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.
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