Cruz's CPAC speech grade: A -

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Length: 30 minutes

Theme:  Conservatives are winning right now.  The way to continue that streak is to defend the Constitution and defend growth and opportunity.

3 Big Applause Lines:

  • "There's the fourth amendment, which protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures.  And I'll tell you right now, we need to repeal the NDAA."
  • "We need to repeal Obamacare, we need to repeal Dodd-Frank.
  • "We need to abolish the U.S. Department of Education."

The Joke:  "I do sure hope one of these days we could get Ann Coulter to speak her mind."

My Take: Speaking out in front of the podium, Sen. Ted Cruz honed in on the specific amendments of the Constitution, using them to outline the case for the conservative cause.  At the start, his speech wasn't as tight as other 2016ers -- he at times halted his own momentum by getting lost in a myriad of constitutional language and statistics.  But he got rolling and brought the audience to his feet with his ironclad calls for the repeal of Democratic policies. His closing call to arms won him the house and proved he's a darkhorse 2016er for the base. 

Grade: A -

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore