MANCHESTER, N.H. —U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrapped up a two-day trip to New Hampshire on Monday as he moves closer to a run for the presidency.
The conservative Republican has gained a reputation as a hardline right-winger who’s unwilling to compromise, but he said it’s part of sticking to his principles.
Cruz spoke at a Politics and Eggs event at St. Anselm College on Monday morning. He also sat down for an interview for WMUR’s “CloseUP.” He said the perception that he’s more concerned with grandstanding than building bridges is a caricature put forward by the national media.
“What I believe in are common-sense conservative values,” Cruz said. “Things like live within your means, don’t bankrupt our kids and grandkids, and follow the Constitution.”
Cruz also defended the idea of doing away with limits on individual campaign contributions.
“If that happened, super PACs would go away,” he said. “Because it would be far more effective to let candidates speak for themselves, because when you put campaign finance restrictions in place, incumbent politicians become impossible to beat.”
After leading a charge to shut down the government during a budget stalemate last year, Cruz said he knows he may have some challenges in winning over fatigued voters frustrated with gridlock. Given the size of the crowd he drew at St. Anselm College on Monday, it seems many are willing to listen.
“We’ve been blessed to have so many folks who have come through this state of ours who have outstanding resumes, who have done the job, walked the walk, and I think he is right in there with all of them,” said Jim Adams, of Pittsfield.
Speculation is building that Cruz’s decision on a 2016 run could be imminent.
“We are assessing the support we’ve got right now, and what we’re seeing is really extraordinary,” Cruz said.
Cruz is scheduled to be back in New Hampshire next month.
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