Ted Cruz announced his bid for the presidency at Liberty University on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Updated 4:01 p.m. | LYNCHBURG, Va. — The Senate’s longest week kicked off some 180 miles southwest of the Capitol, with a presidential campaign announcement by one of the chamber’s conservative firebrands, Sen. Ted Cruz.
Timed to the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, Cruz made an explicitly religious and sharply conservative pitch to an enthusiastic audience dominated by thousands of Liberty University students.
By the end of the week, all of the potential presidential candidates will have a chance to make their mark thanks to the Senate budget resolution, and dozens of votes, hitting the floor for the unpredictable vote-a-rama.
Here in Lynchburg, Cruz’s record of big fights — and big legislative losses — on defunding Obamacare, rolling back President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration or opposing raising the debt limit — were a call to arms, not a record of failure.
Cruz suggested if millions of like-minded conservative voters get out and vote in the next election, his vision of America will come true.
“Roughly half of born-again Christians aren’t voting,” Cruz lamented, then asked his audience repeatedly to “imagine” a different world where they vote, and, presumably, he wins.
“Think just how different the world would be. Imagine: instead of economic stagnation, booming economic growth,” Cruz said. “Imagine young people coming out of school with four, five, six job offers.”