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Sen. Ted Cruz grabs media attention. (Photo by Judson Phillips)

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Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, sent a clear message to the rest of the field that he is still a favorite of the grass-roots activists who populate the country's largest annual conservative gathering, and signaled that he would fight to claim the conservative mantle in the presidential nomination race. (Rod Lamkey Jr./Special to The Washington Times)

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

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20150226_CPAC_2611.jpg

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

20150226_CPAC_2481.jpg

20150226_CPAC_2481.jpg

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) delivers his speech on the second day of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, February 26, 2015. This event, which is billed as the nation's largest gathering of conservatives, runs February 25-28, 2015. (Photo by Rod Lamkey Jr. for The Washington Times)

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Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, speaks Feb. 26, 2015, during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. (Rod Lamkey Jr./Special to The Washington Times)

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Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, did not support a plan proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican to avert a shutdown. He called the about-face by GOP senators "a mistake."

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"The district court's order was abundantly clear: The federal court enjoined any and all aspects of the illegal amnesty order," said Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican. "If the Department of Homeland Security continues moving forward, that on its face is in violation of a federal court injunction." (Associated Press)

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Sen. Ted Cruz has become best known for his attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act. (Associated Press)

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Senate Armed Services Committee member Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, joined by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, center, poses questions to Ashton Carter, President Barack Obama's choice to be defense secretary, as he goes before the committee for confirmation to replace Chuck Hagel as Pentagon chief, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Dec. 13, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, waves before speaking at the Freedom Summit, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) ** FILE **

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, waves before speaking at the Freedom Summit, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Dec. 13, 2014, file photo. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas talks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Dec. 13, 2014, file photo. Unhappy Republicans say Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas left a gift certificate good for confirmation of 12 judicial appointments for President Barack Obama and Democrats this holiday season. Only a month or so ago, voters delivered them a lump of coal in midterm elections. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)