At Virginia’s Liberty University, Ted Cruz made it official.
The Texas senator declared his long-awaited White House bid on Monday with a passionate 30-minute speech, calling to “reignite the promise of America.”
Cruz, a Tea Party firebrand, became the first in a soon-to-be-very-crowded Republican field with an event at the bastion of Christian conservatism; an irony not lost on either side of the aisle, including editorial cartoonist Bill Day.
Cruz’s campaign – most certainly a long shot – seeks to mold him as a grassroots warrior, not only against recognizable opponents (liberals and Democrats], but also the Republican Party establishment itself.
The speech, followed by a Christian-themed rock music and prayer event at America’s largest Christian university, threw down a gauntlet for Jeb Bush, the Texas native, former Florida governor and presumptive GOP front-runner.
In essence, Cruz declared war on the “mushy” Republicans from his own party.
“Imagine repealing every word of Common Core,” he told the audience – many of which were students at the mandatory university event – in a clear preview of the upcoming battle over education, one issue sure to frame the debate in 2016.
Although conventional wisdom is that Cruz does not have a chance at the presidency, anyone who doubts the “Cruzzard” (as Day calls him) is gearing up for a battle on several fronts may be underestimating him somewhat.
Remember this: Cruz was one of the lawmakers who spearheaded the 16-day federal government shutdown in October of 2013. And anyone willing to cut his nose to spite America’s face is ready to fight all comers.
Even as the Republican Party looks to a Cruz campaign with a slight amount of trepidation, there is one person happy the Tea Party agitator has entered the race — likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
She, for one, has little fear of Day’s Cruzzard.