Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. A Republican, Cruz was elected senator in 2012 and is the first Hispanic or Cuban American to serve as a U.S. Senator representing Texas. He is the chairman of the subcommittee on the Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. He is also the chairman of the United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. On March 23, 2015, Cruz announced during a rally at Liberty University he would run for the Republican Party nomination in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz was the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an associate deputy attorney general at the United States Department of Justice, and domestic policy advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. He served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008, after being appointed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. He was the first Hispanic, the youngest and the longest-serving solicitor general in Texas history. Cruz was also an adjunct professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, from 2004 to 2009.While there, he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation. Cruz is one of three Senators of Cuban descent.
Cruz was the Republican nominee for the Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. On July 31, 2012, he defeated Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican primary runoff, 57%–43%. Cruz defeated former state Representative Paul Sadler in the general election on November 6, 2012. He prevailed 56%–41% over Sadler. Cruz openly identifies with the Tea Party movement and has been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus. On November 14, 2012, Cruz was appointed vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Early life and ancestry
Cruz was born on December 22, 1970, in Calgary, Alberta, to parents Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz.At the time of his birth, Cruz’ parents were working in the oil business as owners of a seismic-data processing firm for oil drilling.
Cruz’s father was born in Cuba, and two of Ted’s paternal great-grandparents were from the Canary Islands in Spain. Cruz’s mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware, of three quarter Irish and one quarter Italian ancestry. His father left Cuba in 1957 to attend the University of Texas at Austin, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005. His mother earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Rice University in the 1950s.
On his father’s side, Cruz had two older half-sisters, Miriam and Roxana Cruz. On his mother’s side Cruz had a half-brother, Michael Wilson (1960 – 1965), who died before he was born. Cruz learned of the deceased sibling from his mother during his teenage years.
Cruz attended high school at Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas, and later graduated from Second Baptist High School in Houston as valedictorian in 1988. During high school, Cruz participated in a Houston-based group called the Free Market Education Foundation where he learned about free-market economic philosophers such as Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Frédéric Bastiat and Ludwig von Mises. The program was run by Rolland Storey and Cruz entered the program at the age of 13. At the same time, he changed his nickname from “Felito” to “Ted” after being teased about it by his peers. Cruz was involved in theater during high school, though chose not to pursue an acting career. He would later say that he did not think he had the talent to succeed. Cruz came to regret not serving in the military, as he respected it “immensely.”
Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1992. While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society‘s Debate Paneland won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship. In 1992, he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year, as well as Team of the Year, with his debate partner, David Panton. Cruz and Panton represented Harvard Law School at the 1995 World Debating Championship, making it to the semi-finals, where they lost to a team from Australia. Princeton’s debate team later named their annual novice championship after Cruz.
Cruz’s senior thesis on the separation of powers, titled “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to President James Madison: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and that the last two items in the Bill of Rights offer an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: “They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers.”
After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a Juris Doctor degree. While at Harvard Law, he was a primary editor of the Harvard Law Review, and executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review. Referring to Cruz’s time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, “Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant.” At Harvard Law, Cruz was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.
Cruz currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Texas Review of Law and Politics.
Ted Cruz speaking in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Cruz served as a law clerk to J. Michael Luttig of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 1995 and William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996. Cruz was the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.
After Cruz finished his clerkships, he took a position with Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, now known as Cooper & Kirk, LLC, from 1997 to 1998. While with the firm, Cruz worked on matters relating to the National Rifle Association, and helped prepare testimony for the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. Cruz also served as private counsel for Congressman John Boehner during Boehner’s lawsuit against Congressman Jim McDermott for releasing a tape recording of a Boehner telephone conversation.
Cruz joined the George W. Bush presidential campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy adviser, advising then-Governor George W. Bush on a wide range of policy and legal matters, including civil justice, criminal justice, constitutional law, immigration, and government reform.
Cruz assisted in assembling the Bush legal team, devising strategy, and drafting pleadings for filing with the Supreme Court of Florida and U.S. Supreme Court, the specific case being Bush v. Gore, during the 2000 Florida presidential recounts, leading to two successful decisions for the Bush team. Cruz recruited future Chief Justice John Roberts and noted attorney Mike Carvin to the Bush legal team.
