Meet The Influential Leader Of Ted Cruz's Iowa Fan Club

Iowa radio host Steve Deace is known as Iowa's “conservative hitmaker,” a powerful force in Republican primaries and an aggressive promoter of an extreme and often homophobic agenda. Now, Deace is one of Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) most vocal supporters, giving Cruz an advantage in the early Republican primary state.

Radio Host Steve Deace Is One Of The “Most Powerful Republicans You've Never Heard Of”

ABC News: Steve Deace Is Iowa's “Conservative Hitmaker - And Hitman.” ABC News crowned Deace “Iowa radio's Christian conservative hitmaker -- and hitman,” noting how the radio host was influential in helping Mike Huckabee upset Mitt Romney in the 2008 Iowa caucuses:

Four-years ago, in the run-up to the 2008 Iowa caucuses, the 38-year-old, self-described “conservative blowtorch” and unapologetic opponent of homosexuality and abortion used his then drive-time pulpit to help Mike Huckabee defeat Mitt Romney in his state's contest. Deace trashed Romney on his show at every opportunity, referring to the ex-Massachusetts governor by his first name, (“Willard is not a conservative!” the host frequently declared), and railing against other high-profile Republicans-including Rush Limbaugh-for championing Romney's candidacy.

At the same time, Deace gave Huckabee plenty of valuable airtime. It was on Deace's show in August 2007 that the cash-strapped candidate urged his supporters to get tickets and rides to the influential straw poll in Ames from rival campaigns. Huckabee, who spent virtually nothing on the event, came in a close second to Romney, who burned through more than $1 million on the affair-an early sign of Huckabee's surge. [ABC News, 12/9/11]

Bloomberg: Deace Is Among The “Most Powerful Republicans You've Never Heard Of.” Bloomberg's Dave Weigel listed Deace among the influential radio hosts in Iowa who shape the GOP nomination process because their early primary status grants them access to most GOP candidates. Weigel wrote that Deace is among the “few gatekeepers no GOP candidate can ignore.” [Bloomberg, 2/23/15]

Des Moines Register: Deace Is “Particularly Influential With Christian Conservatives.” The Des Moines Register highlighted how Deace is “an unabashed opponent of both gay marriage and abortion who believes the Bible is literally true”:

Conservative blowtorch Steve Deace, who left WHO NewsRadio in February, will be back on the air on a syndicated radio program starting next month.

His voice, particularly influential with Christian conservatives in Iowa, hits the airwaves Aug. 12, the day before the Republican Party of Iowa's straw poll in Ames - a development that won't make life any easier for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Deace, a West Des Moines Republican whose slogan is “fear God, tell the truth, and make money,” is an unabashed opponent of both gay marriage and abortion who believes the Bible is literally true. [Des Moines Register, 7/29/11]

Deace Promotes Ted Cruz In 2016 On-Air, Reportedly Advises Cruz Off-Air

Des Moines Register: "Deace Has Served As An Informal, Unpaid Consultant" To Ted Cruz. In a report describing Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) Iowa campaign strategy for 2016, the Des Moines Register stated that Deace served as an “informal” advisor to Cruz:

Cruz has already started organizing in Iowa. His paid Iowa adviser is Bryan English, a former staffer for the Christian conservative organization Iowa Family Leader and a former policy adviser to U.S. Rep. Steve King. English's hire was announced by Cruz's Jobs, Growth, and Freedom Fund PAC in early March. Iowa Christian conservative radio host Steve Deace has served as an informal, unpaid consultant, giving Cruz his take on the Iowa landscape and recommending connections with certain Iowans. And Kansas-based GOP strategist Jeff Roe, who has experience with Iowa political work, is Cruz's top organizing strategist. [Des Moines Register, 3/24/15]

Deace: “If We Had To Vote Today Who Would I Vote For? I Would Vote For Cruz.” Deace denied reports that he advised Cruz, calling the Des Moines Register report “wrong.” Deace claimed that he was often asked by candidates for advice on campaigning in Iowa, but added that if the election were held today, “I would vote for Cruz.” [USA Radio Networks, Steve Deace Show, 3/26/15]

Deace: “Cruz Is The Conservative Base.” The day Cruz announced his candidacy for presidency in 2016, Deace declared that Cruz could win because he “is the conservative base.” He went on, “He's birthed out of our DNA.” [USA Radio Networks, Steve Deace Show, 3/23/15]

Deace Defended Cruz Against Concerns That He Is Too Extreme For The Republican Party. Writing in The Washington Times, Deace defended Cruz after former Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) expressed concerns that Cruz was too extreme for the modern Republican Party:

Unfortunately, these days that same Mr. Lott criticizes Sen. Ted Cruz for doing exactly what he used to do.

