Cruz Defeats Frontrunner Donald Trump in the Iowa Republican Caucuses

It looks like Ted Cruz is peaking at the right time…

The 45-year-old Cuban-American United States Senator and presidential hopeful won the Iowa Republican caucuses, in the first vote of the US presidential campaign.

Ted Cruz

Cruz bested frontrunner Donald Trump, raising questions about the billionaire’s reliance on his celebrity instead of traditional political organization.

Meanwhile, fellow Latino Marco Rubio‘s stronger-than-expected showing could mark him as the establishment’s best hope against a grassroots revolt in next week’s New Hampshire primary and beyond.

Cruz’s big win sets him up as a force to be reckoned with in the delegate-rich, Southern states to come and offers movement conservatives hope that one of their own can become the Republican nominee for the first time since Ronald Reagan.

“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee and the next President of the United States will not be chosen by the media, will not be chosen by the Washington establishment,” Cruz said.

With about 99% of the GOP vote in, Cruz was ahead of Trump 28% to 24%. Rubio was at 23%.

“It is breathtaking to see what happens when so many Americans stand up and decide they’re fed up with what happens in Washington and they want something different. They want a leader they can trust, they want a leader that stands for them against the corruption of Washington,” Cruz told CNN.

Rubio will also leave Iowa with a leg up over other establishment rivals including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who have a lot at stake in New Hampshire.

“This is the moment they said would never happen. For months, they told us we had no chance,” a jubilant Rubio said. “They told me that I needed to wait my turn, that I needed to wait in line. But tonight here in Iowa, the people of this great state have sent a very clear message — after seven years of Barack Obama, we are not waiting any longer to take our country back.”

Cruz To Stand Next to Donald Trump During Tuesday’s Republican Presidential Debate on CNN

Ted Cruz is right of center…

The 44-year-old half-Cuban American U.S. Senator from Texas and presidential candidate will stand to the right of polling front-runner Donald Trump during CNN’s Republican Presidential Debate from Las Vegas.

Ted Cruz

The cable news network announced its lineup and stage positioning for Tuesday’s debate, with Trump, the polling front-runner, taking the center podium.

Meanwhile, New Jersey governor Chris Christie will take the mainstage, an increase in his polling numbers getting him out of the not-ready-for-primetime debate of lower-pollers.

On the 1,400-seat Venetian Theatre stage for the fifth Republican primetime debate, from left to right, will be: John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Trump, Cruz, Jeb Bush, Christie and Rand Paul.

CNN Republican Presidential Debate

The lineup and positioning for the earlier debate will be George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum and Lindsey Graham.

Podium order was determined by the average of the national polls from November and December.

Wolf Blitzer will moderate the 8:30 PM ET primetime debate, with CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash joining Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt as questioners.

The focus of the debate will be national security.

CNN will begin its live coverage of the debates at 6:00 pm ET.

Rubio Named the Winner of the First Republican Debate

Marco Rubio is gaining some respect in his presidential bid…

The 44-year-old Cuban American politician, the junior U.S. Senator from Florida, has emerged as the real winner of the first debate among 10 of the 17 candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination despite the show put on by business tycoon Donald Trump.

Marco Rubio

The nation’s leading media and analysts unanimously gave the win to Rubio – he managed to present himself as the new blood the party needs to inspire voters and defeat the Democratic favorite, Hillary Clinton.

Rubio jumped into the national arena as a senator in 2010, and two years later made a name for himself with his nominating speech for Mitt Romney at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Nonetheless, Rubio came into the debate as seventh in the polls, far below the big favorites – Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The latter two disappointed in a debate where they were supposed to look “presidential” in contrast to the buffoonery of Trump, whose outrageous remarks have been the big news of the campaign over the past six weeks.

They committed no real gaffes, but neither Bush nor Walker excited the crowd, while Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie engaged in a heated argument about government spying, and Ohio Governor John Kasich had a good night in front of a supportive audience in Cleveland.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Texas Senator Ted Cruz were the invisible men on a night when, except for a few out-of-line remarks, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee also went unnoticed though he came into the debate fourth in the polls.

“Natural talent tends to shine through in big moments when the bright lights turn on. The senator from Florida, who had dipped in polls after a bump in the wake of his announcement, was terrific on Thursday night,” the Washington Post said Friday.

Rubio, without getting theatrical, managed to sell better than any other candidate his “American dream” – he has built an admirable political career despite being the son of a waiter and a housekeeper who left Cuba before the 1959 revolution.

“If I’m our nominee, how is Hillary Clinton gonna lecture me about living paycheck to paycheck? I was raised paycheck to paycheck,” he said.

“How is she – how is she gonna lecture me – how is she gonna lecture me about student loans? I owed over $100,000 just four years ago. If I’m our nominee, we will be the party of the future,” Rubio said.

Besides shaking up the list of favorites, the debate also served to show that Republicans remain very much on the right, which makes life difficult for the most moderate of them, Jeb Bush, and distances them from voting groups that are key to regaining the White House after its eight years as home to a Democrat.

