Democrats are trying to boost their fundraising totals and gain grassroots supporters on the back of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s, R-Texas, presidential campaign announced early Monday morning. In an email sent Monday titled “What you need to know about Ted Cruz,” the Democratic National Committee urges recipients to “commit to spreading the word about Ted Cruz and his fellow Republicans” by forwarding an email with bullet points explaining why Cruz would be a bad choice for the country.
“President Ted Cruz. If you're like us, just reading that phrase probably sent shivers down your spine or produced a pretty serious roll of the eyes,” the email says. “But as of this moment, Texas Senator Ted Cruz [sic] is officially running for president, and if we don't do everything in our power to stop him, the possibility of President Ted Cruz could become a reality.” Cruz is expected to follow up his announcement on Twitter with a speech Monday morning at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Cruz, who is adored by the tea party and burst onto the national stage after an upset win in the race for Texas’ open U.S. Senate seat in 2011, is best known as the most vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. His filibuster against the law led to a 16-day government shutdown in 2013, and he also pushed for another shutdown in the fight over the president’s executive actions on immigration but was overruled by Republican congressional leaders.
In their email to supporters, Democrats said the 2013 shutdown cost the economy “a staggering $24 billion” and that it was part of Cruz’s “personal crusade to take away quality health care from millions of Americans and give control back to the insurance companies.” The message also highlighted Cruz’s opposition to raising the minimum wage and immigration reform.
Cruz declared his presidential run just after midnight Monday in a video posted to Twitter. “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,” he says in the video. While other Republicans have formed exploratory committees or other vehicles as a precursor to a run for president, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, Cruz is the first GOP candidate to officially enter the race.
I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support! pic.twitter.com/0UTqaIoytP
â€” Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2015
After clicking a link of the email asking to “fight back” against Cruz, users are taken to a page where they can “chip in to help elect Democrats,” with donations ranging from $10 to $2,000 or a custom amount.