After President Bush took office, Cruz served as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department and as the director of policy planning at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Texas Solicitor General
Appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008. The office had been established in 1999 to handle appeals involving the state, but Abbott hired Cruz with the idea that Cruz would take a “leadership role in the United States in articulating a vision of strict construction.” As Solicitor General, Cruz argued before the Supreme Court nine times, winning five cases and losing four.
Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court. Cruz’s record of having argued before the Supreme Court nine times is more than any practicing lawyer in Texas or any current member of Congress. Cruz has commented on his nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court: “We ended up year after year arguing some of the biggest cases in the country. There was a degree of serendipity in that, but there was also a concerted effort to seek out and lead conservative fights.”
In 2003, while Cruz was Texas solicitor general, the Texas Attorney General’s office declined to defend Texas’ sodomy law in Lawrence v. Texas, where the U.S. Supreme Court decided that state laws banning homosexual sex as illegal sodomy were unconstitutional.
In the landmark case of District of Columbia v. Heller, Cruz drafted the amicus brief signed by the attorneys general of 31 states, which said that the D.C. handgun ban should be struck down as infringing upon the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Cruz also presented oral argument for the amici states in the companion case to Heller before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Cruz at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC., 2011
In addition to his success in Heller, Cruz successfully defended the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments monument on the Texas State Capitol grounds before the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, winning 5–4 inVan Orden v. Perry.
In 2004, Cruz was involved in the high-profile case, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, in which he wrote a U.S. Supreme Court brief on behalf of all 50 states. The Supreme Court upheld the position of Cruz’s brief.
Cruz served as lead counsel for the state and successfully defended the multiple litigation challenges to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan in state and federal district courts and before the U.S. Supreme Court, which was decided 5–4 in his favor in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry.
Cruz also successfully defended, in Medellin v. Texas, the State of Texas against an attempt to re-open the cases of 51 Mexican nationals, all of whom were convicted of murder in the United States and were on death row. With the support of the George W. Bush Administration, the petitioners argued that the United States had violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to notify the convicted nationals of their opportunity to receive legal aid from the Mexican consulate. They based their case on a decision of the International Court of Justice in the Avena case which ruled that by failing to allow access to the Mexican consulate, the US had breached its obligations under the Convention. Texas won the case in a 6–3 decision, the Supreme Court holding that ICJ decisions were not binding in domestic law and that the President had no power to enforce them.
Cruz has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America, by The National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America, and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.
After leaving the Solicitor General position in 2008, Cruz worked in a private law firm in Houston, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, often representing corporate clients, until he was sworn in as U.S. Senator from Texas in 2013. At Morgan Lewis, he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice. In 2009 and 2010, he formed and then abandoned a bid for state attorney general when the incumbent Attorney General Greg Abbott, who hired Cruz as Solicitor General, decided to run for re-election.
Cruz speaking to the Values Voters Summit in October 2011
Cruz’s victory in the Republican primary was described by the Washington Post as “the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true grassroots victory against very long odds.” On January 19, 2011, after U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison said she would not seek reelection, Cruz announced his candidacy via a blogger conference call. In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against sitting Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed first by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and then by the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative political action committee; Erick Erickson, editor of prominent conservative blog RedState; theFreedomWorks for America super PAC; nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin; former Attorney General Edwin Meese; Tea Party Express; Young Conservatives of Texas; and U.S. Senators Tom Coburn,Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Rand Paul and Pat Toomey. He was also endorsed by former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, George P. Bush, and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.
Cruz won the runoff for the Republican nomination with a 14-point margin over Dewhurst. Cruz defeated Dewhurst despite being outspent by Dewhurst who held a statewide elected office. Dewhurst spent $19 million and Cruz only spent $7 million. Dewhurst raised over $30 million and outspent Cruz at a ratio of nearly 3-to-1.
