Republican Presidential Candidate Profile: Ted Cruz

The Hill Talk is giving a quick rundown of each Republican candidate in advance of the first primary debate on Thursday, August 6.

Here is our profile of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

Ted CruzQuick Facts:

  • Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on December 22, 1970.
  • 44 years old. Married to the former Heidi Nelson; the couple have two children.
  • Cruz holds an undergraduate degree from Princeton University in Public Policy and a J.D. from Harvard University.

Political Experience:

  • Clerked for former federal appellate judge J. Michael Luttig and later for the late Chief Justice, William H. Rehnquist.
  • Joined the campaign of former president George W. Bush as an advisor on domestic policy.
  • Involved in the legal case, Bush v. Gore.
  • Appointed to the Office of the Texas Solicitor General.  Leaving in 2008, he assumed a position in private legal practice with Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP, as a corporate attorney.
  • Ran for and won a seat in the U.S. Senate in November, 2012, where he holds positions on four committees:  Committees on Armed Services, Commerce, Science and Transportation, Judiciary and Rules and Administration.

Positions on the issues:

Healthcare:

  • Cruz is a fierce critic of ObamaCare and has offered many bills to repeal the law.
  • Supports free-market solutions for the health care issue.
  • Wants to preserve Medicare by increasing eligibility age and would de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Jobs:

  • Cruz has stated unemployment benefits saddle the employed with higher taxes and opposes extending assistance to the unemployed.
  • Opposes raising the minimum wage.
  • Against most corporate regulation, finds that excessive government control over the private sector limits job creation.

Climate Change:

  • Has said that “the data and facts don’t support” that global warming is occurring.
  • Questions reliability of climate change advocates and scientists.

Immigration:

  • Supports building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, would increase border police force.
  • Would end Obama’s amnesty.
  • Intends to grant local police authority to inquire about immigrant status.
  • Opposes legal path to citizenship.

Social issues/Education:

  • Cruz opposes abortion, supports traditional marriage, and opposes gay marriage.
  • Opposes Common Core and has stated many social and education issues should be resolved at the state level.

Budget/Taxes:

  • Supports a balanced budget and advocates amending the Constitution to secure one.
  • He wants to limit federal spending to per-capita inflation rate.
  • Wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service and replace the current tax code with a flat tax. Similarly, Cruz wants to audit the Federal Reserve.
  • Cruz spearheaded efforts to prevent exceeding the debt limit.
  • Wants to lower personal and corporate tax rates and wants to repeal taxes on capital gains and inheritance.

Foreign Policy/Trade:

  • Cruz opposes the nuclear pact with Iran.
  • He supports further sanctions against Russia and supporting Ukraine.
  • Cruz opposes diplomatic relations with Cuba.
  • Supports a larger global leadership role for the U.S. and favors an expanded position against ISIS and in Syria.
  • Opposed TPA after initially supporting it and blasted the veil of secrecy around its creation.

Relevant scandals:

  • At age 17, Cruz was cited for underage drinking.

Who will vote for him?

Right-wing ideologues, tax reformers, Tea Party types, opponents of abortion, gun control, and immigration.

Debate video:

On Russian and Chinese cyber attacks