Political Profile: Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz is a conservative Republican Texas senator who is running for the 2016 presidential Republican nomination.  A graduate of two Ivy League colleges, he practiced law for the earlier part of his career, then switched over to focus on politics and government.  In 2013, he spearheaded a government shutdown, as well as talked in the Senate for 21 hours, where he spoke out against Obamacare.  During that time, along with trying to persuade people to lower funding for that program, he also stalled time by reading Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.  Cruz is a strong advocate and defender of the Constitution and has argued for many religious freedoms, such as maintaining the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and allowing students to display religious banners at school events.

Basic Info:

Born: December 22, 1970 in Calgary, Canada

Education: Honors from Princeton University-1992 (bachelor of arts) and high honors from Harvard Law School-1995 (juris doctor)

Political Experience: George W. Bush’s domestic policy advisor for his presidential campaign (1999-2000); Texas’ solicitor general (2003); Texas’ senator (2012); part of many committees such as Judiciary and Rules and Administration; chairman of Space, Science and Competitiveness and U.S. Senate Commerce subcommittees; Director of the office of policy planning; Associate deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice

Work Experience: Lawyer/attorney; law clerk for notables like Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist; partner at one of the U.S.’s largest law firms (five years)

Religion: Christian-Southern Baptist

Family: Father Rafael Cruz and mother Eleanor Darragh; Married Heidi (Nelson) Cruz in 2001, two daughters Caroline and Catherine

Oddity: Hates avocados and loves the 1987 movie The Princess Bride

On the Issues:

Abortion: Strongly pro-life, even if the pregnancy occurred by rape, especially regarding those that are late-term

Education: Decisions should be made at the local levels, but is against the Common Core and supports increasing the number of choices of schools for children.  Supports the idea of enrolling children into charter, private or religious schools, especially if the public school is unsatisfactory

Environment: Recognizes the existence of climate change, but says that humans are not the cause; against protecting the ecosystems of the oceans, coasts and Great Lakes

Gay marriage: Against it, believing that marriage only exists between a man and a woman; for moving that federal judges cannot overrule a state’s gay marriage ban

Gun control: Against extreme restrictions on gun use and restricting the second amendment; opposes the United Nations’ Arms Trade Treaty

Immigration: Harsh critic of Obama’s amnesty policies and wants to stop funding them; supporter of tightening the borders and increasing the size of border patrol, with enforcement capabilities; against granting citizenship to the illegal immigrants in Texas; supports allowing police to question immigrant status

Tax reform: Wants to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service; against increasing tax rates; supports getting rid of the inheritance tax, establishing a single-rate tax system and repealing tax hikes in capital and death taxes; supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge

Other Perspectives:

Supporter: “Ted Cruz is truly a conservative leader and the kind of person we need in the White House.  He is a passionate defender of the Constitution and a critical voice for keeping our country safe and prosperous. He is the only candidate in the race who has consistently fought for the issues conservatives care about most and I am proud to endorse him for president.” – Senator Konni Burton, Republican-Texas

Opponent: “Senator Cruz is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he is an elitist and beltway insider pretending to be a populist in a red pick-up truck and ostrich skin cowboy boots–not only is he an Ivy League (Princeton, undergrad; Harvard Law) alum and a Bush admin insider; his wife is a banker on leave from Goldman Sachs.  IMHO, he does not want what is best for the country, only what is best for Ted Cruz and brings him the most media attention.” – Dr. JoAnne Myers, Associate professor and chair of Political Science

Iowa caucus update:

The Republican Iowa caucus took place on February 1st and the results revealed that Ted Cruz had won.  He gathered almost 28% of the votes, with Donald Trump and Marco Rubio following close behind at about 24% and 23%, respectively.  Cruz fought hard for this win, planning, organizing and according to the New York Times, implementing a strategy of “intensive retail campaigning…spen[ding] months visiting each of Iowa’s 99 counties”.  Part of his campaigns included supporting Christian values, which according to the results, showed the effectiveness of that strategy, since he won one-third of the evangelical voters votes.  According to the CNN website, Cruz said, “it is breathtaking to see what happens when so many Americans stand up and decide they’re fed up with what happens in Washington and they want something different. They want a leader they can trust, they want a leader that stands for them against the corruption of Washington.”

Video courtesy of The Washington Post

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