After decisively winning the Iowa GOP caucuses late Monday night, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked Democrats to join him in the race to the White House in an emotional, teleprompter-free speech that ran more than 30 minutes.
“Tonight, I want to say to every member of the Democratic Party who believes in limited government, in personal opportunity, in the United States Constitution and a safe and secure America, come home,” Cruz said. “To the Reagan Democrats, your party has left you. The Republican Party wants you; we welcome you back.”
Joined on stage by his wife Heidi Cruz, his father Rafael Cruz, and his senior Iowa campaign staffers, the Texas senator gave a lengthy speech that leaned heavily on his spiritual beliefs and his political battles against the “Washington cartel.” The lengthy run-time prompted all four major cable networks—CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN and MSNBC—to cut away to the Democratic candidates before the Iowa victor was finished speaking.
Cruz applauded his supporters for casting the most votes ever recorded in any Republican primary—a statistic supported, at least in the Iowa caucus, by the Des Moines Register’s totals for all the presidential elections since 1976. According to the Associated Press, Cruz received 27.7 percent of the vote, with 51,047 votes counted for him as of 12 a.m. ET.
The Texas senator framed his Iowa win as a crucial step in his crusade to restore “the Judeo-Christian values that built this great nation.”
“Our rights come from our creator,” Cruz said. “And the federal government’s role, the federal government’s responsibility is to defend those fundamental rights, to defend us.”
“While Americans will continue to suffer under a president who has set an agenda who is causing millions to hurt across this country I want to remind you of the promise of scripture,” he said later in the address. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Iowa has proclaimed to the world, morning is coming. Morning is coming.”