Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who has yet to officially announce his run for president in 2016, says that all limits should be lifted on campaign contributions.
On his first trip this year to New Hampshire, Cruz spoke to potential voters in a town hall type meeting, insisting that he was not yet a presidential candidate, but was “looking at it very seriously.” Cruz’s New Hampshire trip follows on the heels of a visits to Iowa and South Carolina in the past week – which, like New Hampshire, are also early voting states.
According to the Washington Post, Cruz told the New Hampshire voters that getting rid of campaign contribution limits would give the people a greater say in the political progress, and equated the ability to give unlimited donations to the candidate of their choice to the First Amendment right to free speech.
“I believe in free speech and the First Amendment, which means everyone here has the right to speak out in politics as effectively as possible,” Cruz said when asked about the role of the wealthy in politics. “To speak out and make your views known, whether that is standing on a street corner on a soap box, whether that is printing out a yard sign, whether that is spending money to run a radio ad or a TV ad, effectively communicating.”
“The answer it not to muzzle citizens. It is to empower citizens,” he said.
Gary DiPiero, a Massachusetts supporter who attended the meeting, attempted to give Cruz a blank check afterward, telling him to fill in any amount he needed.
The Associate Press reported that Cruz declined, but told an aide to stay in touch with DiPiero and contact him after he officially enters the primary.
“Stay tuned,” Cruz said.
Cruz also noted that heavy spending had caused him a headache during his run for the Texas senate, recalling having millions of dollars spent on “nasty attack ads” by his opponents, but adding that they had a “constitutional right” to run those ads.
“Right now, the system is crazy,” he said, addressing the campaign finance rules.
Cruz, who strongly supports tea party policies, according to the Inquisitr, is expected to formally announce his candidacy in a few weeks, joining Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in the race for the Republican nomination.
Cruz, who currently lives in a high-rise apartment in Houston, told voters that his daughter has given him permission to run for president because the family dog would have free reign on the White House lawn.
“If you win, that means Snowflake will finally get a backyard to pee in,” his daughter told him.
[Image via Andrew Burton/Getty Images]