Below are Senator Ted Cruz’s full remarks at the 2016 GOP Convention
Thank you. Heidi and I are honored to join you here in Cleveland, where Lebron James just led an incredible comeback victory. I’m convinced America is going to come back too.
I congratulate Donald Trump on winning the nomination last night.
Conventions are times of excitement. But given the events of the last few weeks, I hope you’ll allow me a moment to talk to you about what’s really at stake.
Just two weeks ago, a nine-year-old girl named Caroline was having a carefree Texas summer – swimming in the pool, playing with friends, doing all the things a happy child might do.
Like most children, she took for granted the love she received from her mom, Heidi, and her dad, a police sergeant named Michael Smith. That is, until he became one of the five police officers gunned down in Dallas.
The day her father was murdered, Caroline gave him a hug and kiss as he left for work. But as they parted, her dad asked her something he hadn’t asked before:
“What if this is the last time you ever kiss or hug me?'”
Later, as she thought of her fallen father, and that last heartbreaking hug, Caroline broke down in tears. How could anything ever be OK again?
Michael Smith was a former Army ranger who spent three decades with the Dallas Police Department. I have no idea who he voted for in the last election, or what he thought about this one. But his life was a testament to devotion. He protected the very protestors who mocked him because he loved his country and his fellow man. His work gave new meaning to that line from literature, “To die of love is to live by it.”
As I thought about what I wanted to say tonight, Michael Smith’s story weighed on my heart. Maybe that’s because his daughter, Caroline, is about the same age as my eldest daughter and happens to share the same name. Maybe it’s because I saw a video of that dear, sweet child choking back sobs as she remembered her daddy’s last question to her. Maybe it’s because we live in a world where so many others have had their lives destroyed by evil, in places like Orlando and Paris and Nice and Baton Rouge. Maybe it is because of the simple question itself:
What if this, right now, is our last time? Our last moment to do something for our families and our country?
Did we live up to our values? Did we do all we could?
That’s really what elections should be about. That’s why you and millions like you devoted so much time and sacrifice to this campaign.
We’re fighting, not for one particular candidate or one campaign, but because
each of us wants to be able to tell our kids and grandkids, our own Carolines, that we did our best for their future, and for our country.
America is more than just a land mass between two oceans. America is an idea, a simple yet powerful idea: freedom matters.
For much of human history, government power has been the unavoidable constant in life – government decrees, and the people obey.
Not here. We have no king or queen. No dictator. We the People constrain government.
Our nation is exceptional because it was built on the five most powerful words in the English language: I want to be free.
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