that is poised to kill both the economy and the electorate, and which fully 75% of citizens as well as 89% of doctors were vehemently against at the time of it having been rammed down our collective throat by Obama et. al. America has historically taken a strong stand in defense of Israel, the one democracy in the middle east. Our Old Testament is their Torah so the connection is eternal. As far as patriot’s accomplishments are concerned, you will not find too many willing to stand firmly and go into action on behalf of the electorate to the degree that has been evident in his record so far to date. The left and the Paulbots both are going into damage control on steroids trying to derail his candidacy. I suspect that will be all in vain when it is said and done because he is a patriot well worth a run for the Presidency, could easily be the next President in the mold of the next Reagan and that is precisely what America so desperately needs following eight dreadful years under Obamunism. I will gladly support such a worthy candidate…all the way to the White House. Ted Cruz for President in 2016, to the rescuing of America!

        • Actually it is Ted Cruz that is trying to derail the only viable Tea Party candidate — Rand Paul!

          Cruz has ZERO chance — so should shut up.

          Calling the patriots that are Rand & Ron Paul followers “Paulbots”…?!

          Than, your likes are to be known as Cuban Cruzheads…..

          • Keep dreaming. When the Hospanics flock to the GOP to support one of their own for the Presidency and join the conservative base which is already overwhelmingly favoring him according to recent polls, Senator Cruz will take the nomination by huge margins. Put a one before your two “0’S” for a better reflection of the chances of champion for the values of We the People Senator Ted Cruz of Texas both taking the nomination and after that the Presidency toward helping America to steer back onto a rightward path toward restoration in Reaganesque fashion. I am looking forward to supporting that good patriot en route to the oval office.

            • “Hispanics will flock to the GOP to support one of their own.” Yeah. Right. Just like 72% of unmarried women voted AGAINST “one of their own” in 2008.

              In a recent poll,

              http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/308761-poll-clinton-hugely-popular-among-latino-voters-rubio-still-unknown

              Hillary is viewed positively by 71 percent of Hispanics, while seen unfavorably by only 17%.

              Meanwhile, Rubio is seen favorably by 31% and UNfavorably by 29%, while 40% don’t know who he is. If after all the face time he’s had over the past year or two, if Hispanics don’t know him, it means they don’t care.

              And, finally, in the same survey, 49% of Hispanics say they would be LESS likely to vote GOP if he’s on the ticket.

            • Once the record of Hillarious “What difference at this point does it make?” Benghazi treason Clinton is brought out by whoever gets the GOP nomination along with boy Clinton’s L’affaire Lewinsky related perjury impeachment and other horrors of his two term administration are brought out again for public scrutiny, Hillary will not be able to get a job as dog catcher, much less President! As to the Hispanic vote, my Puerto Rican grandmother’s maiden name was Gimenez and I spent over half a dozen years down there as a child, so I know how they think. Let Cruz get the nomination and Hillary’s aspirations will be history, as well they should be given her deplorable record in the first place. Whatever survey you are quoting will be a non-issue once we get Cruz onto the Republican ticket for next year. I can assure you his Hispanic heritage will hold far greater weight to Hispanics in general than anything a Clinton has to offer. Mark my words, it will be in the bag for Hispanics to flock to the GOP to support him for the Presidency and I for one can hardly wait to see that happen, to the rescuiing of America from the previous 8 years of sliding into the ash heap of history under Obamunism.

    • Sarah Palin:

      1) bubbles in the begining, then scores a great point with “Iowans proudly clinging to your guns, God and Constitution…” [minute 3:02] — properly identifying this part of America in being our Heartland.

      2) more bubbling talk interspersed with home-spun humor and not much of actual substance.

      3) [minute 13:20] Palin picks it up —slamming Hillary and Obama as “not into you”…getting huge applauds.

      4) [minute 17:30] — bashes the establishment GOP for failing to support patriots, and the Mainstream Media for ready to coronate Hillary.

      5) [minute 23:30] — no Amnesty for illegals, since they are lawbreakers by the vary fact of being here ILLEGALLY. Obama acts like a little boy that gets a fit when he doesn’t get his way, so tramples our constitution.

      6) [minute 31:30] — “I’m ready for Hillary, are you…) this sounds like a challenge, and Palin will win against Hillary on merit alone (aside from being likable and folksy, unlike Hillary who is cold and repulsive).

      Overall rating — *** stars (just above average).

      Conclusion: Palin is best suited to dissect the faults of the liberals and the rinos, but is not presidential material.

