Cruz courts Pa. conservatives

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz

It was all applause lines for GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz as he stopped in central Pennsylvania to speak at a conference for political conservatives.

The audience at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Camp Hill, Cumberland County, Friday  responded to Cruz with an occasional “amen” and “praise the Lord.” The U.S. senator from Texas was in his element.

“The men and women gathered here, you’re activists. You’re leaders,” said Cruz. “The battle in Pennsylvania is going to matter.”

Cruz scarcely mentioned the candidate polling immediately ahead of him in Pennsylvania, John Kasich, whose low delegate count has some Republicans calling his campaign a vanity tour. Instead, the senator focused his fire on Donald Trump, recounting a comment he said the GOP front-runner made at a recent debate.

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“He said, ‘Ted, when it comes to Supreme Court justices, when it comes to religious liberties … you got to learn how to cut deals with Democrats and go along to get along,'” Cruz said, as members of the audience booed.

“Well, let me be very clear with the people of Pennsylvania: I will not compromise away your religious liberty,” he said. “And I will not compromise your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”

His words were greeted with wild applause.

A Franklin & Marshall College poll released last week found Cruz is trailing Trump and Kasich among registered Republican voters in Pennsylvania.

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