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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sunshine Summit: Ted Cruz

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gestures while addressing the Sunshine Summit in Orlando on Friday.

Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gestures while addressing the Sunshine Summit in Orlando on Friday.



ORLANDO -- It made for interesting politics, to watch Ted Cruz addressing the Republican Party of Florida's Sunshine Summit while rival Marco Rubio spoke to reporters across the hall. The two senators have been locking horns over the past two days over immigration.

A smaller crowd awaited Cruz than Rubio, but some of the people in the audience were true believers. They hollered during Cruz's speech ("We love you!" a woman yelled. "We the people love you!" a man added) and chanted his name once he was done. When Cruz saw the TelePrompTer, he grabbed it and joked: "Is Obama coming?"

A few memorable moments:

HE'S MAKING A LIST: Cruz rattled off all the policy items he would tackle as president, starting with undoing President Obama's executive actions to investigating Planned Parenthood to getting Congress to repeal "every word of Obamacare," to abolishing the U.S. Department of Education and doing away with the Internal Revenue Service.

"In the days that follow we will finally, finally, finally secure the borders and end sanctuary cities. We will stop releasing criminal illegal aliens, and we will pass Kate's Law."

TED VS. THE WORLD: The "single biggest difference" between himself and his rivals: "When I tell you I'm going to do something, I'm going to do exactly what I say I'm going to do."

MEDIA LOVE: By the end of his two terms in the White House, Cruz pledged, "a whole lot of reporters...will have checked themselves into therapy."

TAKE THAT, FLORIDA CANDIDATES: "Do you know which campaign has the most cash on hand the most money in the bank?" Cruz asked, spreading his arms wide for effect. "We do!"

MY DAD'S CUBAN, TOO: "My whole life, my dad has been my hero," Cruz said of his Cuban-born father, Rafael. "Every one of us here, we have a story just like that in our backgrounds. Some of us, it's us. Others, it's our parents. Others, it's our great-great-great grandparents. But what ties Americans together is everyone of us is the children of those who risked everything for us."

TEXAS HEARTS FLORIDA: "Florida and Texas share a lot in common," Cruz said. "We're immigrant states." And southern states that like sunshine, he added. "Florida's primary is a critical time, and Florida can play the decisive role in ensuring that the next Republican nominee for president is a strong conservative."

[Last modified: Friday, November 13, 2015 1:59pm]


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