In the November 6 general election, Cruz faced Democrat Paul Sadler, an attorney and a former state representative from Henderson, in east Texas. Cruz won with 4.5 million votes (56.4%) to Sadler’s 3.2 million (40.6%). Two minor candidates garnered the remaining 3% of the vote. According to a poll by Cruz’s pollster Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research, Cruz received 40% of the Hispanic vote, vs. 60% for Sandler, outperforming Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney with the Hispanic vote by 6 points.
After Time magazine reported on a potential violation of ethics rules by failing to publicly disclose his financial relationship with Caribbean Equity Partners Investment Holdings during the 2012 campaign, Cruz called his failure to disclose these connections an inadvertent omission.
Cruz giving a speech to the Montgomery County Republican Party meeting held in Conroe, Texas, on August 19, 2013
Cruz has sponsored 25 bills of his own, including:
- S.177, a bill to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health-care related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, introduced January 29, 2013
- S.505, a bill to prohibit the use of drones to kill citizens of the United States within the United States, introduced March 7, 2013
- S.729 and S. 730, bills to investigate and prosecute felons and fugitives who illegally purchase firearms, and to prevent criminals from obtaining firearms through straw purchases and trafficking, introduced March 15, 2013
- S.1336, a bill to permit States to require proof of citizenship for registering to vote in federal elections, introduced July 17, 2013
- S.2170, a bill to increase coal, natural gas, and crude oil exports, to approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, to expand oil drilling offshore, onshore, in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska, and in Indian reservations, to give states the sole power of regulating hydraulic fracturing, to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard, to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases, to require the EPA to assess how new regulations will affect employment, and to earmark natural resource revenue to paying off the federal government’s debt, introduced March 27, 2014
- S.2415, a bill to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to eliminate all limits on direct campaign contributions to candidates for public office, introduced June 3, 2014
Senate bill 2195
On April 1, 2014, Cruz introduced Senate bill 2195, a bill that would allow the President of the United States to deny visas to any ambassador to the United Nations who has been found to have been engaged in espionage activities or a terrorist activity against the United States or its allies and may pose a threat to U.S. national security interests. The bill was written in response to Iran‘s choice of Hamid Aboutalebi as their ambassador. Aboutalebi was involved in the Iran hostage crisis, in which of a number of American diplomats from the US embassy in Tehran were held captive in 1979.
Under the headline “A bipartisan message to Iran”, Cruz thanked President Barack Obama for signing S 2195 into law. The letter, published in the magazine Politico on April 18, 2014, starts with “Thanks to President Obama for joining a unanimous Congress and signing S 2195 into law”. Cruz also thanked senators from both political parties for “swiftly passing this legislation and sending it to the White House.”
According to transcripts as reported by Politico, in his first two years in the Senate, Cruz attended 17 of 50 public Armed Services Committee hearings, 3 of 25 Commerce Committee hearings, 4 of the 12 Judiciary Committee hearings, and missed 21 of 135 roll call votes during the first three months of 2015.
In January 2015, Cruz voted in the U.S. Senate that global warming is real, but not man-made, rejecting an amendment stating that human activity significantly contributes to climate change.
In a March 2015 Texas Tribune interview, Cruz questioned the credibility of environmental advocates concerned about the issue of global warming by saying, “On the global warming alarmists, anyone who actually points to the evidence that disproves their apocalyptical claims, they don’t engage in reasoned debate. What do they do? They scream, ‘You’re a denier.’ They brand you a heretic. Today, the global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-earthers”.
Cruz has stated that satellite data shows no global warming in the past 17 years, based on a range of data that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change views as indicative of a short term trend (1998 was a particularly warm year), to deny the longer term warming trend of 360 consecutive months above the 20th century average.
Since being elected, Cruz has characterized the economic policies of the Obama Administration as being misguided. Chiding the GOP over its 2012 electoral losses, he stated that “Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent” and has also noted that the words “growth and opportunity” ought to be tattooed on every Republican’s hand.
In February 2014, Cruz opposed an unconditional increase in the debt limit. He said that Republican politicians feared the truth and “they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn’t do it.”
Cruz is a proponent of school choice.
