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Ted Cruz

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Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Texas
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Serving with John Cornyn
Preceded by Kay Bailey Hutchison
Solicitor General of Texas
In office
January 9, 2003 – May 12, 2008
Governor Rick Perry
Preceded by Julie Parsley
Succeeded by James C. Ho[1]
Personal details
Born Rafael Edward Cruz
(1970-12-22) December 22, 1970 (age 44)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Heidi Nelson (m. 2001)
Children 2
Alma mater Princeton University
(A.B., 1992)
Harvard Law School
(J.D., 1995)
Religion Protestantism (Southern Baptist)[2]
Website Senate website
Campaign website

Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is an American politician and the junior U.S. Senator from Texas. He is a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 presidential election.

Cruz attended elementary and high school in and around Houston, graduated from Princeton University in 1992, and then from Harvard Law School in 1995. 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 President George W. Bush on the 2000 George W. Bush presidential 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, 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 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 won 56%–41% over Sadler. He was elected by Texas to the U.S. Senate in 2012 and is the first Hispanic American to serve as a U.S. senator representing Texas. He is the chairman of the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Oversight, Federal Rights and Agency Activities. He is also the chairman of the United States Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness. Cruz is one of three Senators of Cuban descent. On November 14, 2012, Cruz was appointed vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Cruz began campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in March 2015.

Early life and ancestry

Cruz was born on December 22, 1970,[3][4] in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to parents Eleanor Elizabeth Darragh Wilson and Rafael Bienvenido Cruz.[5][6][7] 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.[6][8][9][10][11]

Cruz's father was born in Cuba, and Ted's paternal grandfather was from the Canary Islands in Spain. Cruz's mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware, of three quarter Irish and one quarter Italian ancestry.[12][13] His father left Cuba in 1957 to attend the University of Texas at Austin, becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.[6][14][15][16] His mother earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Rice University in the 1950s.[17]

On his father's side, Cruz had two older half-sisters, Miriam Ceferina Cruz and Roxana Lourdes Cruz. Miriam died of a prescription drug overdose on January 10, 2011. Roxana is a physician in Texas.[18][19] On his mother's side Cruz had a half-brother, Michael Wilson (1960 - 1965). Cruz learned of his deceased half brother from his mother during his teenage years.[19]

Cruz moved with his family to Texas in 1974.[20] 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.[21] In August 2013, after the Dallas Morning News pointed out that Cruz had dual Canadian-American citizenship,[22] he applied to formally renounce his Canadian citizenship and ceased being a citizen of Canada on May 14, 2014.[21][23]


Cruz attended high school at Faith West Academy in Katy, Texas,[24] and later graduated from Second Baptist High School in Houston as valedictorian in 1988.[14][25][26] 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.[27] The program was run by Rolland Storey and Cruz entered the program at the age of 13.[11] At the same time, he changed his nickname from "Felito" to "Ted" after being teased about it by his peers.[28] 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 later claimed to regret not serving in the military, saying he respected it "immensely."[29]

Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy[30] from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1992.[31][3] While at Princeton, he competed for the American Whig-Cliosophic Society's Debate Panel and won the top speaker award at both the 1992 U.S. National Debating Championship and the 1992 North American Debating Championship.[32] In 1992, he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year, and with his debate partner David Panton won Team of the Year.[32] Cruz and Panton represented Harvard Law School at the 1995 World Debating Championship, but lost in the semi-finals to a team from Australia.[33][34][35] Princeton's debate team later named their annual novice championship after Cruz.[35]

Cruz's senior thesis investigated the separation of powers; its title, Clipping the Wings of Angels, draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to US 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.[17][36]

After graduating from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1995 with a Juris Doctor degree.[3][37] 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.[31] Referring to Cruz's time as a student at Harvard Law, Professor Alan Dershowitz said, "Cruz was off-the-charts brilliant".[38][39][40][41] At Harvard Law, Cruz was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics.[42]