      • I think it’s funny that her bumbling was attributed to a teleprompter malfunction–after she claimed that Obama was too dependent on the teleprompter. Har.

  2. Ted Cruz:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkW4CZXaGto

    1) Great pun: “We spent all week in Washington, DC…so it is great to be back in America (Iowa)”! [minute 0:30]

    2) while still gathering applauds, for some odd reason he mentions Churchill as an example for America…?! [minute 1:40]

    3) gets religious on miracles why our country came to be?! — instead of the freedom loving people that just wanted to be FREE!

    4) [minute 5:00] keeps on proselytizing: “And Iowa believes in the miracle of America…”…?! Not in patriots that shed their blood to fight the English Empire in 1776…?!

    5) Makes great jokes about the EPA, followed by foolish Obamacare and IRS — great applauds!

    6) bashes liberal-insane litigation — scores points!

    7) [minute 11:00] — gets religious again, and gets applauds.

    8) [minute 16:50] — shows his Zionist colors AGAIN, by supporting the terrorist State of Israel as our best “ally” (instead of exposing Israel as the THE SINGLE CAUSE why islamists hate us, and thus attack US)!

    9) Nearly every second sentence contains the word ‘miracle’ ….so sad!

    Overall rating — ** stars (just below average).

    Ted Cruz is not presidential material — his undeniable oratory is offset by gesticulating way too much, speaking about miracles instead of patriots’ accomplishments, and his zionist leanings do not make him “one of us”.
    However, he’ll make a great barker at a carnival show…. or TV Evangelist squeezing money from old ladies.

    Cruz is not presidential material — gesticulates too much, waving one’s hands while being a firebrand is great to put down the opposition, but not

    • Ted Cruz:

      1) Great pun: “We spent all week in Washington, DC…so it is great to be back in America (Iowa)”! [minute 0:30]

      2) while still gathering applauds, for some odd reason he mentions Churchill as an example for America…?! [minute 1:40]

      3) gets religious on miracles why our country came to be?! — instead of the freedom loving people that just wanted to be FREE!

      4) [minute 5:00] keeps on proselytizing: “And Iowa believes in the
      miracle of America…”…?! Not in patriots that shed their blood to
      fight the English Empire in 1776…?!

      5) Makes great jokes about the EPA, followed by foolish Obamacare and IRS — great applauds!

      6) bashes liberal-insane litigation — scores points!

      7) [minute 11:00] — gets religious again, and gets applauds.

      8) [minute 16:50] — shows his Zionist colors AGAIN, by supporting the
      terrorist State of Israel as our best “ally” (instead of exposing
      Israel as the THE SINGLE CAUSE why islamists hate us, and thus attack
      US)!

      9) Nearly every second sentence contains the word ‘miracle’ ….so sad!

      Overall rating — ** stars (just below average).

      Ted Cruz is not presidential material — his undeniable oratory skill is
      offset by gesticulating way too much, and speaking about miracles
      instead of patriots’ accomplishments, and his zionist leanings do not
      make him one of us.
      However, he’ll make a great barker at a carnival show…. or TV Evangelist squeezing money from old ladies.

  3. gee I see a problem, the GOP Needs to pick 3 people to run why on earth are there 14 people wanting to try to clean up the Obamamess? This is how the Dems win they put their money, time and effort supporting one person while we sit around yelling at each other, ” my guy is best and if you don’t agree you are stupid” We won’t ever get the White House back this way. Personally I look at action more than words that come out of their mouths that someone else wrote. I’m looking for someone who knows how to restore a classic car- take it apart and rebuild it, cause that’s what needs to be done. Look at the education system – DC just pours more money in, what is needed is a new way of teaching – Why college? Might take a whole crew of rebuilders, restorers and demo people, people who believe in the Constitution and US laws are for all. I don’t know at this point – think Soros has done so much damage to our country using Obama to do it, might not be fixable people have proved to be greedy and no morals.

  4. Ted Cruz is not Hispanic. He 1/2 Latino..1/2 Anglo. If the Hispanics flock to the polls (for reasons of blood) it will be to vote for Jeb Bush. His wife is a true Hispanic, born and reared in Leon, Mexico.

      • Nate: Tess was replying to Victoria’s claim that Hispanics would “flock to the GOP” for Rubio, which is just silly.

        However, to say that Cruz is not Hispanic is like saying Obama ain’t Black. Cruz is half-Cuban and half-Canadian, that’s plenty Hispanic enough to qualify.

