Sitting under a patio umbrella display at an Arlington Costco, Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz signed copies of his new memoir for hundreds of discount shoppers and other supporters who waited in a line that snaked through aisles and along a wall.
He opened with comments for the news media, saying his campaign is riding a “grassroots tsunami reminiscent of what happened in 1980 with the Reagan revolution.”
“That’s the only thing strong enough to break the Washington cartel and turn this country around,” Cruz said.
He also reiterated his disdain for the Supreme Court ruling last week that gave same-sex marriage protection under the Constitution, calling it “radical and extreme.”
“If you tear down marriage laws in all 50 states, is the next step that the Obama IRS will start going after Christian universities, schools like Georgetown and Notre Dame, or by extension, Christian grade schools or charities or even churches?” he said. “Or for that matter, Jewish churches or Mormon churches or Catholic churches or even Muslim entities that follow the teachings of marriage as a union of one man and one woman?”
After that, he settled in at his shaded book-signing table as campaign and store officials stepped in to keep reporters back and to repeat warnings that they were forbidden to interview customers, including those in line with copies of his new book, A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America.
Jacqueline Morgan of Arlington, standing at the front of the line, was eager to talk about Cruz, however, saying that she had become a fan after seeing him in interviews over the past year.
“Honor and integrity — that’s what I’m looking for,” she said, cradling several copies of the book, at $15.29 each. “And he stands up for the Constitution.”
It was Cruz’s third book-signing stop in a tour that will also take him to South Carolina and Georgia.
His first two stops were in Houston and Katy, where Cruz, who is among 14 presidential hopefuls, signed books for about 500 people total, spokeswoman Catherine Fraser said. She said that when everything is tallied, the Costco stop could be the biggest of the three.
Cruz, 44, skyrocketed to national attention in 2012 when he defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a race for U.S. Senate that turned into a classic fight: Tea Party vs. establishment Republican, David vs. Goliath. It was the first political office sought by the former solicitor general of Texas.
Cruz, an ardent Tea Party Republican, has remained in headlines since then, constantly attacking the GOP establishment, criticizing the Obama administration and calling on officials to draw a harder line against the president. He even helped force a partial government shutdown, which Republican leaders said hurt them.
He was the first to formally jump into the GOP presidential race, in March, telling those gathered at Liberty University in Virginia that it is “time for truth … [and] liberty.”
“It is the time to reclaim the Constitution of the United States,” he told enthusiastic supporters.
In his new 342-page book, he writes both about his time in the Senate and about family issues, ranging from the death of a brother to his parents’ divorce.
Staff writer Anna M. Tinsley contributed to this report.
Robert Cadwallader, 817-390-7186