(AA) – Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz became the first candidate to announce his bid for the American presidency Monday.
“I am running for president and I hope to earn your support,” Cruz said in a tweet accompanied by a video message.
“It’s a time for truth, a time to rise to the challenge, just as Americans have always done,” the Tea Party favorite said in a video highlighted by panoramas of farm fields, city skylines, and a baseball game.
“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,” he said.
Cruz is expected to formally announce his candidacy during a speech later Monday morning at Liberty University in Virginia. Founded by conservative pastor Jerry Falwell, the university claims to be the largest evangelical Christian university in the world.
Capturing the religious conservative vote will be a crucial step for Cruz. The latest CNN/ORC poll found the hardline conservative polling at just 4 percent, far behind Republican front-runner Jeb Bush who took 16 percent.
During his three years in the Senate, Cruz has been an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama, leading efforts to derail the president’s healthcare reform initiative, and is largely credited as being one of the main figures behind the 2013 government shutdown.
He’s also proven to be a thorn in the side of mainstream Republicans who he lambasts for being too enmeshed in Washington’s politics.
If elected, Cruz would be the first Hispanic to assume the U.S.’ top office. He was born to an American mother and a Cuban father