PROVO, Utah, March 19, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Sen. Mike Lee on Saturday officially launched his re-election campaign with two public rallies, but the real headliner at his events was the man he calls his best friend in the Senate.
That would be Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican candidate for the United States presidency.
“There’s a reason we need food testers in the members’ dining room,” Cruz joked at his Provo rally, referencing the sometimes unpopular conservative stances he and Lee take on as a duo.
“We’re here today because our country’s in crisis,” Cruz said. “We’re bankrupting our kids and grandkids, because our constitutional rights are under assault each and every day, because America has receded in leadership around the world.
“And yet I’m here with a word of hope and encouragement and exhortation. All across America, there’s a spirit of awakening that is sweeping across the land,” Cruz said. “The next election will focus on three critical issues: jobs, freedom and security.”
Cruz began his day with a 10 a.m. rally at the American Preparatory Academy, in Draper, where he helped officially kick off the campaign of Utah Sen. Mike Lee.
Two hours later he was at Provo High where he was joined by former GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, and conservative talk show host, Glenn Beck.
Fiorina wasted little time in taking aim at Cruz’s principle opponents, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, and the increasingly likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.
“Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are two sides of the same coin, Fiorina said.
“Clinton has made her millions by selling access and influence from inside the political system and Donald Trump has made his billions by buying people like Hillary Clinton off. They are the system, folks.”
The standing-room-only crowd cheered, with shouts of “Carly for VP!”
Fiorina’s comments were echoed by Glenn Beck, who railed against Trump and Clinton for the spectacle of the 2016 campaign.
“I’m not here for personalities,” Beck said. “You’re not here for personalities. We are here for the Constitution of the United States of America, and it’s high time that it’s restored.”
Beck then spoke about his conversion to the LDS faith, and the moral responsibility he believes Mormons share in preserving America’s Judeo- Christian values.
“Let the priesthood lead,” Beck shouted.”Priesthood leaders, stand up and take your staff! You are the guardian at the gate!”
The crowd rose, roaring its approval.
Joining Beck on stage was Utah Sen. Mike Lee.
Lee spoke of his deep respect for his Senate colleague and their mutual love of the U.S. Constitution. He also joked it was “weird” having his best friend at work run for president.
Cruz was quick to return Lee’s praise, saying that as a defender of the Constitution, the Lee would make a “good choice” for Supreme Court justice.
The crowd cheered in approval.
“Let me be very clear to the men and women of Utah, Cruz said.
“I will not compromise away your religious liberty. And I will not compromise away your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And you have my solemn commitment that every justice I put on the court will be a principled constitutionalist who will be faithful to the law and will ferociously protect the Bill of Rights for every one of us.”
With Utah’s caucuses scheduled for Tuesday, March 22nd, the state is seeing seen a flurry of campaign activity. Four presidential candidates visited the state on two consecutive days, and democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is scheduled to return Monday to visit Salt Lake City’s West High School.