URBANDALE, Iowa — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, opened the first Iowa outpost of his presidential bid Saturday morning with an emphasis on campaign frugality that bedeviled two former foes.
Speaking with reporters inside the Des Moines-area office, Cruz explained that his campaign purposely held off on securing the space as part of an "exceptionally frugal" effort to make the most of contributor dollars.
"We made the commitment to every one of our donors, whether it's a $5 donor or a max donor: We will be good stewards of their funds," Cruz said. "And so the reason why we delayed opening a physical office until after Labor Day is that we didn't want to expend the funds until we got closer to caucus day so we would have money in the bank."
Cruz then made reference to the first two GOP candidates to exit the 2016 race: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. He praised their service but vowed not to let his bid for the White House become engulfed in the same financial woes that ended their presidential runs.
"Both their campaigns ran out of money because when you spend your money early, you don't have the resources to communicate with voters," Cruz said. "We're committed to not following those mistakes."
Addressing supporters inside the office later Saturday morning, Cruz again stressed how tight-fisted his campaign has been, pointing out that until recently, his Iowa team was operating out of the living room of state director Bryan English. Cruz also suggested his campaign's thriftiness — as well as it slow-but-steady organization in Iowa — would pay off in a volatile GOP field.
"Every campaign cycle, you've met candidates who are flavor-of-the-month, who skyrocket up in the polls and then usually end up going down just as fast," Cruz told supporters. "You know, Scripture talks about building your house on a foundation of rock and not on sand. This campaign is designed to be built on a foundation of rock."
The office opening in Urbandale marked the beginning of a daylong swing through the Hawkeye State for Cruz. He is scheduled to speak Saturday evening at the Cornerstone Republican Gala in Thompson.