Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz holds rally in Irvine

- "I’m going to say a sentence that has not been said in 50 years,” Sen. Ted Cruz, (R) Texas, said to a crowd of thousands of supporters. "California is going to decide the Republican nomination for president."

The crowd erupted in cheers.

Monday was the first presidential rally in California for Cruz. The senator stumped in Orange County, which he called the most republican county in the country

“He is a true conservative and so are all of we,” supporter Cheryl Luttrell said.

Conservatives turned out in full force to show their support and hear Cruz’s presidential campaign message on jobs, freedom and security. Cruz's campaign said the rally at Hotel Irvine sold out within a matter of hours.

An estimated 2,000 people packed the ballroom making it standing room only. 

Cruz energized the crowd with attacks on his rival Donald Trump, who still leads in the California Republican Primary.

“Nominating Donald Trump would be a train wreck,” Cruz said. “Donald loses to Hillary and he loses by double digits.”

“I think Trump is like the Wicked Witch of the West going down and he’s melting and melting,” Cruz supporter, Kimberly Crawford, said.

Fresh off a win in Colorado, the Cruz campaign is feeling momentum in California.

While Monday’s rallies in Irvine and San Diego were the candidate’s first public appearances in California, campaign spokesperson Ron Nehring said it won’t be the last.  

“We are going to be in every part of California and do events like this,” he said. “People will have the opportunity to meet Senator Cruz and he can talk about his ideas and get to know them as well, that’s our formula for victory.”

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