Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will announce a run for president tomorrow, according to media reports. Cruz will be the first in a potentially crowded field of competitors. Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Will Bypass the Exploration Phase
When he announces his bid for the presidency in 2016, Cruz will not form an exploratory committee. His plans were confirmed Sunday in numerous media outlets by several of Cruz’s staffers.
Cruz, 44, was born in Canada but raised in Houston, went to Princeton and Harvard, worked as a clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
2. Cruz May Face A Dense Field
Cruz is the first to jump in the ring, perhaps in an attempt to be identifiable in a field of conservative Republican candidates.
Among his opposition are Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Pete King, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, among others who do not currently hold legislative elected office, like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Cruz, however, will be the very first official Republican candidate for president — his current opponents have either been rumored to be in the running or have admitted their intent to seek the office.
3. He Has Been a Divisive Force
Cruz was hailed and hated by Republicans for being the architect of the 2013 government shutdown. Back in 2013, Rep. Peter King, R-NY, called the Tea Partiers in congress the “the Ted Cruz wing of the party,” and accused them of attempting to “hijack” the government.
King may be one of Cruz’s contenders for the Republican nomination.
CNN reported that California Gov. Jerry Brown said that the ultraconservative Cruz’s anti-global warming stance Sen. Ted Cruz has “rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”
James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas in Austin, told USA Today that Cruz’s combative nature may be a problem:
“His combativeness and tone are a potential problem,” Henson said. “They are part of the image he’s cultivated and, from what I have seen, he is not overly concerned with modulating that brand. We’re going to see whether it works or not.”
4. He Plans to Raise $50 Million
The Houston Chronicle, which was the first to report on Cruz’s intentions to run, said that his intention is to raise $40 million for the race, at least:
“Over the course of the primary campaign, Cruz will aim to raise between $40 million and $50 million, according to advisers, and dominate with the same tea party voters who supported his underdog Senate campaign in 2012. But the key to victory, Cruz advisers believe, is to be the second choice of enough voters in the party’s libertarian and social conservative wings to cobble together a coalition to defeat the chosen candidate of the Republican establishment.”
5. John McCain Called him a ‘Wacko-Bird’
Cruz, who would be the first president of Hispanic origins if he won, was a surprise victor when he won his Senate seat in 2012. At the time, Sen. John McCain, himself once a presidential candidate, said that Cruz and Paul, and other Tea Party-aligned freshmen Senators, were “wackos.”
As the Washington Post reported:
“They were elected, nobody believes that there was a corrupt election, anything else. But I also think that when, you know, it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone.”