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Ted Cruz Makes First Campaign Appearance As Presidential Candidate In New Hampshire

Darren McCollester Getty Images

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

 

Ted Cruz Makes First Campaign Appearance As Presidential Candidate In NH…

Going back to the days of Ronald Reagan.

Ted Cruz, the first and so far only major candidate for president, swept into New Hampshire on Friday, upbeat and eager to embrace the outsider label he’s cultivated since erupting on the national scene three years ago.

“I am amazingly, powerfully, profoundly optimistic,” said the Texas senator, boasting to a cheering crowd at a VFW post that he had raked in $2 million within three days of launching his campaign Monday.

“The New York Times said Cruz cannot win because he is hated by the Washington elites,” Cruz said, and the 150 or more activists erupted. “I gotta admit, I wanted to Xerox that and mail it to all 300 million people.”

Cruz invoked the new rhetoric he unveiled with the launch of his campaign at Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian college. He said he’ll rely on an “army of courageous conservatives” to propel his bid for the GOP nomination.[…]

As usual, Cruz spoke without notes, entering the room with a wireless, flesh-color microphone already strapped to his face as he shook hands and posed for photos for 10 minutes on his way to the stage.

He also wore his reputation as an irritant in Washington as a badge of honor.

“You may have heard I’m not exactly the most popular person with congressional leadership,” Cruz said.

He asserted that leaders punished him for his role in the Obamacare budget showdown, which led to a 16-day government shutdown in October 2013, by cutting off campaign donations.

“Checks from Washington, D.C., went to zero, because that’s the way they impose discipline,” he said. “I have been there. It is broken.”

He looked relatively fresh for someone who’d taken part in the Senate’s 16-hour budget marathon, with the last votes cast at nearly 4 am. One of the dozens of votes was on a proposal from Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a 2016 rival, that would have required deep domestic spending cuts to offset a boost on the defense side.

Cruz voted no, citing concerns that the provision would reduce aid to Israel and hurt scientific research and NASA, though he called it a “good-faith effort to solve the problem.”

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