Cruz currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Texas Review of Law and Politics.[43]

Legal career


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[44][42] and William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States in 1996.[3] Cruz was the first Hispanic to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.[45]

Private practice

After Cruz finished his clerkships, he took a position with Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, now known as Cooper & Kirk, LLC, from 1997 to 1998.[46] 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.[47] 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.[48]

Bush administration

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.[46]

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.[42][49] Cruz recruited future Chief Justice John Roberts and noted attorney Mike Carvin to the Bush legal team.[47]

After President Bush took office, Cruz served as an associate deputy attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department[3][49] and as the director of policy planning at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.[3][38][49]

Texas Solicitor General

Appointed to the office of Solicitor General of Texas by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott,[44][50] Cruz served in that position from 2003 to 2008.[42][27] 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.[47]

Cruz has authored 70 United States Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments, including nine before the United States Supreme Court.[44][38][51] 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.[52] 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."[52]

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.[53]

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.[51][54] 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.[51][55]

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 in Van Orden v. Perry.[42][38][51]

In 2004, Cruz was involved in the high-profile case, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow,[42][38] in which he wrote a brief on behalf of all 50 states which argued that the plaintiff did not have standing to file suit on behalf of his daughter.[56] 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.[42][57]

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.[44][42][38][51] 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.[47][58] 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.[59] 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.[47][58]

Cruz has been named by American Lawyer magazine as one of the 50 Best Litigators under 45 in America,[50][60] by The National Law Journal as one of the 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America,[61][62] and by Texas Lawyer as one of the 25 Greatest Texas Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century.[63][64]

Private practice

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.[42][17][65] At Morgan Lewis, he led the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigation practice.[65] 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.[14]

U.S. Senate

2012 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."[66] 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.[67] In the Republican senatorial primary, Cruz ran against sitting Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Cruz was endorsed first by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin[68] and then by the Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative political action committee;[69] Erick Erickson, editor of prominent conservative blog RedState;[70] the FreedomWorks for America super PAC;[71] nationally syndicated radio host Mark Levin;[72] former Attorney General Edwin Meese;[49] Tea Party Express;[73] Young Conservatives of Texas;[74] and U.S. Senators Tom Coburn,[75] Jim DeMint,[76] Mike Lee,[77] Rand Paul[78] and Pat Toomey.[79] He was also endorsed by former Texas Congressman Ron Paul,[80] George P. Bush,[49] and former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum.[81]

Cruz won the runoff for the Republican nomination with a 14-point margin over Dewhurst.[82] Cruz defeated Dewhurst despite being outspent by Dewhurst who held a statewide elected office.[83] Dewhurst spent $19 million and Cruz only spent $7 million.[83] Dewhurst raised over $30 million and outspent Cruz at a ratio of nearly 3-to-1.[84]

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.[85] 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.[86][87]

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.[88]


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:[89]

  • 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

Main article: Public Law 113-100

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.[90] The bill was written in response to Iran's choice of Hamid Aboutalebi as their ambassador.[91] 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.[91][92][93]

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."[94][95][96]

Committee assignments

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.[97]

Comments on President Obama

Cruz is a frequent critic of President Barack Obama, calling him "an unmitigated socialist" and his ideas "profoundly dangerous" at the "First in the Nation" summit in Nashua, New Hampshire.[98] Cruz also made comments blaming Obama for the 2015 shooting death of a sheriff's deputy in Harris County, Texas.[99]

In a November 2014 Senate speech, Cruz accused the president of being "openly desirous to destroy the Constitution and this Republic."[100] In the same speech, Cruz invoked the speeches of the ancient Roman senator Cicero against Catiline to denounce Obama's planned executive actions on immigration reform.[100] Classics professor Jesse Weiner, writing in The Atlantic, said that Cruz's analogy was "deeply disquieting" because "in casting Obama in the role of Catiline, Cruz unsubtly suggests that the sitting president was not lawfully elected and is the perpetrator of a violent insurrection to overthrow the government...In effect, he accuses the president of high treason. Regardless of one’s views on immigration reform and the Obama administration at large, this is dangerous rhetoric."[100]

