Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told an audience of Christian conservatives Friday that it is time for “a president who will speak out for people of faith.”

Speaking to the annual Values Voter Summit, the possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate referenced the situations of imprisoned Christians in Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and Mexico.

“Oh the vacuum of American leadership we see in the world,” Cruz said. “We need a president who will speak out for people of faith, prisoners of conscience.”

He also told a story about how his father became a Christian.

“You know, when I was a young child, my parents were living up in Calgary,” Cruz began. “They were in the oil business. And neither of my parents were people of faith at the time. Neither of them had a relationship with Christ. Both of my parents drank far too much. Both of them had serious problems with alcohol.”

“And when I was three years old, my father decided he didn’t want to be married anymore,” he continued. “And he didn’t want a three year old son. So he got on a plane and left Calgary and flew back to Texas to Houston. And he left us. Now, when he was in Houston, a colleague in the oil and gas business invited my father to come with him to Clay Road Baptist church.”

“And my father accepted that invitation,” Cruz said, “he went to Clay Road Baptist church and he gave his life to Jesus. And he went and bought an airplane ticket. And flew back to Calgary to rejoin my mother and to rejoin his son.”

Cruz said: “So when anyone asks is faith real, is a relationship with Jesus real, I can tell you, if it were not for my father giving his life to Christ, I would have been raised by a single mother without having my dad in the home.”

Cruz reminded the conservative audience that it had been a year since his Obamacare filibuster, an act that helped make him a favorite of the conservative base across the country.

“One year ago this week, I stood on the Senate floor and said I intend to stand until I can stand no longer,” Cruz said to applause.

The senator also joked about the recent fence jumpers who have breached security at the White House.

“You know, we should actually hold the media to account,” Cruz said. “Because I will say, in their reporting on this person who broke into the White House, they really have not used the politically correct term. And we should insist that ABC, NBC, and CBS refer to the visitor, according to the term that is politically correct: an undocumented White House visitor.”

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