Sen. Ted Cruz formally declared his candidacy Monday at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, in a speech that focused on his faith, upbringing, and what he referred to as "the promise of America."
"God's blessing has been on America since the very beginning of this nation. And I believe God isn't done with American yet. I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America," Cruz said.
"And that is why, today, I am announcing that I am running for President of the United States.
Cruz outlined his stance on several issues, telling the audience at the nation's largest Christian university to "image a president" that would secure the borders, abolish the IRS, stand by Israel, oppose same-sex marriage, and repeal Obamacare.
"The incredible opportunity of the American dream, what has enabled millions of people from all over the world to come to America with nothing and to achieve anything. And then the American exceptionalism that has made this nation a clarion voice for freedom in the world, a shining city on a hill. That's the promise of America. That is what makes this nation an indispensable nation, a unique nation in the history of the world," Cruz said.
"And yet, so many fear that that promise is today unattainable. So many fear it is slipping away from our hands. I want to talk to you this morning about reigniting the promise of America."
Liberty University students in the audience of Sen. Cruz's speech are wearing "Stand with RAND" t-shirts.
Watch Ted Cruz formally announce his presidential bid at Liberty University in Virginia.
Cruz, the first-term senator from Texas, announced his run for president in a Tweet shortly after midnight Sunday night Eastern Time.
Cruz is the first official presidential candidate, Republican or Democrat, to announce his candidacy.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Cruz would announce his candidacy at an event Monday in Virginia.
Cruz's team had hinted that his speech at Liberty University would include an important announcement.
According to the Chronicle, which cited unnamed senior advisers, Cruz has decided to launch a presidential bid outright, rather than go the more typical route of first forming form an exploratory committee.
Cruz, 44, was elected to the Senate in 2012, is expected to be joined by a crowded field of candidates in the GOP primary.
The Senator's campaign released a second video on Monday morning, reiterating his intention to run for President in 2016.
In the video Cruz talks about his family history and how if elected to the Oval Office, he will rekindle relations with U.S. allies and dismantle what he described as "President Obama's illegal and unconstitutional amnesty."
Jason Wells is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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Kyle Blaine is the deputy politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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