1/19/2011 9:23 AM
Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz announced his candidacy for the United States Senate today.
"The reason for the campaign is very simple," Cruz said. "President Barack Obama is the most radical president ever to occupy the White House. We are facing the Epic battle of our generation. Does this nation remain a free market nation?"
Cruz joins a crowded field that will likely include Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams and former Secretary of State Roger Williams and may include Railroad Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and many more. Current U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison announced recently that she would not seek re-election in 2012, creating an open seat environment.
Cruz worked for Attorney General Greg Abbott as solicitor general and, when it appeared the Attorney General seat would open up, ran a campaign for that office in 2009-10. When Hutchison did not resign that year, Abbott filed for re-election, ending the campaigns of the other Republicans seeking that office.
Cruz said the number one issue for Republican primary voters is who is best prepared to fight Obama, and he hopes to convince voters that he is best suited for that task. Cruz said he won't list a list of policy positions on his website. Rather, he will post a list of accomplishments in his record on key conservative issues.
When asked why he chose to run for US Senate instead of one of the other statewide offices that would likely open up, Cruz cited "there is a desperate shortage of leadership" on the national level and said the US Senate is where the fight for liberty is. He also said the rise of Obama helped bring forward "a new generation of leadership in the Republican Party."
He characterized not having previously run for US Senate before as "both a challenge and an advantage." He noted that he will likely run against one or more candidates who can self-fund. He said his previous run for Attorney General helped him build "an extraordinary network" of nationwide donors.
Since most of the discussion on Cruz's conference call with bloggers today focused on the excesses of the Obama administration, Cruz was asked how it affects his public service if Obama is not re-elected in 2012. Cruz said he would fight to undo the Obama agenda and warned that there is a tendency among some in the Republican Party to go with the status quo. He pledged to fight to repeal ObamaCare and undo the rest of the president's agenda. He also said he wants to see the absolute dollar figure -- not just the rate of growth -- of federal spending cuts.