Cruz cruises into Memphis

Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz brought his ultraconservative message of avoiding “the mushy middle” to the Memphis area Tuesday, reports the Commercial Appeal. He had stops at Olive Branch, Miss., just across the Tennessee border, and at Agricenter International in Memphis proper — both following a four-stop tour of Tennessee on Monday.

Speaking to a packed house at an Olive Branch restaurant — just as many more crowded in front of windows to get a glimpse from outside — before heading to an afternoon stop at Agricenter, Cruz sounded his familiar campaign theme of reining in government overreach and strengthening the country’s position abroad.

“It’s now or never,” Cruz told the Olive Branch crowd to wild applause. “If we don’t change the path we’re on, we’re going to lose the greatest country ever.”

Cruz outlined his first-day-in-office plans if elected, starting with overturning all of President Obama’s executive orders followed by an investigation of Planned Parenthood.

…The swing through the Mid-South — Cruz started the day with a stop in Tupelo, Mississippi — was part of a bus tour of the “SEC primary” states, those Southern states holding primaries March 8. Cruz was in parts of Tennessee on Monday and was headed west into Arkansas and Oklahoma after the Memphis area stops.

Emboldened by last week’s initial GOP debate in Cleveland, which Cruz said sparked $1.1 million in contributions in 100 hours, the junior senator from Texas was quick Tuesday to promote his conservative pedigree.