Ted Cruz's six-day bus trip in Iowa launched as more of religious revival tour than a presidential barnstorm. In the most conservative parts of the state on Monday, the Texas senator weaved in faith at every turn, soliciting shouts of "Amen" and prayers from the audience.
In Carroll, he asked the audience to "pray and ask God to continue this awakening."
At a Christian bookstore in Boone, he quoted from the Book of Joshua.
"I was seeing Joshua 24:15 on the wall: 'choose you this day whom you will serve; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,'" Cruz said. "And what a powerful reminder of the values that Washington, D.C., seems to have forgotten. What a powerful reminder of the values that built this country."
But despite his outward displays of his belief, Cruz, the favorite in Iowa, is facing a whisper campaign of sorts from his Republican opponents: He's Christian, but not Christian enough.
Donald Trump has cryptically questioned whether Cuba raises true evangelicals, pondering aloud whether Cruz is actually a Catholic. Ben Carson's closest aide has argued that Cruz's faith isn't as native to him as Carson's is to him. And a pair of back-of-the-pack contenders, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, charge that Cruz is prioritizing wrong-headed Constitutional commitments over long-held Christian ones.