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Ted Cruz Makes His Pitch to Evangelicals at Regent University

Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the upcoming presidential election is now more important than ever when it comes to defending the Bill of Rights.

Cruz was in Virginia Beach, Va., at Regent University’s Presidential Candidate Forum courting evangelicals ahead of Super Tuesday, March 1.

“Just a few days ago I attended Justice Scalia’s funeral. And his passing underscores that the stakes of this presidential election are not just one, but two branches of government,” Cruz noted.

“We are one liberal justice away from a five-justice left wing majority, the likes of which this country has never seen that will undermine our basic rights,” Cruz told the audience.

“We are one liberal justice away from the Supreme Court ordering veterans memorials torn down all over this country, and I tell you we’re not far away from the court ordering the chisels to come out to remove the crosses and the stars of David from the tombstones of fallen soldiers. That’s what the stakes are in this election,” Cruz added.

Cruz, referencing a comment by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump from the most recent debate, said he has no intention of cutting a deal with Harry Reid and nominating a justice who isn’t true to the constitution.

“I give you my solemn word as someone who has spent his entire adult life fighting to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that every justice I appoint to the Court will be a principled Constitutionalist with a proven record who will vigorously defend the Bill of Rights for your children and for mine,” Cruz said.

With just days until the crucial Super Tuesday primaries, Cruz is hoping to bolster his standing among evangelicals.

“Listen, there are good people in this race who I like and respect. But there’s only one candidate in the position to beat Donald Trump on Super Tuesday, and that is us,” Cruz said.

“We’re going to win the Republican nomination,” Cruz said. “And we will win the general election and turn this country around — get back to the free market principles and Constitutional liberties that have built America into the greatest country in the history of the world.”

The Texas senator spoke with CBN founder Pat Robertson as part of Regent University’s Executive Leadership Presidential Candidate Forum.

“You know I remember well when you ran for president in ’88. Both my mom and dad were volunteers on your presidential campaign,” Cruz told Robertson.

“Your dad told me he voted. I may have been his first vote; it shows how smart your family is,” Robertson said with a chuckle.

Asked what his first act as president would be, Sen. Cruz said, “Everything done with executive power can be undone by the president on day one. That’s why I’ve pledged, on day one, to instruct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and to prosecute any and all criminals.”

“Does that include a prosecution into Hillary Clinton’s emails?” Dr. Robertson asked. “Yes,” Cruz replied.

That’s not all Cruz would plan to do the first day as president.

“On day one I intend to rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal,” Cruz told Robertson.

“And that has never been ratified by the Senate; it does not rise to a treaty so it’s an executive action — period,” Robertson clarified.

“And likewise on day one, I intend to begin the process of moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the once and eternal capital,” Cruz responded.

Cruz also discussed foreign policy with Robertson.

“No rational person wants to see America in a shooting war with either Russia or China; you don’t have nuclear super powers shooting tanks or missiles at each other — that doesn’t end well. But there’s all sorts of ways of expressing strength and power against them short of engaging in military conflict, and we need a president who will stand up to them,” Cruz said.

Robertson told Cruz, “My reporter, Chuck Holton did a piece today on the use of chemical weapons by ISIS against the Peshmerga in Northern Iraq. There was no question about it. We had pictures of the places where the shells had exploded. We actually had a man who fainted on camera who had been gassed. But the president absolutely refuses to identify ISIS for what it is.”

Sen. Cruz replied, “You are absolutely right. This president refuses to even utter the words radical Islamic terrorism, and indeed he often acts as an apologist for radical Islamic terrorism, giving excuses, giving justifications, comparing it to the Crusades or the Inquisitions,” Cruz answered.

“Listen, ISIS is the face of evil. I think we need to start with a president who lays out the objective: we will utterly defeat radical Islamic terrorism. We will utterly destroy ISIS,” he contined. “We should be arming the Kurds. They’re fighting ISIS right now.”

Moderator Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, fielded questions from the viewing audience, including how he would reform the Veterans Administration.

“Two things will change if I’m president. There will be accountability. Anyone who wrongfully denied care will be terminated,” he said. “Anyone who violated the criminal law will be prosecuted.”

Cruz also talked about how he formulates domestic policy.

“I try to think of all domestic policy from the perspective of my Dad,” Cruz said.

“My Dad came from Cuba in 1957. He’d been imprisoned, he was tortured in Cuba as a teenager. And when he came to America he was just 18, and he couldn’t speak English. He had a hundred dollars in his underwear. And he washed dishes making 50 cents an hour. And I try to think of every policy – alright, how would it have impacted my Dad?”

“It’s one of the reasons I am so passionately opposed to Obamacare. Because if Obamacare were the law of the land, the odds are very high that my father would have been laid off from his job washing dishes,” Cruz told his audience.

Cruz explains what he believes is most at stake in this election.

“And if he hadn’t been laid off, the odds are overwhelming that he would have had his hours forcibly reduced to 28-29 hours a week, because Obamacare kicks in at 30 hours a week, and you can’t feed your kids, you can’t pay your way through college, on 28, 29 hours a week,” Cruz said.

Sekulow also discussed Planned Parenthood with Cruz.

“In Texas, your state, grand jury in Houston investigating the case doesn’t issue an indictment against Planned Parenthood but rather against the videographers that reported the crime. You’re president of the United States — what do you do?” Sekulow asked Cruz.

“I’ve encouraged Americans whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, especially if you call yourself pro-choice, to watch those videos. And just ask, ‘Are those my values as you see Planned Parenthood officials laughing, sipping chardonnay and callously, heartlessly, selling the body parts of unborn children.” Cruz went on to say.

Cruz has long courted the evangelical vote, and even launched his campaign a few hours west at Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian school.  Still, Cruz has seen Donald Trump win a plurality of evangelicals during the last two contests.

In last Saturday’s primary in South Carolina, 33 percent of evangelicals cast their ballots for Trump, versus 27 percent for Cruz. The results were similar at the Nevada caucuses earlier this week, as 40 percent of evangelicals broke for Trump, compared to 26 percent for Cruz.

The visit comes as Virginia, along with more than a dozen other states and territories, will either caucus or host their primaries on March 1. At stake are 595 Republican delegates – nearly half of the 1,236 needed to secure the nomination.

Many of those delegates up-for-grabs are located in evangelical-heavy Southern states, such as Virginia, Georgia, and Cruz’s home state of Texas.  A successful pitch to the values voters could potentially breathe new life into Cruz’s campaign after three straight third-place finishes following his victory in Iowa.

Cruz is the fourth presidential hopeful to make a campaign stop at the Regent Presidential Forum; Jeb Bush and John Kasich participated late last year. Trump took part earlier this week, and Dr. Ben Carson is scheduled to make an appearance on Monday, Feb. 29 at 2 p.m.

Report via CBN News


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