Ted Cruz Launches 2016 Bid, Hoping To Revive Religious Right

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made a bold play for grassroots and social conservatives on Monday by launching his presidential campaign at Liberty University, the nation’s largest evangelical school.

The fiery address leaves no doubt his campaign will charge hard to the right in a bid to lock down the conservative core of the GOP base, with a special emphasis on social and religious conservatives.

He is the first major candidate to formally launch his presidential campaign, putting pressure on other conservative rivals to possibly move up their time tables. 

In announcing first, a surprise move that only leaked this weekend, Cruz is trying to jumpstart his campaign. He’s been stuck in single digits in many early state polls behind others he’d be battling for the conservative mantle, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and retired surgeon Ben Carson.

“He has a very narrow window to win this nomination. To do it, he has to become the preeminent candidate for grassroots conservatives and social conservatives. That means he has elbow Huckabee, Carson and Santorum out of the way,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist who advised McCain in 2008. 

Read more from Alexander Bolton at The Hill

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