(CNN) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Saturday urged Republicans to do something that he claimed had never been done before: nominate a Republican who supported Ronald Reagan for president in the 1980 primaries.
“Let me give you an amazing statistic,” Cruz told a packed house at the Gateway Hotel in Ames, Iowa. “Do you know if you define as a Reaganite anyone who supported Ronald Reagan in the 1980 primary, do you know that the Republican Party has never once nominated a Reaganite to be president since 1984? Every single nominee since 1984 opposed Ronald Reagan in the 1980 primary. ”
The pitch was clear: GOP voters now have the first chance since Ronald Reagan to nominate someone in the mold of Ronald Reagan. “I’m 45 years old,” he said. “I have never once had the opportunity to go to a general election ballot and vote for a Reaganite on the ballot. We are inches away from doing that right here.”