Today, some say, he is the only true constitutionalist running for office in this election.
Today, some say, he is the only true constitutionalist running for office in this election. (Reuters)

Ted Cruz didn't dream of being president of the United States when he grew up. But he fell in love with the U.S. Constitution after joining an after school program as a teenager run by the Free Enterprise Institute. Today, some say, he is the only true constitutionalist running for office in this election.

Indeed, Cruz didn't even run for Senate until 2012—and shocked many when he actually won. An attorney by trade, Cruz was also the first Republican presidential candidate to throw his hat in the ring.

Charisma Founder Steve Strang and Senior Editor Jennifer LeClaire recently sat down with Cruz near Dallas, Texas, for an exclusive interview. Below is part one of that interview. In part two, Cruz will discuss what he thinks America would look like in 2020 or 2024 under his leadership.

You can also listen to the podcast of the interview here and read Strang's endorsement of Cruz here. 

Charisma: Why do you want to be president of the United States?

Cruz: Because our country is in crisis. We're losing America. The challenges facing this nation, I think, have never been greater. We're bankrupting our kids and grandkids. Our national debt now exceeds the size of our entire economy. We're seeing our constitutional rights under assault each and every day, and America has receded from leadership in the world, and it's made the world a much more dangerous place.

I believe this next election is now or never—that we either pull back from the edge of this cliff or we risk losing the greatest country in the history of the world. I think four or eight more years down this current path would do irreparable damage to this country, and there comes a point where the hole's too deep, where the damage is too great, where our freedoms have been too far eroded that there's no going back. I don't believe we're there yet, but we are perilously close.

We also know how to fix things. The nice thing about eternal truths [is that they] are always true. The principals that build America always work, and if we get back to them, America comes back.

So the reason I'm running is to fight for the free-market principles and the constitutional liberties that built America and made our nation great, to restore the Judeo Christian values that are the foundation of our nation, and I think it's now or never.

Charisma: What do you see as the greatest single challenge in our nation and how do you propose to fix it?

Cruz: The greatest challenge is that today for the first time in history, a majority of Americans believe our kids will have a worse life than we did, 65 percent, and that is the first time that has ever been the case in centuries of our history.

I believe the central issue in this next election will be reigniting the promise of America, getting back to that fundamental issue that was true in the 1600s, the 1700s and 1800s and 1900s and which was that our children would have a better life than we did, and their children would have a better life than they did.

I think the three keys to doing that, to reigniting the promise of America are what I mentioned just a minute ago: bringing back jobs and growth and opportunity, number one, and you do that through tax reform and regulatory reform. Number two, defending our constitutional rights and number three, restoring America's leadership in the world. We do those three things and we bring back the fundamental promise to our nation.

Listen to Steve Strang's Strang Report with Ted Cruz here.

Read Jennifer LeClaire's Ted Cruz endorsement here.

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