• Thousands pack in for Ted Cruz rally

    By: Morgan Downing

    Updated:

    TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:

    • Ted Cruz arrived in Oklahoma Thursday for stops in Oklahoma City, Bartlesville and Tulsa.
    • Former Tulsa city councilor & ORU professor Rick Westcott hopes republicans take Oklahoma and voters seriously in the polls.
    • Westcott believes Oklahomans resonate with Senator Ted Cruz’s conservative values and Cruz’s appearance will signal other candidates to the Sooner State. 

    Thousands showed up Thursday night to see Texas senator and Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s rally.
     
    Cruz brought his “Cruz Country” rally to the Union Performing Arts Center,and so many people showed up that the fire marshal had to turn hundreds more away.
     
    Several attendees said that is proof that Oklahoma voters are ready for a change in Washington.

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    “It’s a fantastic demonstration of that kind of excitement we’re seeing. I tell you, it’s just breathtaking,” Cruz said.

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    FOX23 talked to area political pundits about the impact his visit could have. 

    Former Tulsa City Councilor and Oral Roberts University law professor Rick Westcott says Senator Cruz’s visit is a sign that others will have to court Oklahomans.

    “I hope this means that Republicans take Oklahoma seriously,” said Westcott.

    He said Cruz, a tea party conservative, has a message that resonates with many Oklahomans, that government overreach has become rampant. He said Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstein’s endorsement is a boost. Westcott believes Cruz’s presence in Oklahoma will draw other candidates to the state.

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    Jamie Ponds, of Tulsa, said she didn’t make it inside the rally but was one of several that Cruz greeted and took pictures with before going inside.
     
    “I’m excited, because it shows that people are coming out, getting actively involved in a political process and getting informed,” Ponds said.

    In his speech, Cruz listed off the many changes he would make on his first day in office if elected president.
     
    First, he said he’ll repeal executive actions that he called unconstitutional. Secondly, he wants to come down hard on Planned Parenthood.
     
    “I’ll instruct the United State Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood,” Cruz said.

    He also plans dismantle the Affordable Care Act.
     
    “I intend to make the 2016 referendum on repealing every word of Obamacare,” Cruz said.

    Cruz said Oklahoma will be an extremely important state to win on Super Tuesday next year.

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