Cruz has repeatedly claimed that the 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran "will make the Obama administration the world's leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism."[101] In response, Obama called Cruz's statements an example of "outrageous attacks" from Republican critics that crossed the line of responsible discourse: "We've had a sitting senator, who also happens to be running for president, suggest that I'm the leading state sponsor of terrorism. Maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it's not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now."[101] Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney also criticized Cruz for his remarks, writing that although he, too, was opposed to the Iran agreement, Cruz's statement connecting Obama to terrorism was "way over the line" and "hurts the cause."[102][103]

Relationships with fellow Republicans

Cruz has frequently used harsh rhetoric against fellow Republicans politicians, and his relationships with various Republican members of Congress have been strained.[104][105] In 2013, Cruz referred to Republicans who he thought were believed to be insufficiently resistant to the proposals of President Obama as a "surrender caucus."[104] Cruz also called fellow Republicans out as "squishes" on gun-control issues during a tea party rally.[104] Cruz's role in the United States federal government shutdown of 2013 in particular attracted criticism from a number of Republican colleagues.[105] Republican Senator John McCain is reported to particularly dislike Cruz; in a Senate floor speech in 2013, McCain denounced Cruz's reference to Nazis when discussing the Affordable Care Act.[105] In March 2013, McCain also called Cruz and others "wacko birds" whose beliefs are not "reflective of the views of the majority of Republicans."[105]

In a heated Senate floor speech in July 2015, Cruz accused Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of telling "a flat-out lie" over his intentions to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which Cruz opposes. "What we just saw today was an absolute demonstration that not only what he told every Republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again was a simple lie," Cruz said of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.[106] Cruz's "incendiary outburst" was "unusual in the cordial atmosphere of the Senate", according to Reuters.[106][107] Cruz also assailed the "Republican majority in both houses of Congresses" for what Cruz termed an insufficiently conservative record.[107] Cruz's speech was condemned by various senior Republican senators, with John McCain saying that the speech was "outside the realm of Senate behavior" and "a very wrong thing to do."[108] Orrin Hatch expressed a similar opinion: “I don’t condone the use of that kind of language against another senator unless they can show definitive proof that there was a lie....And I know the leader didn’t lie.”[109] Cruz alleged that McConnell scheduled a vote on the Ex-Im Bank as part of a deal to persuade Democrats like Maria Cantwell to stop blocking a trade bill; McConnell denied there was any "deal", though Hatch says McConnell did pledge to help Cantwell get a vote on the Ex-Im Bank.[110]

Among Cruz's few close allies in the Senate is Mike Lee of Utah.[111][112] Cruz has expressed pride in his reputation for having few allies, saying in June 2015 that he has been vilified for fighting "the Washington cartel."[113]

When Boehner announced in September 2015 that he would step down and resign from the House, Cruz expressed his concern that before resigning Boehner may have "cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi to fund the Obama administration for the rest of its tenure".[114]

Presidential campaign

Senator Cruz speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland

As early as 2013, Cruz was widely expected to run for the presidency in 2016.[115][116][117] On March 14, 2013, he gave the keynote speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC.[118] He tied for 7th place in the 2013 CPAC straw poll on March 16, winning 4% of the votes cast.[119] In October 2013, Cruz won the Values Voter Summit Presidential straw poll with 42% of the vote.[120] Cruz finished first in two Presidential straw polls conducted in 2014 with 30.33% of the vote at the Republican Leadership Conference[121] and 43% of the vote at the Republican Party of Texas state convention.[122]

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.[123] Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin describes Cruz as the first potential Presidential candidate to emphasize originalism as a major national issue.[47]

