Ted Cruz to announce on Monday he plans to run for president, report says
Senator Ted Cruz will declare on Monday that he will run for president in 2016, making him the first major hopeful to formally enter the race, according to The Houston Chronicle, reports The New York Times.
Cruz, Republican of Texas, will make his announcement at Liberty University in Virginia, where he is expected to be a speaker at a convocation ceremony, the report said.
He will skip the habitual step of creating an exploratory committee as a precursor to a campaign, the newspaper reported, citing senior advisers to Cruz. The move seems designed to send a signal that he has completed the exploratory phase and is ready to run.
An aide to Cruz did not immediately respond to an email early Sunday seeking comment.
Cruz will be effectively firing the starting gun on the Republican primary, which has been dominated so far by the early exploratory maneuvers of Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor; Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin; Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey; Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky; and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
Rubio and Paul are said to be planning to enter the race next month, meaning that Cruz is looking to leap ahead and define himself as much as possible.
He is setting a goal of raising between $40 million and $50 million, The Chronicle reported, adding that he also hopes to peel off enough social conservatives and libertarians to defeat the eventual establishment choice.
Cruz has been working aggressively to court major donors nationally, and often touts the tea party appeal that vaulted him to office after he was an underdog in Texas in 2012.
He has impressed some by ticking off confidently why he thinks he is better than other choices. But many Republican elites remain skeptical of and angry with Cruz over the 2013 government shutdown.