Texas Senator Ted Cruz Enters GOP Race

Ted Cruz, Presidential candidate

Photo courtesy of Liberty University

Texas Senator Ted Cruz Enters GOP Race
| published March 23, 2015 |

By Thursday Review staff


Though there are more than a dozen major Republicans publicly considering a run for the Presidency in the 2016 election cycle, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has become the first to officially declare that he is a candidate.

Cruz, 44, announced his candidacy early Monday morning via Twitter and Facebook messages shortly after midnight. Later that day, in an announcement at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, Cruz made a personal appearance to declare his intention to run.

“Today, I am announcing that I am running for President of the United States,” Cruz told thousands of cheering students, teachers, political activists and reporters, “it is a time for truth, it is a time for liberty, it is a time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States.”

If elected President, he would become the first Latino chief executive; Cruz’s father is Cuban-born.

The former Texas Attorney General and outspoken conservative activist has been considering a Presidential run for some time, and has been on most political analysts short list of potential candidates. Cruz has also made no secret that he wants to run, and his attendance at dozens of major events in the last few months had left little doubt that he was weighing his options. Cruz has made appearances in New Hampshire and Iowa in recent weeks. Cruz also has a new book now in the final stages of preparation and editing, due out in June—a political call-to-action which may include the basic talking points of his campaign.

Rumors began circulating this weekend when it was first reported in the Houston Chronicle that Cruz was nearing the point of making it official, and that his announcement could come as early as Monday. By Sunday the Associated Press was reporting that several people close to Cruz were confirming his imminent announcement. His Twitter message after midnight, some analysts believe, was his way of staying ahead of the rumors until he could make his appearance at Liberty University later that same day. Cruz was already scheduled to appear on the campus at Liberty on Monday for a convocation service.

Senator Cruz is a Tea Party favorite and an outspoken, scrappy critic of President Barack Obama. Cruz is also known for some of his more colorful solutions for improving the United States, including the abolishment of the Internal Revenue Service and the elimination of many Federal Regulatory agencies. Cruz has been a particularly vocal critic of Obama’s health care law, which he hopes can be repealed by a Republican-controlled Congress.

In Cruz’s speech before 11,000 students, teachers and reporters on Monday, he described the difficult challenges which faced his parents and his family—a father who immigrated from Cuba and worked tirelessly to achieve the American dream; a mother who was the first in her family to attend college, working her way into computers and software development at a time when few women found the doors open to success in technology. Cruz also vowed to repeal Obamacare, help craft a tax overhaul, and bring about genuine immigration reform.

The junior senator from Texas can be expected to shake-up the soon-to-be-crowded GOP race. He has often been as critical of his own party as of Democrats in Washington, and he has famously said that Washington's biggest problem is that it doesn't listen to the voters. Though Cruz is the first to officially declare himself a candidate, more than a dozen others have formed political action committees, begun fundraising, and have made appearances at important events in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida.

In addition to Cruz, other potential candidates include Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Rand Paul, Lindsey Graham, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, businessman Donald Trump, and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson. Cruz's sudden entry into the crowded field also reveals new financial pressures building toward critical mass within the GOP: major candidates are already locking in some of the party's biggest donors, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in particular, is expected to soon break all records for campaign fundraising. Cruz may be seeking to estabish a foothold before the GOP rainmakers solidify their financial allegiances to the other top tier candidates.

Related Thursday Review articles:

Bush Versus Clinton: Transparency Wars; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; March 19, 2015.

Ben Carson Enters GOP 2016 Contest; R. Alan Clanton; Thursday Review; March 14, 2015.