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Cruz To Launch White House Bid Monday

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Cruz To Launch White House Bid Monday

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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

By Maria Recio and David Lightman, McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS)

WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will announce his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination Monday, starting an uphill quest for a young newcomer to elective politics with a knack for picking high-profile battles but a short record of success so far.

Cruz, 44, will jump into the race just two years after being elected to office for the first time, a sign of the eagerness to take on more established Republicans that has marked his short career in politics and in the Senate.

His entry will be the first of a field that is expected to include former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Cruz’s fellow Texan, former Governor Rick Perry.

Cruz is a skillful speaker and one of the biggest audience-pleasers in the Republican field. But the cheers in preliminary appearances in early voting states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina so far have rarely translated into tangible support. His Tea Party base is warming to Walker, and growing numbers of conservatives are seeking someone who would be more likely to win a general election against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In a McClatchy-Marist poll this month, Walker had the support of about one-fourth of the “very conservative” Republicans and one-fourth of Tea Party supporters. Cruz was backed by 3 percent of each group, far behind other contenders.

Cruz also was the weakest rival to Clinton out of five tested, the survey found.

Even in Texas, Republicans have warmed to Walker at the expense of Cruz. After trailing Cruz by 25 points among Texas Republicans, Walker now is within a point, according to one recent survey.

Cruz will skip Texas as a backdrop for his announcement, traveling instead to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. The choice of the private Christian school in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains suggested Cruz’s plan to play to not only the right but to the evangelical wing of the Republican Party.

“He is trying to nail down as much of the base as he can as early as possible and steal a march on others who might try to claim the base,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

The school was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, an influential leader of the Christian Right who helped elect Ronald Reagan in 1980, and whose school has been a popular venue for Republicans seeking to reach out to social conservatives and Christian voters.

The Tea Party vaulted Cruz, a political novice who had never held elective office, to the U. S. Senate seat in 2012. He had attracted attention as Texas solicitor general, an appointed position, and took on the state’s Republican establishment by challenging Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Perry’s choice.

After his surprise victory in a primary run-off election, Cruz continued to endear himself to the far right soon after coming to the Senate with a 21-hour floor speech against the Affordable Care Act that helped force a partial federal government shutdown. The gambit did not succeed in forcing repeal or weakening the health care law.

While Tea Party leaders still like Cruz, they’re also looking elsewhere for 2016. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, regarded as a new voice and a Washington outsider, has drawn a passionate following, particularly in Iowa. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Iowa caucus, retains a loyal conservative following.

Walker so far has pulled ahead of everyone, and held a telephone town hall last week with followers of one group, the Tea Party Patriots.

Afterward, the group said on its website “there is perhaps no one the left fears more than this accomplished Midwestern governor, as Walker is proof that leaders don’t have to ‘shift to the middle to win the middle.”

Tea Party supporters make up about one-third of the vote in the Iowa Republican caucus, the nation’s first electoral test.

But Walker has had some stumbles and the door is still open for Cruz and other candidates. None of the three top-tier Republicans at this point, Walker, Bush and Rubio, draw more than 19 percent support nationwide. Cruz, a champion debater at Princeton University, could shine when Republicans begin monthly debates in August.

Cruz has a lot of goodwill among conservatives. A Quinnipiac University Iowa poll last month found 46 percent of Republicans viewed him favorably and 19 percent unfavorably. And two-thirds of tea party supporters and 55 percent of white evangelicals see him favorably.

Bush is seen unfavorably by 40 percent.

With his announcement Monday, Cruz will have the media attention, but only for a short time. Paul is expected to announce April 7 and other candidates are lining up, as well. Perry, who had a dismal 2012 presidential campaign, has said that he will decide by May or June.

UPDATE: Cruz announced his candidacy via Twitter on Sunday night.

Photo: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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29 Comments

  1. FireBaron March 23, 2015

    So, the one declared Republican Candidate is Ted Cruz. Too bad. Considering he is not qualified for office according to Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution. Also, too bad, considering that his supporters are the ones who think Sarah Palin “sold out” by running for VP on the ticket with someone the Rabid Right considers a RINO.
    The point of the nomination process is to select an “electable Conservative” to quote William F. Buckley. Not to select someone that the party faithful will come out to vote for in the Primaries, and cause everyone who is not a Registered Republican to come out and vote against him in the actual election.
    Even his selection of Liberty University (that great, unaccredited institute of emptying parent’s bank accounts in return for a piece of paper not worth the investment) instead of his Home State of Texas should be taken as a sign. If he cannot launch his candidacy in what should be a safe venue, where he would receive “Native Son” treatment, then who would he be beholden to?

    Reply
  2. Duke March 23, 2015

    How can Cuban/Canadian Cruz ( he was not born in the U.S.) run for President? WHERE IS HIS BIRTH CERTIFCATE ? — teapubicans are hypocritical idiots.

