LYNCHBURG, Va. — Speaking during a convocation ceremony at Liberty University on Monday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz officially announced his candidacy for president of the United States.
“God’s blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation, and I believe God isn’t done with America yet,” he said. “I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America, and that is why today I am announcing that I’m running for president of the United States.”
Cruz, 44, the son of a North Texas pastor, shared about his faith during his speech, including his father’s Christian testimony.
“When I was three, my father decided to leave my mother and me,” he said. “We were living in Calgary at the time. He got on a plane and he flew back to Texas, and he decided he didn’t want to be married anymore and he didn’t want to be a father to his three-year-old son.”
“And yet when he was in Houston, a friend, a colleague from the oil and gas business, invited him to a Bible study— invited him to Clay Road Baptist Church—and there my father gave his life to Jesus Christ,” Cruz continued. “And God transformed his heart. And he drove to the airport, he bought a plane ticket, and he flew back to be with my mother and me.”
He then spoke of how his father’s relationship with Christ affected his own life.
“There are people who wonder if faith is real,” Cruz said. “I can tell you, in my family there’s not a second of doubt, because were it not for the transformative love of Jesus Christ, I would have been saved and I would have been raised by a single mom without my father in the household.”
Cruz also shared his views on the role of government, as well as his desire to “reclaim the Constitution of the United States.”
“[F]or so many Americans, the promise of America seems more and more distant. What is the promise of America? ” he asked. “The idea that—the revolutionary idea that this country was founded upon, which is that our rights don’t come from man. They come from God Almighty. And that the purpose of the Constitution, as Thomas Jefferson put it, is to serve as chains to bind the mischief of government.”
The Southern Baptist Congressman reached out to evangelicals during his speech, expressing his agreement with pro-life and pro-family values.
“Instead of a federal government that wages an assault on our religious liberty, that goes after Hobby Lobby, that goes after the Little Sisters of the Poor, that goes after Liberty University, imagine a federal government that stands for the First Amendment rights of every American,” Cruz stated. “Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life, and to uphold the sacrament of marriage.”
He also expressed his interest in repealing Obamacare and replacing the current tax code with a flat tax.
“Today, roughly half of born again Christians aren’t voting. They’re staying home,” Cruz said. “Imagine instead millions of people of faith all across America coming out to the polls and voting our values.”