The Washington Examiner said that Mr. Lott recently urged the GOP establishment to “lower the boom” on Mr. Cruz, and Mr. Lott also described Mr. Cruz as “one of the problems” when explaining why Democrat policies like amnesty for illegal aliens haven't lawfully passed yet (which Mr. Lott also blamed on Rush Limbaugh). Mr. Lott also said the GOP leadership should “move quickly to co-opt” new Republicans elected from the “far right” in November to “deputize them.”


Meanwhile, as Mr. Cruz gets ready to mount his 2016 presidential campaign, comments like these from Mr. Lott are political gold to the grassroots Mr. Cruz needs to rally to win the GOP nomination. They work as de facto endorsements. Similar to how a dog whistle works, Mr. Lott's feckless words make a sound only patriots can hear.

And what Mr. Lott is saying is this: “If you're looking for the one whom all the political hacks you loathe can't stand, here's your guy.” Cruz 2016 ought to feature words like these from Mr. Lott in its first campaign ads. You can't buy that kind of conservative street cred. [The Washington Times, 12/8/14]

Deace: Cruz Is The “Antidote” To The War On Women “Meme.” Writing for in October, Deace hyped Cruz's ability to “reverse the premise” of the so-called war on women:

Now the “war on women” meme has gotten so ridiculous Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Bailey (in honor of Michelle Obama) is trying it against his female opponent, Republican Joni Ernst. Bailey advocates killing women before they're even born, and he wants taxpayers to pay for it. Yet somehow we're supposed to believe he's more “pro-woman” than the actual woman running for office? It's an asinine assertion, but since most Republican consultants/candidates are allergic to going on offense the flawed premise remains.

The good news is there is an antidote. His name is Ted Cruz.

Taking a page - literally - out of my book Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again, Cruz perfectly demonstrated the Fifth Commandment of my “10 Commandments of Political Warfare.”

The Fifth Commandment reads: “Reverse the premise of your opponent's argument and use it against him.”

And that's just what Cruz did recently at a women's forum in South Carolina, one of the most important states on the GOP presidential primary calendar (I'm sure that's not a coincidence, by the way). Cruz accused President Obama of waging a war on women[.] [, 10/16/14]

Deace: “Elites Will Sneer At The Potential Of President Cruz At Their Own Peril.” In a June op-ed in The Washington Times, Deace argued that “Cruz could very well become the weapon of choice to 'make D.C. listen' in 2016”:

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is the Republican establishment's man in 2016.


This is not to slight several other solid 2016 candidates, several of whom I know and have interviewed several times. Many of those candidates are more tested and have lengthier resumes than Cruz. However, when trust in government erodes, moxie trumps credentials with voters, who are looking for fresh faces that haven't been tarnished by the system yet. GOP primary voters want someone who earns their approval, not the Beltway's. In fact, the Beltway's approval will wear more like a scarlet letter.

Cruz has tapped into this visceral energy by doing the very things the know-it-alls say are verboten. He's proud to represent a conservative base the ruling class often shuns and mocks. If the other non-establishment candidates want to avoid the coming “Cruz missile,” their only defense is to go on offense and show the base they are better qualified to ruthlessly take on Obamaism.

This next primary cycle won't be about who scores the highest on the worldview exam, who can raise the most money, or who says “Jesus” the most. People fear for their future. This next primary cycle is about survival, as in, who you'd want next to you when surrounded in a dark alley by the bad guys both foreign and domestic.

Elites will sneer at the potential of President Cruz at their own peril. Everyday Americans sent our sneering elites a message from Virginia's 7th Congressional District last week. Another message is likely coming from Mississippi's U.S. Senate runoff election next week. If these messages continue to fall on deaf ears within the 202 area code, Cruz could very well become the weapon of choice to “make D.C. listen” in 2016. [The Washington Times, 6/18/14]

In 2013, Deace Predicted That If The Iowa Caucuses Were Today, Cruz Would Win Handily. Projecting the possible outcomes for the 2016 Iowa caucuses in 2013, Deace forecast that Cruz would dominate the field:

With all that in mind, if the 2016 Iowa Caucuses were today, here's how I believe the first tier would finish and why:

1. Senator Ted Cruz (40%)

Right now he is seen as the one most willing to fight back against the status quo, if there's one thing I keep hearing from Iowans over and over again (as well as patriots I talk to across the country), it's that they're looking for a fighter. If the Caucuses were today he would lap the field, coalescing substantial numbers of both social conservative and liberty-minded Tea Party voters. As long as Cruz is seen as the most willing to fight on behalf of the grassroots, he will be tough to beat. [, 11/2/13]

