Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is set to deliver a major speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, on Monday morning—and speculation is mounting that Cruz may indeed launch a presidential bid right then and there.
Roll Call’s Niels Lesnewski reported on Saturday that the speech is being “billed as ‘an important speech.”
“Aides to the Texas Republican, who has been contemplating a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, were tight-lipped Friday about the details of the visit to the campus of Liberty University, but the timing of the speech would be right for getting somewhat ahead of the curve on announcing a White House run, at least among senators,” he wrote for the Roll Call story.
Then on Saturday, the Houston Chronicle—citing anonymous sources inside the Cruz team—wrote that Cruz will announce a formal presidential campaign, forgoing the exploratory committee stage to become the first declared candidate for the Republican nomination in 2016.
If that’s true, Cruz could effectively box out the rest of the field as now grassroots activists, donors and others who could be supporting any presidential campaign have an early home to go to and work with. With Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) slated to wait until April 7, according to most major news reports, barring any other candidates announcing their candidacy earlier, Cruz could have the entire field to himself for at least two weeks.
Cruz’s likely decision to forgo an exploratory committee and jump right in also provides a definite signal that his approach to this potential campaign is unconventional — and he won’t play by Washington’s normal playbook.
“Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president of the United States, accelerating his already rapid three-year rise from a tea party insurgent in Texas into a divisive political force in Washington,” the Houston Chronicle’s Theodore Schliefer wrote. “Cruz will launch a presidential bid outright rather than form an exploratory committee, said senior advisers with direct knowledge of his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made yet. They say he is done exploring and is now ready to become the first Republican presidential candidate.”
Cruz is delivering Liberty University’s Convocation, and sources close to the senator are still tight-lipped and won’t confirm or deny anything about the senator’s speech at Liberty University on Monday.
Breitbart News will be on scene reporting on whatever Cruz is going to break out in the Liberty University speech. Cruz will also join the Breitbart News Sunday radio program on Sunday night, which airs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET on Sirius XM Patriot Channel 125 and is hosted by Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.
Cruz, now just over two years into his first term in the U.S. Senate, has been a tour-de-force for conservatism since winning his election in 2012. A fierce grassroots Tea Partier, Cruz is the consummate Washington outsider and has fought brutal battles with both Democrats and some establishment elements within his own party.
Assuming he does run for president, Cruz is expected to run as a conservative in the likes of Ronald Reagan—someone unafraid to stand up and fight for what he believes in and not scared of what blowback from the political establishment that will cause him.
In an exclusive interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) hosted by the American Conservative Union (ACU) last month, Cruz told Breitbart News that “the central question” for Republicans if they want to win in 2016 “is how do you bring back the millions of conservatives who have stayed home the last two elections?”
“That’s one of the reasons I’m looking so seriously at this race is because if you look at all the candidates—we have to nominate a candidate who can energize and mobilize those conservatives and bring them back to the polls,” Cruz said.
Cruz said that any Republican who will win both the GOP nomination and the White House would need to focus on running a populist campaign that sticks up for ordinary Americans over special interests, lobbyists and political consultants. In that part of the quote, Cruz used a new line that he first coined in his speech to the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines in January: “The Miracle of America.”
“I think we also, to win, have to run a populist campaign for working men and women against the corruption in Washington,” Cruz said. “There’s a basic choice—do you stand with the people? Or do you stand with the bipartisan corruption in Washington? If we run a populist campaign standing for freedom in 2016, we will win and we will save this country and reignite the miracle of America.”
Cruz will be publishing a book—A Time For Truth: Reigniting The Miracle Of America—on June 30, according to the Associated Press
“[Cruz] said that ‘A Time for Truth’ will include vignettes about Anwar Sadat, Elie Wiesel and others who ‘had the courage’ to speak out even at risk to themselves, a theme he acknowledged can be found in a famous work by a future president, then-Sen. John F. Kennedy’s ‘Profiles In Courage,’” the Associated Press wrote a few weeks ago. “The vignettes draw upon ‘an aspect of what Kennedy did’ in his book, Cruz said of ‘Profiles in Courage,’ a tribute to U.S. senators who took stands unpopular within their own party.”
In an interview with Breitbart News at the Iowa Freedom Summit where he rolled out “The Miracle Of America” theme, Cruz explained that it signifies the “extraordinary challenge” Americans are going to face over the next couple years.
“We’re facing a time of extraordinary challenge right now and over the next two years. Americans need to come together to reignite the ‘Miracle Of America,’” Cruz said in that interview. “The Miracle of America consists of the principles this country was founded on, first and foremost that our rights come from God Almighty—not from government—and that the Constitution serves, as Jefferson puts it, as chains to bind the mischief of government.
Secondly, the unlimited opportunity of free men and free women to achieve their dreams—if you’re a single mom waiting tables, if you’re a teenage immigrant washing dishes, the miracle of America is that you too can achieve your heart’s desire with hard work and diligence. Anything is possible. Third, American exceptionalism—that we are a unique nation, the indispensable nation on earth, a clarion voice for freedom that we will speak for liberty, for truth. That we will be as Reagan put it, a shining city on a hill.”
Cruz will likely, if the Chronicle reporting is accurate, be the first candidate to enter what is expected to be a crowded GOP field seeking the 2016 Republican nomination for the presidency. He knows it is crowded, and what sets him apart, he said in another separate interview with Breitbart News in Clemson, South Carolina, before the 2014 midterm elections is that he’s standing up and leading—fighting against big government and for constitutional conservatism—on every major issue.
“By any measure, there are probably a dozen senators or governors who are thinking about this,” Cruz said. “Every one of them I would urge to stand up and lead. And don’t just lead on one or two issues. Lead on the issues of the day–lead on the threats to our liberty and the future of our kids. I’d be thrilled if a year from now you and I are sitting in a car talking and there are a half dozen Republicans who are standing up and leading and effectively making the case that the path we’re on isn’t working and there’s a better way. If we’re going to turn this country around, and I believe we are, the only way we’re going to do it is energizing and mobilizing the grassroots–building a grassroots army–to stand up together and pull this country back from the fiscal and economic cliff we’re facing, to restore our constitutional rights.”
Cruz has said numerous times, including in those interviews with Breitbart News, that he expects 2016 to be an election much like 1980 since—in his estimation—President Barack Obama is “more extreme than Jimmy Carter” in “every regard.”
Looking forward to 2016, Cruz said in the Clemson interview, Republicans need a figure like Reagan—like himself—to step up into the void and obtain the Republican nomination so the Democrats don’t win the general election.
“The answer is much the same [in 2016], which is the movement has to come from the people, as it did in 1980,” Cruz said. “Reagan never condescended to the American people. Instead, he spoke to the same basic values that Americans have always shared. Common sense values, values that every small town, every small business throughout this country have shared for hundreds of years. Live within your means. Don’t bankrupt your kids and grandkids. The media likes to characterize those views as radical or extreme.”