Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, declared his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He made the announcement from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
“Today I am announcing that I am running for president of the United States.”
With those words, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz becomes the first candidate trumpeting his intention to go for the GOP nomination.
University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus says Cruz hopes to carve a position that is dedicated to core socially conservative principles.
“The fact that he did this in Liberty University and the fact that he talked about his faith and about how faith should guide the decisions of the U.S. I think he’s trying to capitalize on a kind of movement in the Republican Party to take back those kinds of values,” Rottinghaus says.
Mark Jones is a fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute. He says in a way, Senator Cruz wins — even if he doesn’t win the GOP nomination. “This will allow him to reach a much broader Republican audience that he has from his current position in the U.S. Senate, and to do so in a way that he can spread the gospel of his constitutional conservative message, much like a big-tent preacher in the revival movement. Except the gospel he’s gonna be preaching is the gospel of conservatism,” Jones says.
Tea Party favorite Cruz may have to moderate his stances to win the nomination.
Brandon Rottinghaus says Republicans haven’t nominated an extreme conservative candidate since Barry Goldwater. “He has, by some accounts, become the most hated man in the Senate. It’s problematic for him because he needs to develop enough of a coalition so that activists on the ground can see that he is an electable candidate.”
Cruz’s Jobs, Growth and Freedom PAC has added nationally-experienced political operatives, and has relocated to a headquarters on Upper Kirby here in Houston.
Tweet from the announcement
— Don Gonyea NPR (@DonGonyea) March 23, 2015