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The Brief: Aug. 11, 2014

The rivalry between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry warmed up over the weekend.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas thanks Republican delegates in Fort Worth on June 6, 2014.

The Big Conversation

The rivalry between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry warmed up over the weekend.

As the potential Republican presidential contenders gave dueling speeches at conservative events on Friday and Saturday, each appeared to be testing messages for possible 2016 bids — which, in the case of Cruz, included getting in a veiled jab at the competition.

Correcting himself mid-speech at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa Saturday, Cruz made a quip at Perry’s expense.  

“Victory number four — five. I could say ‘oops,’ but that would make news,” Cruz said, listing what he called conservative victories over the last two years. Perry, who preceded Cruz on stage in Iowa, uttered that phrase when he forgot the third federal agency he’d eliminate as president during a Republican debate in 2011.

That joke was one of many Cruz tossed out during his remarks, which drew a response that was “frequently rapturous from a crowd of perhaps a thousand,” according to Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register.

At the national RedState convention in Fort Worth, which they both addressed Friday, the two men “assailed Washington but also managed a few subtle swipes at each other,” according to Christy Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News.

While there, Perry got a warm reception as he called for conservatives to defeat U.S. President Barack Obama on the “battlefield of ideas,” Peggy Fikac of the Houston Chronicle reported, slamming the president for failed immigration policies and touting his own leadership in Texas.

He ended his speech with a line that received a standing ovation, according to the Trib’s Aman Batheja, “sounding very much like a presidential candidate, speaking forcefully about bringing America together around a common agenda of innovation.”

But it was Cruz who got the rock star treatment. 

"It's like all the Beatles in one person," RedState Editor-in-Chief Erik Erickson told the Chronicle.

The Day Ahead

•     The Texas House’s Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations will meet to weigh options in its investigation of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall.

Trib Must-Reads

A New Test For Texas’ Abortion Restrictions, by Gilad Edelman

Some Texas Cities Turn to Higher Water Impact Fees, by Eli Okun

Committee Weighing its Options on Wallace Hall, by Reeve Hamilton

Doctors Laud Expansion of VA Voucher Program, by Alana Rocha

Inside Texas Politics: Dueling Ads Before Labor Day, by Evan Smith


A Star-Powered School Sputters — New York Times

Michael Morton Act boosts transparency — and workload, attorneys say — Austin American-Statesman

Davis rape ad bold but risky, experts say — Houston Chronicle

Final arguments near in suit over Texas — Dallas Morning News

Little-known legal move could aid thousands of young refugees — Austin American Statesman

Quote to Note

"When we put these ads out there, we need to think about what's truly the intent. Surely no candidate would want to do more harm than good, but it's a triggering campaign ad, and we are going to prepare for that."

—  Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center Executive Director Bobbie Villareal on a recent ad released by the Wendy Davis Campaign highlighting the experiences of a rape victim.

Today in TribTalk

Close Texas' troubled centers for the disabled, by John Davidson

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    Health Care: What's Next?: Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith will lead a discussion with two of the Legislature's most respected thinkers on health care, state Reps. Garnet Coleman and John Zerwas, on Aug. 18 in Richardson. The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. 

•    The Texas Tribune Festival runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin.

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