For months -- years, really -- there's been chatter about who'll run for President in 2016. Hillary Clinton seems like a lock to declare her candidacy, while another Bush and Rand Paul also appear intent on trying to make the White House home.
Regardless of who ends up on the ballot though, voters ages 18 to 29 will play a crucial role in the election. In fact, millenials swayed the 2012 presidential race to favor Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. This is not lost on Ted Cruz, who chose Liberty University in Virginia to make the first major official announcement from a candidate.
In the coming months, we'll be seeing plenty from the 44-year-old, but here's a head-start -- everything from the time he read "Green Eggs and Ham" on the Senate floor to why he wants to end Obamacare.
He's a Republican Senator from TexasGetty Images
Cruz was elected to the Senate in 2012, during a wave of elections of Tea Party Republicans. Prior to that, he was the Solicitor General of Texas, and worked at a law firm and as a clerk for a Supreme Court judge before that.
With a wife, Heidi Nelson Cruz, and two daughtersGetty Images
Mini flags for mini people.
And a dog named SnowflakeSen. Ted Cruz via Facebook
Because his daughters prayed for it, and it happened (that's what he said).
He's not actually from Texas, though -- he's CanadianGetty Images
You might be thinking, how can he be President if he wasn't born in the U.S.?
You may remember that President Obama dealt with accusations that he was born in Kenya (he was actually born in Hawaii), which some used as reason to say that he shouldn't be allowed to be President. Cruz could, theoretically, deal with a similar pushback, but he probably won't. Though born in Canada, his mother is American mother (his father is Cuban) -- which most legal experts agree makes him a "natural born citizen" of the U.S., which is what the Constitution calls for for a President.
He's so passionate about being American, in fact, that in 2014, he gave up his Canadian citizenship.
As President, he wants to bring "real conservative change"
He said as much in a video he released announcing his plans to run on Monday. So, what's that mean?
His "number one" priority would be to repeal Obamacare
He's been fighting against the President's healthcare reform for over a year (above), and wouldn't stop if he were to take office. He recently told Sean Hannity (below) it would be his top priority.
His second would be to "abolish" the IRS
Cruz wouldn't get rid of all taxes, but instead would create a flat tax -- which basically means that everyone pays the same rate, no matter how much money they make -- where everyone could file their taxes "on a postcard."
He opposes same sex marriage
"If ever there was an issue on which we should come to our knees to God about, it is preserving marriage of one man and one woman," he said in a 2014 speech, according to The New Yorker.
He believes that, if gay marriage is to be legalized, it should be decided on a state-by-state basis, rather than nationally, by the federal government.
And opposes Obama's immigration reform
And doesn't believe in climate change
That's in opposition to 97% of scientists, according to a government report, as well as me, who has been dealing with winter in New York City for, like, 87 months in a row.
But he does believe in style changeSen. Ted Cruz via Facebook
Though I really think he should go back to this, in favor of the blue suits he wears these days. #BringBackThatJacket
He's hip to social media
He tweets often, and even first announced his intentions to run on Twitter. Hopefully he doesn't use the word "hip," though.
He takes an insult pretty well
Former Presidential candidate Senator John McCain called him a "wacko bird." Better than a wacko snake, I guess? Besides, he says he's a "very, very proud wacko bird."
He really, really loves the Constitution and, as a teenager, was in a group called Constitutional CorroboratorsSen. Ted Cruz via Facebook
They studied the Constitution and came up with this mnemonic to help you in history class: “TCCNCCPCC PAWN MOMMA RUN. Taxes, credit, commerce, naturalization, coinage, counterfeiting, post office, copyright, courts, piracy, Army, war, Navy, militia, money for militia, Washington, D.C., rules, and necessary and proper.”
Thank him later.
One time he read "Green Eggs and Ham" during a 21-hour talking marathon
That's some classic Dr. Seuss, no question about it. So, really, no one needs a reason to read it. But Cruz had one: He was filibustering in late 2013, against the funding of Obamacare. He talked about that a bunch, sure, but he also broke to read to his daughters, who were watching at home getting ready for bed.
And another time he frightened this small childGetty Images
Or maybe he was teaching him how to count?
Also, he wasn't a fan of Obama's 2013 State of the Union
That's him on the left, obviously.
In the words of Wiz Khalifa, he inked his whole body, he don't give a motherf--k
Actually, these posters were created by street artist Sabo. But still.
There's also this time he kinda sang
And there you have it, folks.