“Overall, however, the debate did little to expand the appeal of the Republican brand. With the exception of Bush’s advocacy of immigration reform, the candidates offered little that would make their party more palatable to the portions of the electorate – especially women, young adults, and minorities – where they have struggled in recent presidential elections,” said William A. Galston, senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and former advisor to ex-President Bill Clinton.

“The party’s eventual nominee will have to do more to convince persuadable voters that Republicans stand for more than the sentiments of their aging, mostly white, mainly male, and highly disgruntled base,” the political analyst said.

Season Two of Consuelos’ “Alpha House” Debuting on Amazon in Late October

Mark Consuelos is an Alpha male once again…

Amazon Studios will be releasing all 10 episodes of the second season of the 43-year-old half-Mexican actor’s political comedy Alpha House on Friday, October 24 on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the U.S., UK and Germany.

Alpha House

From Garry Trudeau, the series follows a group of Republican senators who live under one roof. Along with Consuelos, who stars as Andy Guzman, Marco Rubio-like U.S. Senator from Florida, Alpha House also stars John Goodman, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy.

The second season finds the show’s protaganists at the precipice of a midterm election with one of them, Senator Guzman (Consuelos) prepping a 2016 bid for the presidency — a choice that puts Guzman in competition with one of his roommates.

Season two boasts a number of prolific guest stars including Bill Murray, Penn Jillette, Matt Lauer, Rachel Maddow, Jane Pauley, George Stephanopoulos as well as a number of returning guests including Wanda Sykes, Amy Sedaris and Haley Joel Osmet.

Cruz Makes History in U.S. Senate Race in Texas

Ted Cruz’s name will forever appear in history books in the Lone Star State…

The 41-year-old Cuban American GOP politician defeated Democratic challenger Paul Sadler on Tuesday night to become the first Latino to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate.

Ted Cruz

Cruz, endorsed by the Tea Party Movement, earned a commanding victory over Sadler to win the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

The Texas Secretary of State’s office shows Cruz won the race with 56.63 percent of the vote. Sadler had 40.45 percent, while Libertarian John Jay Myers had 2 percent and Green Party candidate had 0.86 percent.

In his victory speech, Cruz called for a return to the “common sense conservative principles” of Ronald Reagan and pledged to be a champion for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“It was morning in America,” when Reagan was elected president in 1980, Cruz told supporters, “and it can be again.”

He’ll be the second Latino Republican in the chamber, joining Florida’s Marco Rubio.

Rubio Tops List of Latino Speakers at the Republican National Convention

The 2012 Republican National Convention is officially underway in Tampa… And in its quest to woo more Hispanic voters, the GOP is shining a spotlight on the Republican Party’s rising Latino stars, including Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida.

Marco Rubio

Currently fewer than three in 10 Latino voters prefer Mitt Romney to President Barack Obama. If Romney can’t expand that number in the next two and a half months, he’ll have to run up a large percentage of the white vote to win the presidential election come November.

In 2004, President George W. Bush received more than 40% of the Hispanic vote, and won a narrow re-election. Four years later, Senator John McCain received less than a third of Latino voters, and lost the race.

So the RNC and an array of groups—the Hispanic Leadership Conference, the Latino Coalition, the Libre Initiative—are sponsoring several parties and events dedicated to Latino themes, with a never-before-seen level of attention being placed on Hispanic issues.

Only eight people will deliver primetime speeches that will be carried live on all three national networks on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Three of them will be Hispanics: Lucé Vela, the first lady of Puerto Rico; Susana Martinez, the governor of New Mexico; and Rubio.

Marco Rubio

Rubio, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, has been given what could be considered the biggest assignment of all.

Rubio, who was named this spring as one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine, will speak right before Romney takes the stage to accept his party’s nomination. In announcing his high-profile appearance, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoads praised Sen. Rubio as “the future of the Republican Party.”

Luce Vela

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico’s first lady Vela, a native of the island who attended college in Maryland, is scheduled to introduce Romney’s wife, Ann, at the convention on Tuesday night.

The high-profile post is a prime opportunity for Vela to introduce herself to Republicans — especially women and Hispanics — nationwide.

Susana Martinez

And finally, Martinez—the first Hispanic female governor in the U.S.—will take the stage before keynote speaker Gov. Chris Christie at the convention. The critical time slot, second only to that of the keynote speaker has been consistently reserved for the party’s up-and-coming talent – Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2004.

Other Latinos expected to speak at the convention include U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and Tea Party favorite, and Puerto Rico Gov. Luis Fortuño.

Rubio Among the Nine Latinos on Time’s 100 Influentials List

He may be the junior United States Senator from Florida with only about 15 months in office… But, Marco Rubio is already being hailed as one of the most influential people in the world.

The 40-year-old Cuban American politician appears on Time magazine’s just released list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Senator Marco Rubio

“I knew there was something special about Marco Rubio when I first met him as a young Republican city commissioner. Bilingual and bicultural, he represents the best of the emerging second generation of Cuban immigrants,” writes former Florida governor Jeb Bush about the U.S. Senator who is being called a potential vice presidential pick for the Republican Party. “His ascendancy in politics has not surprised me or the people who know him. Rubio’s abiding faith in the promise of America is so compelling.”

