Ted Cruz's presidential campaign is out with a new TV ad that promises Americans the U.S. senator from Texas will keep them safe in a dangerous world.
The 30-second spot, released Thursday afternoon, features a slew of ominous headlines about international developments, including the recent capture of U.S. sailors by the Iranian government.
"If I’m elected president, no serviceman or servicewoman will be forced to be on their knees, and any nation that captures our fighting men and women will feel the full force and fury of the United States of America," Cruz says in the commercial. "I will have your back."
In other ad news, Cruz is taking his endorsement from "Duck Commander" Phil Robertson to the airwaves in Iowa.
Cruz's presidential campaign announced Tuesday afternoon it is launching a $700,000 ad buy in the first early voting state that touts Robertson's support for the U.S. senator from Texas. The reality TV star of "Duck Dynasty" fame endorsed Cruz on Wednesday, calling him "the man for the job."
The buy is running next week on both radio and TV, including during "Duck Dynasty" and the NFL playoffs, according to Cruz's campaign. Titled "Cruz Commander," the 60-second TV spot is similar to the endorsement video Cruz's team released last week.
The ad will start airing Friday across Iowa, according to the Cruz campaign.
Cruz is hitting the campaign trail Saturday in Iowa with Dallas-based conservative radio host Glenn Beck.
Beck will appear at two rallies with the U.S. senator from Texas, one in Ankeny and the other in Waterloo, according to organizers. The pro-Cruz super PAC Keep the Promise PAC is putting on the events.
Beck has not endorsed Cruz but has spoken highly of him. In media appearances, Beck occasionally refers to Cruz as "my guy."
"Iowans, like the rest of country, are hungry for a president who will do what he says he will do," David Barton, chairman of Keep the Promise PAC, said in a statement announcing the rallies. "We are glad Sen. Cruz’s record is resonating with voters, including bold leaders like Glenn Beck."
One of Cruz's top supporters in Iowa is warning that criticism by the state's governor of the U.S. senator from Texas could imperil the state's influence in the Republican presidential race.
U.S. Rep. Steve King, a national co-chair of Cruz's campaign, sounded the alarm Thursday morning while discussing Gov. Terry Branstad's recent comment that he hopes Cruz is defeated in the Feb. 1 caucuses due to his ethanol views.
"If a governor does that ... it puts Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus status in great jeopardy," King said unprompted during a campaign event here with Cruz's wife, Heidi. "What candidate in a future race would come invest a year in campaigning in Iowa if he had to wonder if the governor was going to come out and take a direct shot at him 10 days or two weeks before the caucus?"
Branstad and his allies have increasingly targeted Cruz over his opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets the minimum amount of ethanol that must be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply. While Branstad has promised not to endorse in the race for the White House, his rebuke of Cruz represented an "anti-endorsement" that reflects poorly on the state, King said.
"We have to recover from the damage that that statement has done, and I will tell you that if Ted Cruz comes out of Iowa with a resounding victory in this caucus, there couldn’t be a stronger message for Iowa’s maintaining our first-in-the-nation caucus status," King said. "If that doesn’t happen, it is going to be diminished."
Campaign finance watchdog group Texans for Public Justice has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission asking the agency to look into Cruz’s failure to disclose during his 2012 Senate run a couple of loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank.
Those loans were disclosed on Cruz’s personal financial disclosure after joining the Senate. News reports on Cruz’s failure to disclose the loans earlier has become an issue in the 2016 presidential race.
Cruz has dismissed the issue as an inadvertent filing error.
U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro is hitting the campaign trail for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Castro, who endorsed Clinton at a splashy rally last year in San Antonio, will stump for the former secretary of state Sunday in Iowa, her campaign announced Thursday morning. Castro, the former mayor of the Alamo City, is scheduled to headline four events for Clinton throughout the day across the eastern half of the state.
Castro will "discuss what’s at stake for Iowa families in this election and why Clinton is the fighter Democrats need to take on Republicans and protect the progress that's been made," Clinton's campaign said in a media advisory. "Castro will highlight Hillary Clinton’s commitment to ending the systemic inequality that continues to hold too many communities back."
Castro has long been seen as Clinton's potential running mate. She has said she plans to "really look hard at him for anything because that's how good he is."
Castro's twin brother, U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio, has already made a number of trip to the early voting states to boost the Clinton campaign.