Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first republican to announce his campaign for the 2016 presidency on Monday, March 23, 2015 at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Cruz graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He is known for being very conservative and for being associated with tea party circles.
Monday’s event followed Cruz’s announcement on his candidacy in a 30-second video message posted on Twitter after midnight the same day, about 24 hours after the Houston Chronicle first reported his announcement.
About 10,000 students from the university were present in the university’s main arena for Cruz’s announcement. Cruz picked this large Christian and socially conservative campus to give himself an early boost in the race for presidency.
Cruz began his remarks by talking about his family history and his path to Washington. He was born in Canada to a Cuban father and an American mother, which has caused much controversy for his presidential campaign.
Cruz focused on the future for the duration of his speech.
“At the end of the day, it’s listening to the people about the vision for turning the country around,” said Senator Cruz.
He repeatedly asked the Liberty University audience to imagine the U.S. under conservative leadership. He also laid out a vision for his presidency and the country.
“I like how he focused on his plans for presidency and how he is planning to make change,” said freshman Darsh Patel.
During his announcement, he attacked the Common Core education standards. He also pledged to try to abolish the IRS and kill Obamacare.
Cruz received his longest and loudest applause when he asked the audience to “imagine a President who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel.”
Cruz is a vocal critic of the Obama administration and Obamacare. He may be best known for his standoff during the fight against Obamacare and his role in the government shutdown. During the shutdown, Cruz gave a 21-hour speech on the senate floor.
Cruz is also an easy target for other candidates because of his past and family. People will use the fact that Cruz’s father was born in Cuba against him, similar to how people brought up the fact that Obama’s father was born in Kenya.
A huge controversy with his announcement is Cruz’s eligibility to run for president because he was born in Canada. Cruz is actually considered to be American because his mother was born in America. Cruz had a Canadian and American dual citizenship, but ended his citizenship in Canada, making him eligible to run.
Many people do not support Cruz because they want an American-born president.
“I don’t know how I feel about a president not born in the United States. I would rather have a president who was,” said freshman Ritik Bedi.
While being popular with conservative and tea party members, Cruz has a long way to go to gain broader support.
A CNN/ORC International survey conducted in March on the Republican primary showed Cruz coming in with four percent support among republicans and independents who lean Republican. He is behind Jeb Bush, who has 16 percent support, and Scott Walker, who has 13 percent.
Cruz plans on making stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, and New York to give speeches and sponsor fundraisers to gain more support.
Why do you think Ted Cruz should or should not be president?