Quote taken from a great interview with Ted Cruz.
Decker: The 2012 election was terrible for the GOP, which now has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential contests. Is this losing streak a problem of style, substance, or both? What do conservatives need to do to start winning national elections again?
Cruz: In my view, Republicans lost in 2012 and 2008 because they tried not to lose and painted not with bold colors but pale pastels. I think we do best when we present a clear contrast with the Democrats: “First you win the argument, then you win the vote,” as Margaret Thatcher used to say.
I think the biggest reason Republicans lost last November was two words: “Forty-seven percent.” I don’t mean that to criticize Mitt Romney, who is a good man who waged an honorable campaign. But that idea – that Republicans represent the views and interests of those who have already made it, rather than the interests of those at the bottom, striving to make it – is profoundly inconsistent with what we, as conservatives, believe. And that message was deadly for a political party in a nation struggling with slow economic growth, high unemployment, and a lot of recently lost household wealth. That’s why, for a long time, I’ve advocated what I call “opportunity conservatism.” Every domestic policy that we think about or talk about should focus like a laser on opportunity – on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder. We should look with a Rawlsian lens at how every policy impacts the most vulnerable among us, on how it impacts those struggling to achieve the American Dream.
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