2016 Presidential Candidate Profile: Ted Cruz

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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Candidate Profile: Ted Cruz

Current Office: United States Senator from Texas

Age: 44 (Born December 22, 1970)

Party: Republican

Real Clear Politics Poll Average (as of November 25, 2015): National 11.3% (4th); Iowa 17.3% (3rd); New Hampshire 10.0% (3rd)1

Campaign Website: tedcruz.org

Elected in 2012, Ted Cruz is the junior United States Senator from Texas. He served as the Solicitor General of Texas. He was a law clerk for then-Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1995.

Immigration:

Senator Cruz was one of the leading opponents of the gang of eight effort, proposing numerous “poison pill” amendments to spur its defeat. He categorically opposes a “path to citizenship” for those here illegally. He proposes a substantial increase on the number of border patrol agents. Despite previously having supported an increase in H1B visas and Green Cards, he now proposes suspending the H1B program for 180 days to investigate alleged abuse and tying any increases in legal immigration to U.S. employment levels. Senator Cruz sought to defund the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to President Obama's immigration actions, and he pledges to rescind all of them on his first day in office (see footnote 5 of my blog post here to learn more about that effort).

Senator Cruz opposes birthright citizenship as a matter of policy. See my thoughts here.

Israel:

Senator Cruz has been a stalwart supporter of Israel in the Senate. He was one of three Senators to vote against John Kerry's confirmation as Secretary of State. He has pledged that he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem on his first day in office. In a terrific interview with the Jerusalem Post, Senator Cruz argued that the United States should support Israel unequivocally, and that it should not “attempt to lecture the Israeli people or dictate the terms of peace.”2

Senator Cruz continues to oppose the legitimacy of the terrible Iran deal, and pushed his colleagues to fight much harder against it than they have thus far.

Issue of Interest — Party Conflict

Senator Cruz has made waves in the Senate by clashing with the leaders of his own party. Starting with the government shutdown over Obamacare in 2013, Senator Cruz has argued that Republicans must be willing to take a hard line in negotiations, whereas others have argued that his approach hurts the party. By campaigning against both Democrats and his own party, he seeks to change the Republican Party both by making it more conservative and by making it assume a more aggressive posture in negotiations.

Conclusion:

While Cruz has proven to be a strong contender for the nomination with his fundraising, oratorical skills, and campaign organization, I have concerns with Senator Cruz's electability in a general election due to his strident conservatism and his heavy emphasis on social issues.

Nevertheless, Senator Cruz is the most conservative candidate in the field, one of the most outspoken defenders of Israel, and very intelligent and qualified. While there are valid questions about his support for legal immigration, I believe that Senator Cruz will be open to increasing legal immigration once stronger border security measures are in place. I have confidence he would be an effective President if elected. Although he is not my first or second choice, the Senator from Texas is worthy of your strong consideration.

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  1. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/president/us/2016_republican_presidential_nomination-3823.html (retrieved on November 25, 2015)
  2. Glick, Caroline, “Senator Cruz to 'Post': US should stop lecturing the Israelis,” The Jerusalem Post, http://www.jpost.com/International/Senator-Ted-Cruz-to-Post-US-should-stop-lecturing-the-Israelis-427601

Resources and Materials:

http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Ted_Cruz.htm