Cruz kicks off presidential campaign at Christian college

By PHILIP ELLIOTT
Associated Press

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has opened the first major campaign of the 2016 presidential season with a kickoff speech courting cultural conservatives.

One of several Republican hopefuls to rise from the tea party movement, Cruz spoke at Liberty University, the college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Cruz addressed his religious faith, his father's Cuban roots, and declared: "For so many Americans the promise of America seems more and more distant."

He says his mission is about "reigniting the promise of America."

A familiar stop for presidential hopefuls, the selection of Liberty University is meant as a marker against potential rivals who are also counting on Christian conservatives to fuel their ambitions.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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