The Houston Chronicle has reported that Senator Ted Cruz will announce the formation of a presidential campaign on Monday. He will do so with a speech at Liberty University. The speech had been pumped up to reporters on Monday as a significant one and now we know why.
Cruz, who is 44, will skip the exploratory committee phase and jump right into a bid. Exploratory committees, typically the first stage of a presidential run, have become less and less popular in this post-Citizens United political climate. Instead, super PACs are forming. Until they actually announce a run, potential candidates can associate themselves with a super PAC, due to quirks in campaign law. This has allowed super PACs supporting candidates like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush to flourish with millions of dollars ahead of a probable run.
Senator Cruz gained widespread national attention when he helped cause the government shutdown in 2013. He led the charge against funding Obamacare which caused funding for the government to run out. He has attempted to turn it into a positive, arguing that he did not compromise his principles in Washington. Around that time, Cruz shot to the top of Republican nomination polling. Now, he hovers around four or five percent.
Liberty University is also significant in its own way. The University was founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell and it is a Christian university. The University has had controversies and gained notoriety due to its founder and a brief controversy in 2009 over political clubs at the University. However, the University is symbolic of the crowd that Senator Cruz will be looking to capture during the nomination process. Cruz will be going after faith conservatives and the Tea Party.