The Buzz

`Ruthless’ Jeff Roe predicts victory, talks analytics, gets emotional

Jeff Roe of Kansas City is Ted Cruz’s campaign manager.

On Sunday, “Fox News Sunday” broadcast an interview with Roe in which the consultant boldly forecast a Cruz victory, admitted that he has a ruthless streak, talked campaign analystics and how long he wants readers to spend with each of his direct-mail pieces. (Watch his comments on direct mail here. The video is at the top of the page).

Roe also got emotional talking about the number of volunteers working on Cruz’s campaign.

Here’s the transcript from Fox:

CHRIS WALLACE: We’ve started introducing you to some of the key figures behind the leading presidential contenders. Well, today, a hard-ball consultant for a hard-ball candidate. Here's our "Power Player of the Week."


ROE: I think the rigors of democracy require us to have a real full-throated conversation about our beliefs, defend our beliefs, and point out the differences in our opponent’s beliefs.

WALLACE: (voice-over): Full-throated is the high-minded way Ted Cruz’s campaign manager Jeff Roe describes his brand of politics, but a video for his company brags --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, POLITICAL AD: (INAUDIBLE) will help you defeat your opponent.

WALLACE: He's ruthless in backing his candidate.

ROE: Your entire life is going to go under a microscope. And I think people want someone with them that will ruthlessly defend them.

WALLACE (on camera): So you don't shy away from that word?

ROSE: Oh, no. Sure, I -- I -- ruthless. I’m -- the context of it to me is it's just all in.

We had a good few days in Iowa.

WALLACE (voice-over): Roe was all in for Cruz, leading an army of 200,000 volunteers, in a campaign that emphasizes data.

ROE: We now have volunteers in -- in 68 percent of zip codes in this country. We have volunteers in 81 percent of zip (ph) in this country.

WALLACE: Roe uses something called psychographic targeting, relying on publically available information on voters.

ROE: We have 17 different scripts out the door, on the phones and different mail pieces for each voter segment.

WALLACE: Which means they not only know if you back gun rights, but whether you're more likely to respond to a mailer about the hunting tradition or crime stats in places with less gun control. The bottom line, to brand Cruz for voters.

ROE: Scrape all the social media messages, scrape all the nightly tracking and analytics we do. It is "strong," "Christian," "conservative," "leader" are the big words in the word cloud.

Can you explain to him what we’re doing now (INAUDIBLE) have any idea?

WALLACE: Jeff Roe built his reputation as the bad boy of Missouri politics. In 2008, he targeted a Democrat who was running for Congress.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, POLITICAL AD: Big city mayor Kay Barnes and Nancy Pelosi celebrating their San Francisco values.

WALLACE (on camera): Is that where attacking Donald Trump's New York values came from?

ROE: I think you’d be hard pressed to find a campaign that didn’t talk about values. So there’s no -- there's no link.

WALLACE (voice-over): Four years ago, Roe worked against Cruz in the Texas senate primary. He put on the mailer charging Cruz betrayed his country by representing a company with ties to China. Now they're on the same side.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are running a deeply data driven analytical campaign and identifying the voters we need and devoting the resources to mobilize them and get them out and win. And Jeff does just a remarkable job.

WALLACE (on camera): How confidence are you that Cruz is going to win this nomination?

ROE: Oh, we’ll win.

WALLACE: Excuse me?

ROE: We will win. And we’ll win because it’s hard to stop a -- the movement has chosen him to be the leader.

WALLACE (voice-over): And then something surprising happened as the ruthless bad boy described the grassroots support.

ROE: We have millions of people that are donating to the campaign. That's big stuff.

WALLACE (on camera): You're getting emotional.

ROE: Yes.


ROE: It's important who our -- who runs our country is important. And this is an honor to lead it.


WALLACE: Roe grew up on a hog farm in Missouri. When I asked how that prepared him for a career in politics, he said, hog farms are a lot cleaner.