Deace Is Known For His Homophobic And Extreme Rhetoric

Deace Compared Gay Marriage To Bank Robbery. While discussing his support for Arizona legislation that could leave the LGBT community open to discrimination, Deace compared gay marriage to bank robbery, asking, “would Jesus drive the getaway car for bank robbers in Christian love, just to be Christ-like, of course, to be relevant, to be hip?” [Right Wing Watch, 2/26/14]

Deace: Those Who Support Equal Rights For LGBT People Are Part Of A “Rainbow Jihad.” In a Washington Times column headlined, “The Rainbow Jihad Of The Cultural Marxists,” Deace attacked LGBT supporters whom he claimed “hijacked” the symbol of the rainbow, claiming that “most of the media are all in for the rainbow jihad”:

Nowadays the rainbow is symbolic of judgment again. Except this time no mercy is forthcoming from the cultural Marxists who have hijacked it. They seek to ruthlessly banish from public life any who still believe as those who founded America once did.

See, everything we social conservatives warned you years ago would happen if we went down the Rainbow Road is now here.

When we warned you granting a “right” to sexual perversion would lead to a fight over redefining marriage, the ruling class snickered. But it did, just as we predicted. When we warned you the battle over redefining marriage would lead to a debate over whether gender exists at all, the ruling class again snickered. But it has, just as we predicted. [The Washington Times, 10/20/14]

Deace: O'Reilly's Dismissal Of Marriage Equality Opponents Is A “Hanging Offense.” Following comments Fox News host Bill O'Reilly made in 2013 claiming that opponents of marriage equality lacked “a compelling argument,” Deace lashed out at O'Reilly, calling the host a “fraud” and his comments a “hanging offense.” [Mediaite, 4/1/13]

Deace: Obama Used The First Openly Gay Player Drafted In The NFL To Distract From Benghazi. In a column appearing in The Washington Times, Deace claimed liberals were using the announcement by NFL prospect Michael Sam that he was gay as a distraction from Benghazi:

Not to be outdone, a flailing president who seemingly has no time to give answers to the families of four dead Americans at Benghazi, or the millions he broke a promise to that they could keep their current health insurance if they liked it, couldn't wait to jump on Mr. Sam's bandwagon. [The Washington Times, 3/3/14]

Deace: “Jesus Says Obama Is Not A Christian.” In a Washington Times column headlined, “Jesus says Obama is not a Christian,” Deace imagined a conversation with Jesus Christ to question Obama's faith, claiming that “Jesus made it quite clear that President Obama is not a Christian”:

Who is more qualified to consult on who is and isn't a Christian than Jesus Christ?

When I asked him what he thought, Jesus made it quite clear that President Obama is not a Christian. And he was also kind enough to give me some quotes I could pass on to ya'll. [The Washington Times, 2/23/15]

Deace Declared Putin “The Peacemaker,” Claimed Obama “Counts Al-Qaeda Among His Allies.” In an article appearing in, Deace praised Russian president Vladimir Putin for his foreign policy strategy, claiming that Putin demonstrates American style strength on the world stage while Obama “Counts Al-Qaeda among his allies”:

In the geo-political game of “Survivor” the former KGB agent pretending to be president has out-witted, out-lasted, and out-played the former community organizer pretending to be president.


But what do you expect from [Obama] who touts the “holy Qur'an” in his first major foreign policy speech, believes the federal government has the power to make you do things that violate your moral conscience, uses the military to crack down on the worldview that founded the country, and counts the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda among his allies. [, 9/14/13]

Deace: John McCain's Political Stance “Nullifie[s] Any Purpose To His Persevering” As A Vietnam POW. In an article published in, Deace claimed that Senator John McCain (R-AZ) “nullified any purpose” to survive being a prisoner of war by supporting bipartisan efforts in congress (emphasis added):

To sum up, McCain has actively opposed the ideals that make our enemies hate us for all the right reasons - faith, family, and freedom. And he did so in many cases while running for president. Most politicians master the art of pandering as they gear up to advance their ambitions, but not McCain. It's almost like he has such disdain for American Exceptionalism he prides himself on opposing it, and panders to the progressive dolts in our liberal media instead.

Standing for all the wrong things these past few years essentially nullified any purpose to his persevering through the Hanoi Hilton. Why suffer through torture if you were just going to oppose the ideals that put you there in the first place? I suffered through physical and emotional abuse growing up. But there would've been no meaning to persevering through that suffering if I would've turned around and abused my own children as well. [, 7/13/13]

Deace: Governor Pence Is A “Gutless Hack” For Agreeing To Revise RFRA Law To Prevent Discrimination. Deace attacked Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, calling him a “gutless hack” and questioning his manhood after the governor requested the legislature revise Indiana's recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act which initially left LGBT communities open to discrimination. [USA Radio Networks, Steve Deace Show, 3/31/15; Media Matters, 4/1/15]