But Senator Rubio isn’t the only Latino making Time’s ninth annual list. In all, nine Latinos made the cut, including three females.

Here’s a look at the rest of the world’s most influential Latinos, according to Time.

Louis C.K.

Louis C.K.
The 44-year-old Emmy and Grammy-winning Mexican-American comedian/actor is the star of FX’s comedy series Louie, which he also writes, directs and edits. Comedienne Joan Rivers writes of Louis C.K.:  “When he sent me the Louie episode he wanted me to do, I called him and said, ‘I like it, but I’d like to work with you on this.’ He was wonderful. There is absolutely no ego there — we reworked the script together and we improvised. It was such a meeting of the minds, such a joy.”

José Andrés
Last year, the 42-year-old Spanish chef and activist won the coveted James Beard Foundation‘s Outstanding Chef Award, the highest honor a chef in America can achieve. But José Andrés wasn’t honored for his gastronomic work; he was recognized for his philanthropic efforts. Fellow chef Anthony Bourdain writes about José Andrés: “That this gift of Spain to the U.S. is best known as a great chef with a portfolio of extraordinary restaurants in Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas is almost beside the point. He’s bigger and more important than that. No one kitchen — or 10 — can contain him. He is advocate, promoter, entrepreneur, philanthropist, artist. Keep up with him at your peril.”

Dulce Matuz

Dulce Matuz
The 27-year-old Mexican illegal immigrant and advocate is the president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, the group working to provide a path to citizenship to children of illegal immigrants. Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria writes about Dulce Matuz, who attended high school and college in Arizona: “An undocumented Latina confronted with legal barriers to pursuing her engineering dream, she chose to fight for the right to contribute to the country she has called home since she was young. As president of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, Dulce promotes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who, like her, were brought to the U.S. before they were 16, attend college or serve in the military and are of good moral character. Dulce takes on powerful opponents with grace and conviction, saying, ‘We are Americans, and Americans don’t give up.’”

Eike Batista

Eike Batista
The 55-year-old Brazilian business tycoon, one of the richest people in the world, is the owner and president of Brazilian conglomerate EBX Group. Eike Batista made the list for his commitment to social inclusion initiatives in Rio de Janeiro. The city’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, credited Batista for bolstering Rio’s successful bid to host the 2016 Olympics and for donating to civic initiatives. “He might be Brazil’s richest man and the world’s seventh richest, bringing vital investment to our city from oil and mining, but his most valuable asset is his commitment to Rio’s legacy,” writes Paes.

Juan Manuel Santos

Juan Manuel Santos
The 60-year-old Colombian President may be recognized for helping his country in its bid to be a more developed world player, but Colombian pop singer Shakira believes he’s also a strong leader at home, especially after working directly with President Juan Manuel Santos on education and childhood development programs throughout the country. She writes, “A leader is someone who understands the people’s vision of a better tomorrow and is willing to guide them there. In Colombia, we dream of a future of progress, prosperity and peace. By focusing on education, I believe President Santos is on the right track to make that dream a reality.”

Maria das Graças Silva Foster

Maria das Graças Silva Foster
The Brazilian oil engineer was recently named the CEO of Petrobras, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of oil. She becomes its first female CEO and the first woman to run a major oil company. And, she’s known for being a tough, no-nonsense operator. “Foster, 58, spent her early childhood in a working-class favela on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and collected recyclable cans and paper to help pay for school. A chemical engineer by training, she joined Petrobras and stayed for more than 30 years. Her tireless work habits earned her the nickname Caveirao, slang for the armored cars Brazilian police use to clear out slums,” writes Bryan Walsh, a senior editor at Time.

Dilma Rousseff
President
The 64-year-old Brazilian politician, considered one of the world’s most powerful women, is the first woman to hold the office of President in her native country. Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández De Kirchner writes of Rousseff, “She and I share many personal experiences: the drive that comes from our immigrant heritage, youthful activism and militancy and the challenges faced by women as they try to grow in a space dominated by men. And we agree that social inequality is the greatest problem facing our countries. Historically, what was “national” in Latin America used to run counter to the interests of the other nations in our region. Today, with the leadership of Dilma Rousseff, we see a Brazil convinced that its national interest is absolutely linked to the interests of its neighbors.”

Lionel-Messi-Barcelona-Football-Player

Lionel Messi
Earlier this year, the 24-year-old Argentinean soccer star, who plays for Futbol Club Barcelona, claimed his third consecutive FIFA Ballon d’Or, making him the first footballer to win the honor three years in a row. U.S. soccer star Mia Hamm writes of Lionel Messi: “He makes you hold your breath every time he touches the ball. It never seems to leave his feet. His love of the game and the pride he feels while playing for Barcelona and Argentina are palpable. Then you meet him, and you are reminded that he is only 5 ft. 7 in. (170 cm),” says Hamm. “He certainly has the potential to be remembered as the best player of all time, and I am so grateful for his approach to the game in this day and age. Clearly he plays because he loves it, and it shows every time he takes the field.

Click here for Time‘s complete list of influentials.