    Reply
    1. kenndeb March 23, 2015

      Where is the Emperors?

      1. darkagesbegin March 23, 2015

        proper English grammar is “where are the Emperors?” If you mean the penguins, they are probably in Antarctica, if it hasn’t melted yet…

      2. jmprint March 23, 2015

        It depends where are you?

      3. BillP March 23, 2015

        Go back to your beer and smokes troll. You can go online to see President Barack Hussein Obama’s birth certificate. You are just too lazy to do the simple work

        1. kenndeb March 23, 2015

          You mean Bath House Barry Soetorro?

          1. BillP March 24, 2015

            Is that the best you can come up with, that’s a very lame response even for a troll like you. As I stated before you are just too lazy to do the work to see President Barack Hussein Obama’s birth certificate. Go back to your smokes and beer troll.

          2. kenndeb March 24, 2015

            Can we say forgery?

          3. BillP March 26, 2015

            Can we say just another “birther” fantasy, no basis in reality. Anyone can go to the State of Hawaii Vital Records to obtain a copy of the birth certificate but that would require you do some research.

          4. kenndeb March 27, 2015

            His entire life is a lie. Everything cloaked in secrecy, yet you liberals worship the fraud.

          5. BillP March 27, 2015

            Your replies are typical of a right wing troll, President Barack Hussein Obama’s life is a lie, he wasn’t born in Hawaii, blah, blah, blah. Offer some verifiable proof of your bs or better yet go check out the State of Hawaii’s Vital Records website. You won’t because you are too lazy and biased to find the truth. Go back to your smokes and beer loser.

    2. darkagesbegin March 23, 2015

      I think this is why” the Donald” has never declared, too much red tape involved to get a copy of his Martian birth certificate. And to get the long form one, you actually have to fly to Mars and stand in line at the Vital Records office…

      1. plc97477 March 23, 2015

        Could we rescind his passport and not let him back?

    3. Roberto Davila March 23, 2015

      Man you are so right. Tea nuts are nuts

    4. jamcrky March 23, 2015

      yeah i would like to hear what the birthers are going to said about this…..

  3. FT66 March 23, 2015

    Well come to the battle Ted Cruz, but you are not aware of something called “FIFO” (First In, First Out). 18% of Americans have never heard of the name Ted Cruz (even with you shutting down the government). Myself I don’t think it is important to see a young face sitting in the White House. What for? while old faces like that of McCain, McConnell (to mention the few), don’t want to retire from Congress, and wait to be pulled on wheelchair, just going to vote for something the don’t know, like the late Robert Byrd did. I would like to see a young face in the Oval Office, when both Chambers are full of young faces. That I hope will solve out a lot of problems if not all.

    Reply
  4. darkagesbegin March 23, 2015

    Cruz…isn’t he a Kenyan?

    Reply
    1. Duke March 23, 2015

      Yes he is ! Actually Kenyan/Cuban/Communist/Anti-Christ – I heard it on Fox News ! I just realized how much fun this is going to be! Karma is a b!tch !

      1. darkagesbegin March 23, 2015

        that’s what I thought, and if it was on Fox, it surely must be true!

    2. kenndeb March 23, 2015

      That would be the liar in chief, the tyrant emperor.

      1. darkagesbegin March 23, 2015

        A little harsh on Ted, aren’t you?

        1. kenndeb March 23, 2015

          I know liberals are blind and stupid, but really? I was of course referring to the usurper in the WH.

          1. jmprint March 23, 2015

            Of course you are, why else would you spend time here if not to enlighten us about your racist hatred towards our president.

          2. BillP March 23, 2015

            Troll are you referring to the twice duly elected by a majority of American voters troll. The word usurp means “to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right” . Since President Barrack Hussein Obama won two nationally held elections, your choice of words is inaccurate, that is par for you troll.

          3. Carolyn1520 March 23, 2015
  5. jmprint March 23, 2015

    This guy is really, really into himself. Anybody that votes for him is as stupid as they come.

    Reply
    1. pmbalele March 23, 2015

      You’re right. We have a lot of gullible people in this country. They are swayed by smarty pants who want their money. Look, now they are trying to recruit Ted Cruz who they know was not born on US soil. Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban father and American mother. That is why he has allegiances are to Canada and Cuba. Cruz was on migrant worker program but lied he was American. We are in trouble with fakers like Cruz.

      1. jmprint March 23, 2015

        Well they are needing to play ball with the hispanic voter. Most people do not listen to politics, they hear TV commercials, and listen to others opinions. They are counting on having the cruz name on the ballot to mislead the poor voters. We will need to work hard and educate these voters. They will soon learn Cruz is a snake.

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