FORT WORTH — Greeted with a standing ovation Friday when he spoke at the Republican Party of Texas convention, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz spent much of his lively address talking about the nation's presence abroad and protecting the Bill of Rights.
Cruz told delegates that Republicans must work to protect state sovereignty, gun rights and privacy protections in a speech that drew repeated, huge bursts of deafening applause and cheers from the audience.
“The Constitution is the most extraordinary document crafted in the history of the world other than the Bible,” Cruz said. “It’s a document designed, as Jefferson said, to bind the mischief of government. There’s a whole lot of mischief in Washington right now.”
In talking about foreign affairs, Cruz called on President Obama to “stand on the world stage” and demand the liberation of individuals being persecuted overseas for their Christianity instead of “making deals with the Taliban to let terrorists go,” referencing the highly scrutinized deal to in which imprisoned Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released in exchange for five members of the Taliban.
Detailing his plan to “bring back jobs” for Americans, Cruz highlighted four main planks: freeing up American energy from regulations, auditing the Federal Reserve, abolishing the IRS and repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.
Cruz called on his supporters to step up and help fight for freedom and liberty, citing Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul — who will address the convention later Friday — as "principled men" who have stood for freedom.
"Our country is under assault and let me tell you, today Texas will lead the fight to defend our freedom," Cruz said. "The only way we turn this country around is the American people. It won't come from Washington."
Cruz, who has been considered as a potential presidential candidate in 2016, did not discuss his political future during his remarks, but at one point in his address, he asked delegates to send texts into his campaign fundraising text line to help “build a grassroots movement.”
His remarks come on the heels of Perry's last address as governor to the convention yesterday, in which he signed off without a goodbye and left the door open for another presidential bid.