The Gate's Chelsea Fine and Liz Stark are on the ground in Iowa covering the Caucus. They spoke with Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi, on the eve of the first-in-the-nation 2016 Presidential vote.
Gate: What has been your personal role in Iowa?
Heidi Cruz: My role in this campaign has been one thing and that is to help Ted win. I started out by doing a lot of fundraising; I’ve been in the financial sector for my whole career and so I’ve been able to be helpful there. Then starting in the summer, I really went out on the road and gave speeches for him to tell people who Ted is; I think it’s been helpful for people to see who he is on a personal level and from his family’s perspective. The news media serves a very important role in the electoral process, but it’s incredibly biased and they have an opportunity to push their message, so this has been a great opportunity for someone who knows [Ted] better than anyone else to tell the country who he is.
Gate: And what is your strategy for the next 24 hours?
Cruz: Same that we’ve had the last eleven months! Keep telling the state, showing the state, asking the state to look at what Ted has been doing for the last twenty years, not [just] for this election. To look at who is the consistent conservative in this election, not a campaign conservative, not what are the talking points, but, what has the person done. That’s the strategy. And turnout!
Gate: What accomplishment of your husband’s are you most proud of?
Cruz: Probably him standing up against a whole system, against an entire body of people who say they don’t like him, but the reason is that he’s gone up to do what voters want him to do. He’s not there for the lifestyle, he’s not there to be popular, and that can be hard sometimes to stand alone, and him standing alone for truth and principle has been really, really inspiring.
Gate: Talk about some of the challenges and the rigor of being here in Iowa, day in and day out. What has that been like?
Cruz: Well, there are traveling challenges of hauling through airports and on the bus and all, but it’s so inspiring. Whenever you feel a little bit fatigued you just meet another group of people and it’s so energizing to see that the people who support the values of this country are not the wealthy. All Americans do so much for this country, but those who are out blockwalking, who are signing pledges, who are giving sacrificially. I met Kevin, of Iowa, a couple days ago. He came up to me and handed us two one-hundred dollar bills (you can take those funds for the campaign if you register the money under federal election law), but...he came from his home, he was retired, had an Iowan beard. This is a person who’s worked hard all of his life, who is giving sacrificially, not to Ted, but to support the values and the freedoms that he believes in for the next generation. When you see people who believe so strongly in principle that they’re willing to give so much, it really inspires you.
Gate: What lessons do you hope to take from Iowa to New Hampshire?
Cruz: Another anecdote, which is when you stand on principle, you get crossover votes, so we’ve had so many people come up too Ted and say, “I used to be a democrat and I’m switching my party” or, “I was an independent and I’m registering Republican tomorrow morning to vote in the caucuses.” When you run as truly who you are and you’re not going to change, people evaluate, “does this person share my values, any of my values” and if they find that you’re genuine and you’re telling the truth, they will vote for you. That’s been a great thing. When you do the right thing and when you tell them the truth, this country comes together.