Texas Sen. Ted Cruz attended a confidential dinner Tuesday evening alongside more than 20 top conservatives in order to discuss his future role within the conservative movement.
The dinner took place at the Virginia home of Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center and a conservative activist, who wants to position Cruz for a comeback in the vein of Ronald Reagan.
According to those in attendance, the topic of the dinner was about how Cruz could use his position as a senator to spearhead a campaign for president down the road.
Apart from Cruz and his chief of staff, Paul Teller, members of the dinner included Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint, Club for Growth president David McIntosh, Richard Viguerie, a National Rifle Association board member, former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell, and Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.
Going forward, these conservative leaders will seek to coordinate their manpower and finances, which are considerable in size and scope, in order to elect Cruz as a principled conservative.
The dinner did not discuss upcoming electoral politics or whether Cruz would be endorsing Donald Trump. In fact, there was reportedly one ground rule for the meeting: No talk of Trump.
For many of Cruz’s supporters, including those at Tuesday’s dinner, his recent defeat in the Republican primary is analogous to Reagan’s defeat in 1976. Cruz, they believe, can make an effective comeback in 2020 or beyond as Reagan did in 1980.
Cruz’s office has declined to comment on the dinner.
Bozell did comment on the meeting, however, saying the dinner, “was not about what Ted Cruz was going to do with Donald Trump. There was just discussion of the future of the movement and the future of Ted Cruz as the leader of the movement.
“There are a lot of similarities with Reagan in ’76, where Reagan came very close and then in ’80 won the presidency… I wanted to keep the focus on the future of the movement and Ted Cruz… He was with kindred spirits, and I would say most people in that room see him as the leader of the conservative movement,” added Bozell.
While Trump was not discussed, shots were apparently taken against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has run afoul amongst conservatives.
“In any gathering of conservatives, if you don’t have a negative comment about Mitch McConnell then you didn’t have a good conversation,” joked Bozell.
h/t: The Hill