At a Heritage Foundation policy summit in February 2014, Cruz said that energy policy should be a key issue, stating “As much as we need to approve the Keystone pipeline, we need to think far broader than that.” He pushed legislation to lift the 1970 ban on crude oil exports, and abolish the ethanol mandate. Cruz received more than US$1 million in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry since 2011.
Cruz was an original co-sponsor of the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, Senate Bill 1 of the 114th Congress, and on January 29, 2015, voted for its passage. It passed the Senate 62-36, the goal of the bill was to approve the construction of the transnational pipeline. Cruz wants Congress to approve the exportation of U.S. natural gas to World Trade Organization countries.
Cruz advocates for “volunteer conservation”, and criticized efforts by the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency to expand regulatory oversight on water use by attempting “to turn irrigation ditches into lakes and rivers and oceans”.
Cruz speaking at the May 2015 Citizens United Freedom Summit
On foreign policy, Cruz has said that he is “somewhere in between” Rand Paul‘s “basically … isolationist” position and John McCain‘s active interventionism.
In April 2015, Cruz filed an amendment to a bill introduced by Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, which would require affirmative Congressional approval of any Iranian nuclear dealbefore sanctions relief can occur.
In 2004, Cruz criticized Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry for being “against defending American values, against standing up to our enemies, and, in effect, for appeasing totalitarian despots.” Cruz helped defeat efforts to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, arguing that the treaty infringed on US sovereignty.
In 2013, Cruz stated that America had no “dog in the fight” during the Syrian civil war and stated that America’s armed forces should not serve as “al-Qaeda‘s air force”. In 2014, Cruz criticized the Obama administration: “The president’s foreign policy team utterly missed the threat of ISIS, indeed, was working to arm Syrian rebels that were fighting side by side with ISIS”, calling ISIS “the face of evil”. Cruz has called for bombing ISIS, but is doubtful that the United States “can tell the good guys from the bad guys” in a plan to arm “moderate” rebels, and the plan to defeat ISIS should not be “laden with impractical contingencies, such as resolving the Syrian civil war.”
In 2014, Cruz spoke at an event held by the group In Defense of Christians (IDC). He was booed by the group after making statements considered pro-Israel. Cruz left the stage after telling the audience, “Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason”. Some commentators believe there is a divide in the conservative movement between those who sided with Cruz and Israel, and those who sided with Middle Eastern Christians and some arguing that Cruz’s comments were out-of-bounds. Others who criticized Cruz included Mollie Hemingwayand Ross Douthat. Cruz apologized for questioning the motives of his critics and said that all should be united in speaking out against persecution of religious minorities.
Cruz is a gun-rights supporter. On March 25, 2013, an announcement was made by Cruz and U.S. Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee threatening to filibuster any legislation that would entail gun control, such as the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which would require additional background checks on sales at gun shows. On April 17, 2013, Cruz voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment. Republicans successfully filibustered the amendment by a vote of 54–46, as 60 votes were needed for cloture.
In April 2015, Cruz stated “what I have been pressing is the Armed Services Committee” to hold hearings on whether service members should be allowed to carry concealed firearms on military bases. He believes that service members should be better equipped to protect themselves from incidents like the Navy Yard and Fort Hood mass shootings. He further added, “I think it’s very important to have a public discussion about why we’re denying our soldiers the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights“.
Cruz is a strong critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he usually refers to as “Obamacare”. He has sponsored legislation that would repeal the health care reform law and its amendments in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
After the launch of the HealthCare.gov website, with which there were significant implementation problems, Cruz stated, “Obamacare is a disaster. You have the well-publicized problems with the website. It just isn’t working.” He called for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to resign.
In 2014, some claim Cruz unintentionally gave majority leader Harry Reid the procedural opening he needed to allow a Senate vote to confirm Vivek Murthy, who had raised concerns about the health effects of gun ownership, to be United States Surgeon General, though it has been reported Reid intended to push through the remaining confirmations of President Obama’s nominees regardless.
In the summer of 2013, Cruz started a “nationwide tour” sponsored by The Heritage Foundation to promote a congressional effort to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, arguing that Republicans should unite in upcoming Continuing Resolution negotiations to defund Obamacare and with regard to a potential government shutdown Cruz downplayed worries of the political risk to Republicans by citing the results of the 1996 midterm elections.
On September 24, 2013, Cruz began a speech on the floor of the Senate regarding the Affordable Care Act relative to a continuing resolution designed to fund the government and avert a government shutdown. Cruz promised to keep speaking until he was “no longer able to stand”. Cruz yielded the floor at noon the following day for the start of the proceeding legislative session after twenty-one hours nineteen minutes. His speech was the fourth-longest in United States Senate history. Following Cruz’s speech, the Senate voted 100–0 regarding a “procedural hurdle toward passing a stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown”. Cruz was joined by 18 Republican senators in his effort to prevent stripping out a clause that would have defunded the Affordable Care Act by voting against the cloture motion, leaving the effort 21 votes short of the required number to deny cloture.
Cruz is cited in the press as having been a major force behind the U.S. government shutdown in 2013. Cruz delivered a message on October 11, 2013 to fellow Republicans against accepting Obamacare and, describing it as a “train wreck”, claimed the American people remain “energized” around the goal of gutting the law. Cruz stated Obamacare is causing “enormous harm” to the economy. Republican strategist Mike Murphy stated: “Cruz is trying to start a wave of Salem witch trials in the G.O.P. on the shutdown and Obamacare, and that fear is impacting some people’s calculations on 2016.” Cruz said that he “didn’t threaten to shut down the government” and blamed the shutdown on President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.
The Houston Chronicle, which had endorsed Cruz in the general election, regretted that he had not lived up to the standard set by the previous U.S. Senator from Texas, Kay Bailey Hutchison. After a deal was made to end the shutdown and extend the debt-ceiling deadline, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Cruz’s actions “not a smart play” and a “tactical error”, and Cruz stated: “I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can, to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare. The test that matters… is are we doing anything for all the people that are getting hurt from Obamacare?” In March 2015, Cruz announced his wife would be taking an unpaid leave of absence and would no longer have access to health insurance through her employer, so they purchased private insurance rather than enter the health care exchange.
Cruz opposes net neutrality arguing that the Internet economy has flourished in the United States simply because it has remained largely free from government regulation. He believes regulating the Internet will stifle online innovation and create monopolies.He has expressed support for stripping the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of its power under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and opposes reclassifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of theCommunications Act of 1934.
In 2015, Cruz opposed President Obama’s plan to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, stating that he believes it would cause large scale job loss. When discussing whether or not to have a minimum wage in general, Cruz stated “I think the minimum wage consistently hurts the most vulnerable.”
National Security Agency
Cruz has raised concerns that the National Security Agency has not been effective in its surveillance of potential terrorists while intruding needlessly into the lives of ordinary Americans.
Cruz is pro-life. The only exception to his pro-life views is “when a pregnancy endangers the mother’s life”.
Cruz supports legally defined marriage as only “between one man and one woman,” but believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide. On February 10, 2015, Cruz re-introduced the State Marriage Defense Act.Cruz opposes participation in gay pride marches, criticizing Dallas’ Republican mayor Tom Leppert, stating “When a mayor of a city chooses twice to march in a parade celebrating gay pride that’s a statement and it’s not a statement I agree with.” He voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which included provisions to extend protection to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans. In a speech in Waukee, Iowa, Cruz said that “[t]here is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage.”
Cruz opposes the legalization of marijuana, but believes it should be decided at the state level.
Cruz advocates the abolition of the IRS, and implementing a flat tax “where the average American can fill out taxes on a postcard”. He opposes the Marketplace Fairness Act, saying that it imposes a burdensome tax that will hurt competition by creating additional costs for internet-based businesses.
Cruz voted against the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, that would have created the National Endowment for the Oceans and authorize more than $26 billion in projects to be built by the Army Corps of Engineers, at least $16 billion of which would have come from federal taxpayers. Cruz voted against the bill because it neglected “to reduce a substantial backlog of projects, to the detriment of projects with national implications, such as the Sabine-Neches Waterway“. Cruz stated that the Corps’ responsibilities were expanded without providing adequate measures for state participation. Proponents of the bill argued that it would provide steady funding to support research and restoration projects, funded primarily by dedicating 12.5% of revenues from offshore energy development, including oil, gas, and renewable energy, through offshore lease sales and production based royalty payments, distributed through a competitive grant program.
Senator Cruz speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Commentators have expressed their opinion that Cruz would run for President in 2016. On March 14, 2013, Cruz gave the keynote speech at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC. He came in tied for 7th place in the 2013 CPAC straw poll on March 16, winning 4% of the votes cast. In October 2013, Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Presidential straw poll with 42% of the vote. Cruz came in first place in the two most recent Presidential straw polls conducted in 2014 with 30.33% of the vote at the Republican Leadership Conference and 43% of the vote at the Republican Party of Texas state convention.
Cruz did speaking events in the summer of 2013 across Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, early primary states, leading to speculation that he was laying the groundwork for a run for President in 2016. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes Cruz as the first potential Presidential candidate to emphasize originalism as a major national issue.
Since Cruz was born in Canada, commentators for the Austin American-Statesman and the Los Angeles Times, have speculated about Cruz’s legal status as a natural-born citizen. Because he was a U.S. citizen at birth (his mother was a U.S. citizen who lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years as outlined by the Nationality Act of 1940), most commentators believe Cruz is eligible to serve as President of the United States.Despite many legal experts opinions to the contrary, conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, Orly Taitz, one of the leading proponents of the “birther” movement during Obama’s presidency, Joseph Farah of World Net Daily, and Donald Trump, have stated that Cruz is not a natural born citizen and thus not eligible to run for president.
On April 12, 2014, Cruz spoke at the Freedom Summit, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity, and Citizens United. The event was attended by several potential presidential candidates. In his speech, Cruz mentioned that Latinos, young people and single mothers, are the people most affected by the recession, and that the Republican Party should make outreach efforts to these constituents. He also said that the words “growth and opportunity” should be tattooed on the hands of every Republican politician.
On March 23, 2015, Cruz announced on his Twitter page: “I’m running for President and I hope to earn your support!” He was the first announced major Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 campaign.
HarperCollins published Cruz’s book A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America on June 30, 2015. The book reached the bestseller list of several organizations in its first week of release.
Cruz with his wife Heidi at a rally in Houston, March 2015
Cruz married Heidi Nelson in 2001. The couple has two daughters: Caroline (born 2008) and Catherine (born 2011). Cruz met his wife while working on the George W. Bush presidential campaign of 2000. She is currently taking leave from her position as head of the Southwest Region in the Investment Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and previously worked in the White House for Condoleezza Rice and in New York as an investment banker.
Cruz has said, “I’m Cuban, Irish, and Italian, and yet somehow I ended up Southern Baptist.”
When he was a child, Cruz’s mother told him that she would have to make an affirmative act to claim Canadian citizenship for him, so his family assumed that he did not hold Canadian citizenship. In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship, he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada on May 14, 2014.
Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government in The Hill, on December 27, 2013, named Cruz “2013 Person of the Year.” Manning stated that “of course, Cruz made his biggest mark when he and fellow freshman Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) led a last-ditch national grassroots effort to defund ObamaCare before the law went into effect fully. Imagine how many Senate Democrats wish right now that they had heeded Cruz’s entreaties and agreed to delaying or defunding it for one year. Now, they are stuck with the law and all its consequences.”
Cruz was also named “2013 Man of the Year” by TheBlaze, FrontPage Magazine and The American Spectator, “2013 Conservative of the Year” by Townhall.com, “2013 Statesman of the Year” by the Republican Party ofSarasota County, Florida and was a finalist in both “2013 Texan of the Year” by The Dallas Morning News and a “2013 Person of the Year” finalist by Time.
- 2012 Republican primary
|Republican primary results, May 29, 2012
- 2012 Republican primary runoff
|Republican runoff results, July 31, 2012
- 2012 General Election
|General Election, November 6, 2012
||John Jay Myers