Ted Cruz Is Running for President. Here’s What You Need to Know About Him.

His flip-flops, his formative years, and his firebrand father.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) running for office in 2012. <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/7004276898/in/photolist-bEWKuN-bEWGgy-fmjJnc-ryoZz5-av6uvr-e4m9QZ-qBswDA-qJCWSH-fmjVmR-e4rMFU-e4m9nD-e4rNaC-e4mbDK-9DR8Et-e4rKnC-e4m8Zg-e4mcJV-fmzxcC-e4mbHt-fmze2A-fmjY2K-pSnsXt-fmkDGX-bEWMQo-fmz2Wy-rKnwoR-qBFXhM-e4mb9R-gb3cqB-qwjNHq-e4maS2-fmzhoo-pSBdg6-dRij4c-dcmQno-e4jouk-e4jooc-e4mby4-e4rNz7-av6uhT-av9b59-av9aPL-av9b1u-e4joaP-e4joh2-e4pZM5-e4pZES-e4pZcy-e4rKYd-e4maox">Gage Skidmore</a>/Flickr

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) officially launched his presidential campaign today, making him the first contender in either party to officially enter the race. At midnight Monday morning, Cruz tweeted, “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” He made a more formal announcement later in the morning at Liberty University in Virginia, the Christian university founded by Jerry Falwell—where he drew loud applause when he told the crowd about his father finding Jesus Christ. His speech was, not surprisingly, designed for social conservatives: He blasted gay marriage, gun safety laws, and Common Core education standards. And he bemoaned the fact that half of born-again Christians do not vote. “Imagine millions of people of faith coming out to the polls and voting our values,” he declared.

So far, the young 2016 GOP contest has been dominated by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Thanks to his early announcement, the spotlight will be on Cruz. Here’s the best of Mother Jones coverage on the combative Texas senator:

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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