        • I just feel like I’m gonna puke every time a candidate is mentioned, then followed up by their ethnicity/nationality. It’s just American politics today.

          Hispanics will vote for a Hispanic.. Whites for the white, Blacks for the black…

          It’s disgusting.

          • Nate: I agree. As I noted, 78% of unmarried women voted against Palin. Since the voting rights act, Blacks have voted Dem and Southern Whites have voted Pub. But aside from that, the lines are not so strictly drawn, and picking an ethnic candidate is as silly as picking a “favorite son” when they wanted to win a state. Things don’t work that way anymore. Romney lost both Michigan and Mass.

  5. Identity politics is nauseating to whom? Identity politics runs through nearly every post on these pages. One identifies themselves as to their personal beliefs whether it is race, religion, or political choice. If I offended you with a statement of truth, I offer no apology.

    • What I meant was, here’s an idealistic rant..

      I was saying in general.. you just took the brunt of my comment. It disgusts me to slice up the electorate based on who will vote for who based on nationality, skin color, etc… It stands against everything we’re supposed to be founded on.

      It’s like those who argue Obama is “half black” or what have you. Who cares? Do you agree with his policies or not?

      Anyone (of any political persuasion) who votes for or against a candidate based on skin color or ethnicity is an idiot. I know it’s hard for some voters to actually discern what they believe and why they believe it, but come on people.. (people as in, the average voter)

      • Dude. We votes fer our own. Nothing wrong with that. It’s how democracy works (when it does work).

        If we think someone has OUR interests at heart, that’s who SHOULD get our vote. It amazes me how many people vote against their own self-interest because they get caught up in tangential arguments.

        Usually, when I hear someone say they “vote for the candidate” I’m pretty sure they’re either lying or ignorant of the issues.

  6. Can this nation truly be seeking a permanent solution to the problem of illegal immigration or do we just want to see politician after politician offer their do nothing schemes to secure money and votes to allow them to become rich off this never ending problem?

    In my opinion the best most practical and cost effective solution to illegal immigration is to determine the cost per illegal immigrant in US dollars and then set that as the reward and then allow bounty hunters to capture them dead or alive.

    This would remove the burden of securing our borders off the bumbling politicians / bureaucrats / law enforcement people and put the solution down into the hands of private sector individuals whose income for capturing/killing the illegals would benefit the local community with the reward money being spent locally.

    For example, if it is determined that each illegal cost our country $15,000.00 and a reward for that amount is set, then a bounty hunter who could average capturing or killing 100 per month could make a good profit and the money would be put back into the local community which would help offset the drain of money of illegals sending their money back to the countries they came from.

    By implementing the above plan, the problem of illegal immigration would be completely eliminated in just a few short months as thousands of illegals would be removed and the bounty hunters made rich and the remaining illegals not yet apprehended would be streaming out of our country to get away as fast as they could.

  7. The Congressional Budget Office reports illegal immigrants impose a net cost to state and local governments but “that impact is most likely modest”. Illegal Immigrants cannot draw Food Stamps, Medicaid, Social Security or ANY government assistance programs. Like Robert Rector, so many opponents of immigration choose to use illogical math translations. Children of illegal immigrants born in the United States are American citizens and cannot be counted in any immigrations costs. You may righteously complain about these natural born citizens and their cost to the welfare system.

    In 2006, $59 billion was spent on traditional social welfare programs. $92 billion was spent on corporate welfare. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance.

    There are six million undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States. The remainder of illegals are: Guatemala 480,000, Honduras 320,000, the Philippines 270,000, India 200,000, Korea 200,000, Ecuador 170,000, Brazil 150,000, China 120,000, and Canada 65,000.

    “A (2014) study from the Immigration Policy Center noted, ‘if all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Texas, the state would lose $69.3 billion in economic activity, $30.8 billion in gross state product, and approximately 403,174 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment
    time “. Illegal immigrants work for less than minimum wage doing all the menial tasks that no else is willing to do. They contribute to the economy by paying rent, buying groceries, utilities, all the basis of living. They do all the menial work, clean our houses, wash our clothes, take loving care of our children and do not complain. And they do pay taxes, A study by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found that undocumented immigrants paid $10.6 billion in state
    and local taxes in 2010. The study found that undocumented immigrants are “likely paying about 6.4 percent on average of their income in state and local taxes,” which is a tax rate close to that of
    “taxpayers in similar income situations and, in many states, can be higher than
    the effective tax rates paid by upper income taxpayers.”

    And lest we forget, 8 of the signers of the United States Constitution were immigrants.

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