U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, jumped into the presidential race with a tweet and campaign video just after midnight Monday. Cruz is expected to elaborate on his plans during a 10 a.m. EDT speech Monday morning at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, which will be livestreamed across a number of platforms.
C-SPAN 2’s live coverage kicks off at the start of the 10 a.m. speech, which you can view via this link. CNN also will be airing Cruz’s speech live, but you’ll need a cable subscription to access the feed. If you favor local sources over national ones, Dallas ABC television station WFAA will also be livestreaming the announcement here.
With his tweet, Cruz became the first official candidate from either political party to enter the 2016 race. His remarks at Liberty, a private Christian school founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, goes against the grain of traditional presidential campaign announcements, which are usually held in a candidate’s home state. The decision to host the event at Liberty may be Cruz’s way of courting conservative and evangelical voters who closely align with his political philosophy.
Cruz was the solicitor general of Texas and argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court before he won an open U.S. Senate seat in 2012. He gained media attention for his staunch opposition to Obamacare, leading a filibuster that culminated with a 16-day government shutdown. Cruz has also been a critic of the president’s executive actions on immigration.
He has won a reputation of being an uncompromising firebrand. But Cruz would need to move closer to the center to win enough votes in a general election, and that sort of pivot could look disingenuous. Electability concerns may also damage his chances to be the GOP nominee in 2016.
“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,” Bruce Buchanan, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, told International Business Times. “The establishment wants to win in 2016, and now he looks like a fringe candidate that sets up for defeat.”