Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) officially launched his presidential campaign today, making him the first contender in either party to officially enter the race. At midnight Monday morning, Cruz tweeted, “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” He made a more formal announcement later in the morning at Liberty University in Virginia, the Christian university founded by Jerry Falwell—where he drew loud applause when he told the crowd about his father finding Jesus Christ. His speech was, not surprisingly, designed for social conservatives: He blasted gay marriage, gun safety laws, and Common Core education standards. And he bemoaned the fact that half of born-again Christians do not vote. “Imagine millions of people of faith coming out to the polls and voting our values,” he declared.
So far, the young 2016 GOP contest has been dominated by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Thanks to his early announcement, the spotlight will be on Cruz. Here’s the best of Mother Jones‘ coverage on the combative Texas senator:
- Meet Ted Cruz, “the Republican Barack Obama.”
- Also, meet Ted Cruz’s firebrand preacher father, Rafael, who as a surrogate speaker for his son said President Obama should “go back to Kenya.”
- As a high-priced private lawyer, Cruz defended huge jury awards against corporate wrongdoers, but as a tea party politician he calls for tort reform that would prohibit such accountability.
- As a politician, he has championed the death penalty, but while he was in private practice, he argued in a Supreme Court case that the criminal-justice system could not be trusted to implement capital punishment.
- Cruz the lawyer also argued that Obama’s 2009 stimulus was a good thing.
- His theory on why Romney lost in 2012? 47 percent.
- Cruz has some interesting theories on climate.