Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz is running for President of the United States in 2016. The official announcement may be lacking, but all signs indicate the staunch conservative will indeed toss his hat into the ring. The only thing left for him to do is say so.
Multiple sources have indicated as early as Monday that Cruz is preparing for an end-of-year announcement. That will most likely make him the first Republican to announce. That will enable him to raise money, but possibly a risk for premature national exposure. Not unlike Hillary Clinton’s early and often media exposure, it can come with unwanted media scrutiny. But Clinton’s campaign war chest makes it imperative to hit the fundraising trail early for most Republican presidential candidates. A Cruz adviser said, “At this point it’s 90/10 he’s in. And honestly, 90 is lowballing it.”
There has been little question the flamboyant senator would eventually run for the presidency. Since his arrival in Washington, he has choreographed his intentions with a purposeful political ideology targeted to a defined and enthusiastic audience. Lately he has made key “pre-presidential” visits to assist fellow Republican candidates in important primary states including Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
Another clear hint of Cruz’s intentions was the hiring of three well-known consultants in national campaigns who carry extensive contacts in early nominating states. He has also shifted his chief of staff, Chip Roy, from his congressional office to the campaign operation. That sends the most defining signal yet that he is a viable candidate and a message to potential key financial contributors he is a serious candidate.
Cruz’s campaign will focus on foreign policy and his disdainful view of President Obama’s performance in that arena as president. His campaign strategy became obvious with a recent speech in Iowa with his finely crafted portfolio designed to draw sharp contrasts with his future Democratic opponents; namely former Secretary of State and presumed Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
It’s presumed his advisers have warned him that his controversial domestic views would limit his voting base. Cruz was an instrumental Republican in last year’s government shutdown. His pivot away from Obamacare objections and other domestic issues into a foreign policy campaign may allow more voters to back his candidacy with strong support.
With the “entire world on fire,” as Cruz said recently, and the Republican Party showing a unique partisan camaraderie on social and fiscal policy, shifting gears towards a foreign policy debate may be in the senator’s own best interest. His stance would be a clear dichotomy between another presumed Republican primary opponent and leading candidate, Libertarian Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
Cruz told the National Journal recently, “I have been very clear that, in my view, the 2016 election is the most important election of our lifetimes. Our nation teeters on the brink of a precipice. And I believe 2016 will be an election like 1980 (Reagan v Carter) about two fundamentally different visions for America. Is it true that the American people are war-weary? Absolutely. We are tired of sending our sons and daughters to distant lands year after year after year, to give their lives trying to transform foreign nations. But I think it’s a serious misreading of the American people to conclude that we are unwilling to defend ourselves, that we are unwilling to be strong and vigorous defending U.S. national security.”
While the Democrats appear to be focusing on topics they have created from their own national committee such as the controversial “war on women” and redistribution of wealth, Cruz sees America becoming increasingly weary of outside threats to our national security. For a senator most noted for his squabbles with President Obama and Democrats over Obamacare, the change in direction may be his defining moment, much like then-candidate Ronald Reagan versus the disappointing incumbent President Jimmy Carter and his handling of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80.
Cruz attempted to deflate his presidential intentions he had made with the National Journal by saying, “Contrary to media reports this morning, Heidi and I have not made any decisions about political plans past the mid-term elections. Clearly we have an overzealous supporter out there making freelance comments, but to be clear, no decision has been made.”
That is the sort of nebulous statement a candidate makes before announcing their intentions to run. Sen. Ted Cruz, the junior senator from the state of Texas, is definitely running for the office of President of the United States in 2016. He knows it and so do his newly-hired national consultants.
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