2015 Archives

Ted Cruz President 2016 Speech: Why Did He Announce First?


The following are from the March 23, 2015, editions of International Business Times and Fox 4 News. SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for the International Business Times story and SMU Associate Professor of Political Science Matthew Wilson provided expertise for the Fox 4 News story.

March 25, 2015

From International Business Times:

By  Howard Koplowitz

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s announcement on Monday officially declaring his Republican presidential run wasn’t just an effort to soak up all the media attention as the first major party candidate to announce. It was also a signal to campaign staffers and donors to join his team. 

“His problem is that in a very crowded field that includes some very accomplished people like [ex-Florida Gov.] Jeb Bush and [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie and [Ohio Gov.] John Kasich and a bunch of other senators, I think he felt he needed to break to the front of the pack with an early and unambiguous declaration that he’s running for president,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “He’s looking for that moment in the sun where he can make his case and hope that big donors, as well as lots and lots of small donors on the Internet, support him.” . . . 

But Cruz’s announcement was more than trying to catch Bush in the polls. As a tea party-backed candidate who frequently invoked his religion during his speech, Cruz has competition among the social conservatives of the party, including ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. “He has to try and jumpstart his campaign in order to become the social conservative favorite, hoping that he can get around Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee,” Jillson said. . . 

At this point, Cruz’s announcement is unlikely to affect the strategies of higher-tiered Republican candidates like Bush, who is much more moderate with his support of immigration reform. Bush can afford to take a wait-and-see approach until Cruz gains steam. “One of the things about being the front-runner and having the fully developed campaign structure and national fundraising is that you don’t overreact,” Jillson said. “You can go a little bit slower and wait and watch and see what develops around Cruz. Until that happens, you have your own strategy. So you’re going to run your program until someone proves to you that you have to respond to them.”

Read the full story.

From Fox 4 News:

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