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No need to ‘imagine’ Ted Cruz running for president

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas announces his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at Liberty University. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Good for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) to be the first to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination on Monday. May the others follow quickly so we can stop the silliness of exploratory committees. We all know you’re running, so just get on out there and run. But, as you might, um, imagine, my admiration of Cruz ends there.

Cruz delivered his stirring “imagine” speech at Liberty University in Virginia. This was notable because of its dyed-in-the-wool conservative pedigree. Also because the students are required to attend such convocations every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This strips the presidential announcement of its up-from-the-people grandeur when you realize that many of the folks in that auditorium would rather have been somewhere else. Other GOPers waiting in the wings take note. A venue with people attending of their own free will to show their support is a much more compelling and credible visual.

Cruz’s presidential pronouncements were filled with conservative rhetorical confetti about liberty, the Constitution and getting rid of government. “[I]magine in 2017 a new president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare,” Cruz said. “Imagine health care reform that keeps government out of the way between you and your doctor and that makes health insurance personal and portable and affordable.” Not surprising since he shut down the government in 2013 trying to achieve that impossible dream. Perhaps a white paper is forthcoming that would spell out what would happen to all those with health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, now totalling 16.4 million Americans. Don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath for one.

Clearly, the funniest thing to come out Cruz’s announcement Monday had nothing to do with what was happening in Lynchburg, Va. The hilarity was taking place on the Web. If you wanted to look up information on the freshman senator from Texas, it’s only natural that you would go to The only problem is when you do that you get the following message: “Support President Obama. Immigration reform now!” Another logical place to look would be And when you do that, you are taken directly to As The Hill reports, this “highlights the role of domain name ‘squatters.’”

If you really want to see what Cruz is all about, all you have to do is go to But don’t expect to find his alternative to Obamacare there. His blind opposition with no alternative seems to be just fine with the “the angry, self-righteous right wing of the party,” as Ed Rogers called the GOP base. But as the folks at and as Nate Cohn at TheUpshot point out, Cruz is a “long shot” because he  is “too extreme and too disliked” by his own Republican colleagues to win. Nothing he did today will turn that around.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj