Tea Party loyalist Ted Cruz first burst onto the national political scene in 2013 during his infamous filibuster on the Senate floor against Obamacare. He took it so far as to read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham to his children from the Senate floor during his final stand against Obamacare. This made him very popular among the Tea Partiers and very unpopular with Democrats. In 2015 when he made his announcement about his candidacy for president, many people didn’t know much about Cruz besides his story time on the Senate floor from 2 years before. So, who is this right wing warrior known as Ted Cruz?
Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1970 to an American mother (therefore making him eligible to run for president) and a Cuban immigrant father. In 1974 Cruz moved to Texas. He attended private school throughout his education, and upon graduation was accepted to Princeton University. He graduated Princeton with a bachelors in Public Policy. After Princeton, he attended and graduated Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor degree. After school, Cruz worked as a law clerk for a chief justice of the United States (he became the first hispanic to do so). Cruz also worked in private practice, then on President George W. Bush’s campaign as a domestic policy advisor. In 2003, Cruz was then appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by the Texas Attorney General. He held this position until 2008. Cruz then worked in private law practice again until 2013, when he was sworn into the Senate after winning the race for the seat. During his time in the Senate, Cruz worked on several different committees including: The Committee of Armed Services, Committee of the Judiciary, and more.
Cruz is generally viewed as a Tea Party Conservative. The prime focus of his campaign has been the promise to repeal every word of Obamacare his first day in office. He has been very critical of President Obama on almost everything, but especially on what Cruz believes to be Obama’s undermining of the 2nd Amendment. When it comes to economics, Cruz takes a traditional Republican view of smaller government, fewer social programs, and Trickle Down Economics. Cruz’s largest hotspot where he draws the most attention is on his social policies. Cruz is very religious and regarded as a traditionalist when it comes to these issues. He’s dead set against abortion (except in the case where the mother may be harmed without it), against same sex marriage (he believes it should be left up to the states), and against the recreational use of cannabis. Cruz is naturally a huge supporter of the 2nd Amendment and has voted against many bills in the Senate having to do with Gun Control. When it comes to Climate Change, Cruz is one of the nation’s best known and outspoken Climate Change deniers. He is a large supporter of the Keystone Pipeline, and has voted on many bills in the Senate to deny restrictions on carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses for big energy and oil companies. Cruz is a large supporter of expanding the military and defeating the enemy through the use of the military. He typically calls out President Obama for refusing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” in the aftermath of an ISIS attack or killing. Cruz has said he is in favor of having the police patrol Muslim neighborhoods to collect information about radicalization, to which he has received much criticism.
So far in the Republican Primary, Cruz has largely been overshadowed by Donald Trump. His lack of flexibility, sometimes heated relationship with many other senate republicans, and inability to work with the other side has deterred many moderate Republicans from him. On the other hand, Trump has been stealing most of the Tea Party spotlight from him. This is bad for Cruz, as this is where he typically thrives. If Cruz doesn’t figure out a solution soon to win back his Tea Party voters, he may not stand much of a chance against The Donald in the rest of this GOP fight.