Since Cruz was born in Canada, commentators for the Austin American-Statesman[124] and the Los Angeles Times[125] 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), many commentators believe Cruz is eligible to serve as President of the United States.[5][22][126][127] 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.[128] Two lawyers, Neal Katyal and Paul Clement, who both represented presidents from both parties at the Supreme Court, wrote in the Harvard Law Review that Cruz meets the constitutional standard to run.[129][130]

On April 12, 2014, Cruz spoke at the Freedom Summit, an event organized by Americans for Prosperity, and Citizens United.[131] The event was attended by several potential presidential candidates.[132] 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.[131]

On March 23, 2015, Cruz announced on his Twitter page: "I'm running for President and I hope to earn your support!"[133] He was the first announced major Republican presidential candidate for the 2016 campaign.[134][135]

HarperCollins published Cruz's book A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America on June 30, 2015.[136] The book reached the bestseller list of several organizations in its first week of release.[137][138]

Political positions

Domestic affairs

Cruz is "strongly anti-abortion" and "would allow the procedure only when a pregnancy endangers the mother's life."[139][140] In response to the 2015 Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting, Cruz said that the shooter had "also been reported that he was registered as an independent and a woman and a transgendered leftist activist", and took issue with "some vicious rhetoric on the left blaming those who are pro-life."[141]

Cruz opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions.[142] He believes that marriage should be legally defined as only "between one man and one woman,"[143] but believes that the legality of same-sex marriage should be left to each state to decide.[144]

In 2015, Cruz voted in favor of the USA Freedom Act, which reauthorized the USA Patriot Act but reformed some of its provisions.[145][146]

Cruz is a proponent of school choice[147] and opposes the Common Core State Standards Initiative.[148] Cruz is a strong critic of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ACA or "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.

Cruz is a gun-rights supporter.[149] Cruz has adopted a "hard-line stance" on immigration issues during the 2014 border crisis[150] and is an opponent of comprehensive immigration reform.[47][150] Cruz advocates for a 500% increase (from 65,000 to 325,000 annually) in skilled foreign workers entering the United States using H-1B visas.[151]

Cruz opposes the legalization of marijuana, but believes it should be decided at the state level.[152]

Cruz favors the death penalty. In his 2012 Senate campaign, Cruz frequently mentioned his role as counsel for the State of Texas in Medellín v. Texas, a 2008 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that Texas has the legal right to ignore an order from the International Court of Justice directing the U.S. to review the convictions and sentences of dozens of Mexican nationals on death row.[153] Cruz has referred to Medellín as the most important case of his tenure as Texas solicitor general.[153]

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.[154]


Cruz has been described by the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies as a "free trader"[155] and as a "free-trade advocate" by the Wall Street Journal.[156]

In 2013, Cruz proposed the abolition of the IRS and the implementation of a flat tax "where the average American can fill out taxes on a postcard."[157] Cruz is "adamantly opposed to a higher minimum wage."[158]


Cruz is a supporter of TransCanada's controversial Keystone XL Pipeline,[159] and along with every other Republican senator was a cosponsor of legislation in support of the pipeline.[160]

Cruz has "outright denied" the scientific consensus on climate change[161][162] and has received more than US$1 million in campaign donations from the oil and gas industry since 2011.[163]

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.[164][165]

Foreign affairs

Cruz has been an adamant opponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an 2015 international nuclear agreement with Iran negotiated by the U.S. and other world powers, calling it "catastrophic" and "disastrous."[166][167]

Cruz is a critic of the rapprochement between Cuba and the United States, saying on Fox News in December 2014 that the thaw in relations was a "manifestation of the failures of the Obama-Clinton-Kerry foreign policy" that "will be remembered as a tragic mistake."[168]

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".[169]

Personal life

Cruz with his wife Heidi at a rally in Houston, March 2015

Cruz married Heidi Nelson in 2001.[170] The couple has two daughters:[171] 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.[172]

Cruz has said, "I'm Cuban, Irish, and Italian, and yet somehow I ended up Southern Baptist."[2]


Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government named Cruz "2013 Person of the Year" in an op-ed in The Hill, citing the unsuccessful efforts of Cruz and fellow Republican freshman senator Mike Lee to defund the Affordable Care Act.[173]

Cruz was also named "2013 Man of the Year" by conservative publications TheBlaze,[174] FrontPage Magazine[175] and The American Spectator.[176] He was named "2013 Conservative of the Year" by,[177] and "2013 Statesman of the Year" by the Republican Party of Sarasota County, Florida[178][179] He was a finalist for "2013 Texan of the Year" by The Dallas Morning News[180] and a finalist for Time magazine's "Person of the Year" in 2013.[181]

Electoral history

2012 Republican primary
Republican primary results, May 29, 2012[85]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Dewhurst 624,170 44.6
Republican Ted Cruz 479,079 34.2
Republican Tom Leppert 186,675 13.3
Republican Craig James 50,211 3.6
Republican Glenn Addison 22,888 1.6
Republican Lela Pittenger 18,028 1.3
Republican Ben Gambini 7,193 0.5
Republican Curt Cleaver 6,649 0.5
Republican Joe Argis 4,558 0.3
Total votes 1,399,451 100
2012 Republican primary runoff
Republican runoff results, July 31, 2012[85]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ted Cruz 631,316 56.8
Republican David Dewhurst 480,165 43.2
Total votes 1,111,481 100
2012 General Election
General Election, November 6, 2012[85]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ted Cruz 4,469,843 56.45
Democratic Paul Sadler 3,194,927 40.62
Libertarian John Jay Myers 162,354 2.06
Green David Collins 67,404 0.85
Total votes 7,864,822 100

See also


  1. ^ Abby Livingston & Patrick Svitek, Ted Cruz Will Seek the Presidency, Texas Tribune (March 22, 2015).
  2. ^ a b "Editorial: Texan of the Year finalist Ted Cruz". The Dallas Morning News (Dallas, Texas: A. H. Belo). December 20, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "CRUZ, Rafael Edward (Ted) – Biographical Information". Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Austin American-Statesman
  5. ^ a b Ferguson, John Wayne (August 13, 2012). "Texplainer: Could Canadian-Born Ted Cruz Be President?". Texas Tribune. Retrieved August 17, 2013. Bottom line: Despite being born in Canada, Cruz can be considered a natural-born U.S. citizen because his mother was also a U.S. citizen who lived in the United States long enough for him to qualify, according to constitutional experts. 
  6. ^ a b c Costa, Robert (August 28, 2013). "The Rise of Rafael Cruz". National Review. Retrieved August 28, 2013. Born in Matanzas, Cuba, he grew up in the Cuban middle class in the 1950s, as the son of an RCA salesman and an elementary-school teacher. As a teenager, he grew to detest the regime of Fulgencio Batista. He and some of his schoolmates frequently clashed with Batista’s officials. Eventually, he linked up with Castro’s guerrilla groups and supported their attempts to overthrow Batista. It’s a decision he still regrets. His move toward Castro, he explains, was mostly due to his anger with Batista’s government, which at one point imprisoned him and tortured him for his work with the revolutionaries. He says he never shared Castro’s Communism, but, at the time, it was the best way to fight Batista’s oppression. By age 18, in 1957, he knew he needed to get out, and a friend essentially bribed an official to secure him an exit permit. 
  7. ^ Gillman, Todd J. (August 18, 2013). "Canada-born Ted Cruz became a citizen of that country as well as U.S.". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ted Cruz's Father Talks About Latinos, Conservatives and the American Dream". FOX News Latino. April 8, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2013. Cruz, the father, and his wife, Eleanor Darragh, left the United States for a few years, living in Canada to take advantage of the oil boom. 
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Preceded by
Kay Bailey Hutchison
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Texas
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United States Senate
Preceded by
Kay Bailey Hutchison
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Texas
Served alongside: John Cornyn
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Tim Kaine
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