Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) became the first candidate to officially enter the 2016 U.S. Presidential race today, announcing his candidacy in a speech at Liberty University. The Canadian-born Cruz, long a Tea Party darling and a paragon for ultra-conservative politics in the United States, launched his bid to be America’s 45th President before an audience at the Christian school founded by Jerry Falwell.
“I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America,” Cruz said, “and that is why today I am announcing I am running for president of the United States.”
In front of a packed theatre of Liberty students, forced to be there per school rule about mandatory attendance for the weekly convocation, Cruz called upon his supporters to join his “grassroots army” of “courageous conservatives” to fight and “reclaim the constitution.” Cruz promised that as President he would abolish the IRS, pass sweeping tax cuts, standing “unapologetically” with Israel, and repealing the Affordable Care Act.
However, as with all things Cruz, the launch of his presidential bid did not come without controversy. His campaign website also launched today, but security-cautious donors noted that the webpage lacked a SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, according to Vox.com. The lack of that added layer of security – denoted by the lock insignia in the address bar of you browser, might allow the credit card information of potential donors to be stolen in “middle man attacks,” where an unscrupulous third party can divert people to a different site that looks like tedcruz.org but is actually malicious.
Although a number of names have been floated as potential candidates, only Cruz so far has made it official. Businessman and reality show star Donald Trump last week said that he was looking at forming an exploratory committee, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had made a number of symbolic moves, including releasing all his e-mails from his time as Governor, which strongly indicate his interest in running.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are also expected to be potential nominees. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is widely expected to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
Does it seem a little early to have someone throw their hat in the ring for the 2016 presidential race? It’s worth noting that both Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama had declared by this time in 2007.
We’ll be discussing the politics of the presidential race this week on Open Sources Guelph.