Senator Ted Cruz of Texas plans to announce that he is running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, March 23, 2015. The Houston Chronicle was the first to announce Cruz’s intentions, on Sunday morning, March 22, 2015. The Tea Party leader and social conservative seemed to be working up to a presidential run in the past couple of months. The timing of the announcement however, is news. Cruz will be the first Republican to formerly announce a 2016 run.
Two of Cruz’s senior advisors confirmed to the Houston Chronicle that the Texas Senator intends to formally announce his presidential run on Monday morning, they chose to remain anonymous. Cruz will be making a bold statement by announcing his run at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia “the world’s largest Christian university,” and a symbol of evangelical conservatism. Cruz is making the announcement at part of his convocation ceremony address for the university.
Being the first GOP candidate to announce a presidential run, Cruz is also officially commencing the race to the 2016 presidential election. Freshman Kentucky Senator and Republican Rand Paul also intends to announce his bid in April, as does Democratic Party favorite Hillary Clinton. In the next couple of weeks the Republican field will officially enlarge, with “Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker” all working towards eventual runs and announcements.
Cruz has opted to bypass the exploratory process that most candidates undergo, and that Bush is the process of doing. Although Cruz has already made his fair share of visits to early primary states including “Iowa nine times, New Hampshire five times, and South Carolina five times.” Cruz’s advisors revealed he plans to raise “between $40 and $50 million” for his primary campaign. The Teas Leader wants to coalesce with the Republican Party’s libertarian, social and religious conservatives to be able to garner the nomination from more moderate and party establishment candidates like Jeb Bush.
Although Cruz might be able to fire up his base for Iowa and other primaries, analysts believe because he is not a mainstream candidate he will have a difficult to garner major donations, from “traditional contributors” and would receive few high profile “endorsements.” If Cruz does make to the general election, he will have a difficult time against the Democrats’ powerhouse Hillary Clinton. Currently, Cruz is lagging behind in the polls dominated by Bush and Walker.
Cruz, 44 is a third year senator was first voted in 2012 as Tea Party candidate. He has repeatedly clashed with more reserved Senate Republicans and leader Mitch McConnell, (R-KY). Cruz has been aggressively against Obamacare and the president’s immigration executive actions, taking a “demand action, not talk” approach. Cruz is widely blamed by Republicans for 2013 government shutdown after he filibustered the Affordable Care Act. Cruz is also blamed for delaying funding for the Department of Homeland Security, tying it Obama’s executive amnesty for nearly 5 million illegal immigrants.
Cruz has criticized the GOP’s “mushy middle” which he calls “a failed electoral strategy.” Last month speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference he summed his campaign approach, “If a candidate tells you that they oppose Obamacare, fantastic! (But) when have you stood up and fought against it. If a candidate says they oppose Obama’s illegal executive amnesty, terrific. When have you stood up and fought against it?”
Cruz is Cuban-American, he was born in Calgary, Canada but in 2014, he denounced his Canadian citizenship, and he grew up in Houston, Texas. He graduated Princeton University and “magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.” Cruz clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he “worked at the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department” and has served as solicitor general in Texas from 2003 to 2008 under current Texas Governor Greg Abbott. In 2000, he served as a domestic policy advisor for George W. Bush’s successful 2000 presidential campaign. Cruz however, made a name for himself a Tea Party powerhouse with his Senate primary win over Lieutenant Governor Ted Dewhurst.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.