Under the Dome

In Raleigh, Ted Cruz takes presidential campaign to NCGOP convention

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gives a speech in Raleigh on April 13, 2015. Cruz spoke in Raleigh again on Saturday, June 6, at the N.C. GOP Convention.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gives a speech in Raleigh on April 13, 2015. Cruz spoke in Raleigh again on Saturday, June 6, at the N.C. GOP Convention. hlynch@newsobserver.com

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz called for abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and repealing the Affordable Care Act during a speech to the N.C. GOP Convention in Raleigh on Saturday.

Cruz spoke at lunch, ahead of speeches from Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Tim Moore and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.

Cruz, a U.S. senator from Texas, outlined a plan for tax reform he says will grow the country’s economy.

“The very best tax reform: We should adopt a simple, flat tax, so every American can fill out their taxes on a postcard,” he said. “And when we do that, we should abolish the IRS.”

Cruz joked that the U.S. could address its border security issues by deploying thousands of IRS employees to the border with Mexico.

“If the first thing you see is 90,000 IRS agents, you’d turn around and go home too,” he said of immigrants.

Cruz also said Republicans shouldn’t be resigned to keeping President Barack Obama’s healthcare program in place. “We need to repeal every word of Obamacare,” he said.

The candidate also took issue with Republicans who didn’t fight for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a measure that came under fire in Indiana and Arkansas from opponents who said it would legalize discrimination against same-sex couples.

A similar proposal was filed in the N.C. House this year, but Moore said the bill won’t move forward this session after outcry from some business leaders. And last week, Moore delayed a veto override of a bill that would exempt magistrates and register of deeds employees from marriage duties if they have a religious objection.

“Here in North Carolina, y’all are dealing with a fight over religious liberty right now,” Cruz said. “It is the foundational liberty upon which this nation was built.”

Cruz has been in North Carolina for several days building his campaign organization, and he said the state will play an important role in the GOP nominating process.

“It’s going to be an early primary,” he said. “It’s going to matter in the Republican primary.”

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