OPINION: TrusTED: Ted Cruz at North Greenville University

 Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Christian Segers, Opinion Editor

Less than 24 hours after the Republican debate on Thursday, Jan. 14, Ted Cruz held a campaign rally at North Greenville University with the hopes of capturing voters' attention within the community and on campus. His ability to influence voters will undoubtedly play a crucial role as the race to the 2016 GOP nomination heats up.

As the sprint for the Republican primary in Iowa rapidly approaches Election Day, only one GOP candidate has a reasonable shot at challenging the Donald Trump machine -- and that candidate is Cruz. With the Iowa caucus up for grabs between the two politicians, every tour stop and speech must be calculated. However, what I witnessed on Jan. 15 from Cruz was less calculated than I expected -- it was heartfelt sincerity. What I heard from Cruz that night was a man pleading with his fellow countrymen to evaluate the state of the Union and gage whether or not they were prepared to endure another terrible presidency for the duration of the next four years.

Amid a slew of comical remarks directed at the Democratic opposition of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, one in particular caught my ear.

Cruz said, “The Democratic field consists of a wide eyed socialist…and Bernie Sanders.”

The comic relief is the fact that Sanders claims to be a socialist, while Clinton denies it. However, both candidates are running against each other with the same set of principles and lackluster morals.

In the debate the night before, Cruz had mentioned the liberal tendencies and values of New Yorkers, much to the questioning of New York business mogul Trump, who promptly demanded an apology along with the mayor of New York and Clinton.  He responded the next day for the crowd at North Greenville University.

Cruz said, “Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio have all demanded an apology, and I’m happy to apologize. I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers that have been let down by liberal politicians in that state…I apologize to the hardworking men and women in the state of New York who have been denied jobs because Gov. Cuomo won’t allow fracking even though there’s been many high-paying jobs just south in Pennsylvania. New Yorkers are denied the ability to provide for their families,” Cruz said.

“I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-Second Amendment New Yorkers who were told by Governor Cuomo that they have no place in New York, because that’s who New Yorkers are,” Cruz added.

Cruz went on to list the acts he would carry out in his first 24 hours as president of the U.S. His list includes a mandate to cease religious persecution across the board, start an investigation into Planned Parenthood, dismiss the Iran deal, demand the border be closed while ending sanctuary citizenship and resending every illegal action taken by the current administration.

“If you live by the pen, you die by the pen and my pen has an eraser,” Cruz said.

I was given the opportunity to meet Cruz after the rally and the sense of respect he earned during his short speech came to a culmination with the firm handshake we exchanged. Perhaps America would be safest in those hands.