I watched the announcement a few minutes ago. Video later when I can get it.
Published March 23, 2015
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz announced that he will run for president in 2016 via a Twitter post early Monday, becoming the first major candidate to officially declare.
The 30-second video accompanying the tweet featured Cruz speaking over a montage of farm fields, city skylines and American landmarks and symbols, calling on “a new generation of courageous conservatives to help make America great again.”
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Will Ted Cruz throw his hat in the 2016 ring?
“I’m ready to stand with you to lead the fight,” Cruz says as the video concludes. Shortly after midnight Monday, the campaign had launched its website.
Cruz had been expected to make the official announcement later Monday during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. He is expected to start his campaign immediately rather than launch an exploratory committee, which many do as a precursor to a campaign.
Watch Cruz on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Monday at 10 p.m. ET.
Amy Kremer, the former head of the Tea Party Express, told the Associated Press Sunday that the Republican pool of candidates “will take a quantum leap forward” with Cruz’s announcement, adding that it “will excite the base in a way we haven’t seen in years.”
Other candidates who have been rumored to run for the GOP nomination include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Cruz, 44, a favorite of the Tea Party movement who has made headlines for his conservative stance on immigration, has gone after other Republicans for their more moderate views.
In December, Cruz defied party leaders to force a vote on opposing Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The strategy failed, and led several of his Republican colleagues to call Cruz out. “You should have an end goal in sight if you’re going to do these types of things and I don’t see an end goal other than irritating a lot of people,” Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch said at the time.
“Cruz is going to make it tough for all of the candidates who are fighting to emerge as the champion of the anti-establishment wing of the party,” GOP strategist Kevin Madden told AP. “That is starting to look like quite a scrum where lots of candidates will be throwing some sharp elbows.”
“He’s awfully good at making promises that he knows the GOP can’t keep and pushing for unachievable goals, but he seems very popular with right wing,” added veteran Republican strategist John Feehery. “Cruz is a lot smarter than the typical darling of the right, and that makes him more dangerous to guys like Scott Walker and Rand Paul.”
In recent weeks, Cruz has faced questions over his own citizenship. Two former Justice Department lawyers said last week there is no doubt the Canadian-born senator is eligible to run for the White House.
“There is no question that Senator Cruz has been a citizen from birth and is thus a ‘natural born Citizen’ within the meaning of the Constitution,” Neal Katyal, acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, and Paul Clemente, solicitor general in the President George W. Bush administration, wrote in a joint article.
Anti-Cruz “birthers” challenged his citizenship status because he was born in Canada. However, two years ago, Cruz released his birth certificate showing his mother was a U.S. citizen born in Delaware, presumably satisfying the requirements for presidential eligibility as a “natural born citizen.”
Last month, Cruz addressed the citizenship issue during a question-and-answer session with moderator Hannity at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I was born in Calgary. My mother was an American citizen by birth,” Cruz said. “Under federal law, that made me an American citizen by birth. The Constitution requires that you be a natural-born citizen.”
With a little more than a year and half to go before the 2016 election, speculation is heating up that several presidential contenders will soon officially throw their hats into the ring. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who enjoys a wide lead among potential Democratic candidates despite the recent uproar over her use of a personal email account while leading the State Department, is expected to announce her candidacy next month.