Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz officially announced his White House bid in a tweet at 12:09 am EDT Monday morning, becoming the first candidate to formally enter the 2016 presidential campaign.
"I'm running for president and I hope to earn your support!" Cruz tweeted with an embedded 30-second video.
I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support! pic.twitter.com/0UTqaIoytP
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 23, 2015
"It's a time for truth, a time to rise to the challenge, just as Americans have always done," Cruz says in the video. "I believe in America and her people, and I believe we can stand up and restore our promise. 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."
His decision to run for president should come as no surprise. Cruz was never interested in being a serious U.S. Senator. He had no desire to develop strong relationships with Senate colleagues, and diligently work to turn conflict into consensus, all with an eye towards getting things done as a lawmaker.
No, Cruz wants to be president. He used his Senate platform to garner media attention, raise money, and boost his national profile. His service in the Senate was just another bullet point to add to his resume, a quick stop en route to the Oval Office.
To be clear, Ted Cruz is a lot of things, but a serious contender for the White House isn't one of them. Yes, he is charismatic and skillful at giving extemporaneous red-meat speeches to the Republican base. He has a compelling personal narrative, being the son of a working-class Irish mother from Delaware, and a Cuban father who came to America on a student visa with nothing other than the $100 sewn into his underwear. He is also well-liked among the rank-and-file activists, partly due to his persistent battles with the Obama administration.
But the GOP Establishment's disdain for Cruz will be a major obstacle to his candidacy because he won't be able to get enough party insiders - big donors, influential elected officials, top political staffers - to support his candidacy.
Furthermore, some of his positions, like abolishing the IRS and moving all of its agents to the southern border, makes him unappealing to general election voters.
Ultimately, Texas Ted is an unserious legislator with a predisposition to engage in partisan rancor and self-aggrandizing showiness.
You would think Cruz, who was elected to the Senate in 2012, would use his impressive personal story to offer optimism and inspiration to voters through his actions as a senator.
Instead, he became a relentless obstructionist.
He was the chief architect of the 2013 government shutdown over Obamacare, which lasted 16 days. His 21-hour speech on the Senate floor was just a game, an exercise in futility and narcissistic grandstanding. He fooled conservative grassroots activists into believing that the health care law could be defunded without a single Democratic vote.
"If we can hold on to 41 Republicans in the Senate or 218 Republicans in the House, we can actually succeed in defunding Obamacare," Cruz told Sean Hannity of Fox News. He called those that disagreed with his tactics members of the "surrender caucus" or RINOs (Republican in Name Only).
He wants to "Make DC Listen" but refuses to listen to members in his own caucus, and that has fractured his relationship with GOP senators who hate Cruz's self-righteous, go-it-alone approach.
During the 2013 government shutdown, for example, ABC News' Jonathan Karl said Cruz is "so hated" by his fellow Republican colleagues that he'll "need a food taster" at their weekly lunch.
Now that he's running for president, Cruz can be counted on to bring a divisive tone to the Republican primaries.
He will make a lot of noise in a short amount of time, then he will lose and unceremoniously exit the stage.
Ayobami is a national award-winning journalist and former Staff Writer at DcInno. He received his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Master's degree in Political Management from George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.
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