Ted Cruz fires up an overflow crowd in Iowa debut

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United States Senator Ted Cruz talks with CNN's Dana Bash Thursday, February 20, 2014. Credit: CNN

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Texas Senator Ted Cruz made his debut as a campaigning presidential candidate in Iowa Wednesday.

The only republican to have announced his candidacy for president so far, Cruz filled an entire auditorium and two overflow rooms at Morningside College, a private college connected with the United Methodist Church, according to The Des Moines Register.

Cruz spoke to the crowd of about 300 on his first stop of a two-day tour of the state aimed at rolling out his campaign platform to voters and local activists.

That includes repealing Common Core and Obamacare, abolishing the IRS and putting in its place a simple flat tax, and protecting constitutional rights.

He also talked about religion and American businesses influencing religious liberty.

“Religious liberty is not some fringe view,” he told the crowd. “Sadly, a whole lot of Republicans are terrified of this issue.”

According to The Des Moines Register, he took aim at business leaders who haven’t defended religious freedom laws like the ones in Indiana and Arkansas.

The CEO of Walmart and other business leaders have been making their opposition to the controversial laws known as public outcry has increased.

“The Fortune 500 is running shamelessly to endorse the radical gay marriage agenda over religious liberty to say: ‘We will persecute a Christian pastor, a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi,’ ” he said. “Any person of faith is subject to persecution if they dare disagree, if their religious faith parts way from their political commitment to gay marriage.”

The reception was raucous and well-received according to reports, with numerous rounds of applause.

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