The Americans for Prosperity annual Defending the American Dream summit was held this weekend in Ohio, and hosted five of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates:  Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal.  The clear favorite of those in attendance was Ted Cruz.

Thomas Beaumont reports:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was the hands-down favorite of the Americans for Prosperity annual summit in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, if the number and volume of ovations during the speeches of five presidential candidates who addressed the annual convention of tea party activists was the measure.

. . . .  Cruz, the tea party favorite since his 2010 election, sparked deafening cheers in the Columbus Convention Center auditorium even before he took the stage, entering to the 1980s power anthem “Eye of the Tiger.” During his speech Saturday, he went on to promise to “repeal every word of Obamacare,” and” rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.”

Each of Cruz’s lines was met with applause and cheers from the more than 3,000 activists.

Watch Cruz’s full speech:

The Twitter response speaks to the success of Cruz’s speech and of his message:

Cruz’s speech is contrasted with that of Jeb the day before:

Beaumont continues:

Bush, who spoke a day earlier, worked hard but earned far fewer cheers, and mostly polite applause, from the anti-tax, economic conservative audience from around the country.

David White of Marietta, Ohio, was unimpressed with Bush.

“He did not articulate any plan for what he intends to do as president,” said White, of southeastern Ohio. “He used his time to try and rearrange perception of his record in Florida.”

Bush did stress his experience during eight years as Florida governor, noting tax cuts, reduction in the state government workforce and an overhaul in the state’s education system.

Jeb’s campaign strategy seems to be a reliance on his relatively conservative record as Florida governor, a record he established back when he “used to be a conservative.”

The other presidential hopefuls also outshone Jeb at the summit.  For example, Bobby Jindal is particularly articulate and passionate when discussing the need for assimilation as he speaks for a united, rather than a divided, country, a melting pot not a salad bowl.


While Jindal, Perry, and Rubio gave strong performances, it was Ted Cruz who “blew the house away.”


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