Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, eschewing tie and lectern, strode onto the Sunshine Summit stage and launched into a talk show host-style monologue, joking about the next Democratic debate being held at “Leavenworth,” home of the famous federal penitentiary.
But the junior U.S. senator from Texas quickly got serious, reciting a laundry list of conservative crowd-favorite actions he’ll take if he wins the Oval Office.
Cruz first said he’ll rescind “every constitutional and illegal action taken by this president,” mentioning Barack Obama‘s saying that he has “a pen,” referring to veto power.
“Well, you live by the pen, you die by the pen … and my pen has an eraser,” he said.
Cruz added that he’ll go after Planned Parenthood and “prosecute any and all criminal conduct by that organization.” The group came under fire after the release of videos of organization officials discussing how they sometimes provide medical researchers with tissue from aborted fetuses.
He also plans to “rip to shreds” the Iranian nuclear deal, saying America’s “single greatest threat is a nuclear Iran.”
Cruz promises to move the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, a hot button for evangelical voters.
In the first of several digs at the news media, he said he led the effort to “repeal every word of Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act, which will lead to “journalists who will check themselves into therapy.”
Health care under a Cruz administration will be “personal, portable and affordable,” and keep “government from getting between us and our doctors.”
He said he’ll instruct his secretary of education to make sure “Common Core ends today,” referring to the contentious educational standards that conservatives slight as a top-down mandate from the feds.
Cruz will “secure our borders,” though he didn’t say how, and will end sanctuary cities. He’ll further take on the Environmental Protection Agency and institute a flat tax of 10 percent so “every American can fill out their tax on a postcard.”
Cruz closed with an anecdote about his Cuban father who fled the Castro regime, and a Ronald Reagan farewell address reference.
“Freedom is not some abstract concept we read about in school books,” he said. “It’s real and personal … if ‘We The People’ stand together we can bring back that shining ‘city on a hill.’ “