U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is planning to deliver what is being called an “important speech” Monday at Liberty University in Virginia, fueling speculation that he may use the address to announce a presidential run. Cruz’s staff has been encouraging media to cover the event, telling the Daily Beast, “You’re going to want to be there.”
Cruz has been mum on exactly what he’ll talk about at Liberty in Lynchburg, Virginia, but Roll Call noted that 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.” The Daily Beast also pointed out that Cruz previously indicated he would announce a run for president around this time.
Cruz’s Republican colleague Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky reportedly is planning to announce his own presidential campaign on April 7. And U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also is weighing a possible run in 2016.
Cruz won his Senate race in 2012 and has strong support from the tea party element of the Republican Party. He is one of the most ardent critics of the Affordable Care Act, which he called a “train wreck” during his speech last month at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. But his views may be too extreme for a general election audience, political observers previously told International Business Times.
“This is an amazingly talented fellow. Tons of energy, but he’s at this moment almost more of a message politician in that he has a point of view but not an extraordinary base of support outside the state of Texas, where he is quite popular,” said Bruce Buchanan, a professor of political science at the University of Texas at Austin. “He hasn’t displayed the ability yet nor had the opportunity to display the willingness to build coalitions toward the center right now, and that’s what he’ll have to do to move to a position of greater credibility. The establishment wants to win in 2016, and now he looks like a fringe candidate that sets up for defeat.”