TED CRUZ: 'I'm running for president'

Ted CruzAPSen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) giving a speech in Iowa in 2014.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) launched his presidential campaign shortly after midnight on Monday with a brief message and video he posted on Twitter.

“I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” Cruz wrote in his tweet.

Cruz has long been expected to throw his hat into the presidential race. His announcement made him the first major candidate to officially begin a campaign. 

Cruz’s 30-second video features shots of nature, people riding motorcycles through the desert, children playing baseball and reciting the pledge of allegiance, multiple American flags, the Brooklyn and Golden Gate bridges, and a church. It closes with a shot of Cruz waving. 

“It’s a time for truth, a time to rise to the challenge, just as Americans have always done. I believe in America and her people and I believe we can stand up and restore our promise,” Cruz says in the clip. “It’s going to take a new generation of courageous conservatives to help make America great again and I’m ready to stand with you to lead the fight.” 

In a coy tweet posted Sunday evening, Cruz said he would have “some big news” at “around midnight.” Earlier in the day, news broke that Cruz would launch his 2016 bid with a speech at Liberty University on Monday morning.

According to a New York Times report published on Sunday, multiple Republicans “briefed on his strategy” said Cruz wanted to be first out of the gate in an attempt to draw attention away from some of his likely GOP rivals who have “overshadowed” him in the “in the early competition for donors, staff, volunteers and news coverage.” Specifically, the newspaper cited Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who have been widely dubbed the early front runners.

Liberty University is a Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1971 by the late conservative pastor Jerry Fallwell. On Sunday evening, the Associated Press published a series of photos showing Cruz doing a “walk-through” rehearsal of his speech at the university’s Vines Center. 

Cruz, a Tea Party favourite, was first elected to the US Senate in 2012. During his time in office, he has been a prominent opponent of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform plans. He was one of the major forces behind the 2013 government shutdown, which occurred when House Republicans attempted to include amendments that would scale back Obamacare in the legislation appropriating the funds for the federal budget. 

View Cruz’s tweet and campaign launch video below.

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