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Ted Cruz (R)

Senator from Texas

Ted Cruz (R)

Skimm'd over the phone

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the first major presidential candidate to show up to the 2016 party. Now, he’s trying to beat a crowded field of Republicans in the race for the top job. Get to know your candidate here.

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Houston [Texas]. I was born in Calgary, Canada.


Fun fact:

I grew up playing all sorts of video games, but now I mostly play them on my iPhone, which drives [my wife] Heidi crazy. Both Caroline and Catherine, my girls, love to play Plants vs. Zombies on the iPhone.


Who should we call for a reference?

My wife Heidi. She is my best friend in the entire world. She is beautiful, brilliant, and an amazing business woman. And, a phenomenal mom to our two little girls. Everything we do, we do together.


What's your greatest strength?

That I do what I say I will do. All of us are frustrated out of our minds, that career politicians in Washington in both parties, Democrats and Republicans, make promises on the campaign trail that they don’t follow through. And, indeed, I’ve referred many times to what I call “the Washington Cartel” -- which is career politicians in both parties getting in bed with lobbyists with special interests. And it seems, no matter which party is in power, the government grows and grows, our debt grows and grows, and our liberties continually recede. And, I believe working men and women across this country are fed up that, and are looking for leaders who will honor their promises. And that’s what I’ve done every day I’ve been in office.


What's your greatest weakness?

Being willing to take on the Washington Cartel. Necessarily, it takes withering attacks coming back at you. You take on the Washington Cartel, Democrats attack you, Republicans attack you, the media attacks you. Being subject to those withering attacks is not without its challenges.


We're going to ask you for your stances on a few issues. It's best to keep your answers as short as possible, and conversational.

That’s a hard request for someone who talked for 21 hours in Congress.

Where do you stand on the following...


The Economy.

My top priority in all of this has been restoring economic growth, bringing back jobs, growth, and opportunity. For six and a half years, we have been trapped in economic stagnation, and that is a direct result of out of control spending at the cost of the nation. We can get back to booming growth, and the keys to doing so are tax reform and regulatory reform. Tax reform: adopting a simple flat tax, where every American can fill out his or her taxes on a post card. And regulatory reform: stopping the crushing regulations that are strangling small businesses, that are making it harder and harder to create jobs. And the most important regulatory reform is repealing every word of Obamacare, which is just the biggest job killer in this country.


That answers our next question which was health care. Where do you stand on the state of education and student loans?

I understand this first-hand….when I came out of college and grad school, I had six-figures in student loans. I just paid off my student loans five or six years ago. Economic growth is critical to young people because if we want this generation to be able to pay off their loans and develop the skills to live the American dream, we’ve got to return to an environment where small businesses are growing and flourishing, and creating jobs and opportunities. That’s my top priority.


Climate Change.

I believe that government policy should follow the evidence and the data….When it comes to global warming, far too much of the debate in Washington is centered around politics rather than the data and the evidence. If you look to the satellite data, it demonstrates that over the past 17 years, there has been no meaningful recorded warming whatsoever. And yet, politicians in Washington are disregarding the evidence and the facts because it is in their political interest to expand government control over the economy. And, to drive up costs for hard working families across this country...


Would you change anything about how the US is handling this whole ISIS thing?

We cannot win a war on radical Islamist terrorists with a president and administration unwilling to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorists.”….Right now, the Obama administration refuses to acknowledge what it is we’re fighting. And, our policy has been utterly ineffective. Just a few months ago, President Obama dismissed ISIS as, to quote, “Junior Varsity.” It turned out his assessment was profoundly wrong. Radical Islamic terrorism is on the rise….And yet the administration persists in what is essentially a photo-op foreign policy -- drop a bomb here, a missile there. We need a commander-in-chief who resolves to do what is necessary to keep Americans safe from radical Islamic terrorists who have declared war on America.


Gun Control.

I’ve just spent virtually my entire life fighting to defend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights exclusively protects the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The right of law by the citizens to protect their homes, to protect their families. I have also spent much of my adult life in law enforcement. I believe we should go after violent criminals and come down on them like a ton of bricks.


Right to choose. Yes or No?

I believe that women have the right to choose in every aspect of their lives. To choose how to work, how to live, how to achieve the American dream. Now, I also support the right to life of every unborn child. Every girl and boy. And I believe that we should work towards a culture that protects every human life from the moment of conception until the time of natural death.


Gay marriage. Yes or No?

It may be that you and I disagree on the policy of marriage. I support traditional marriage as the union between one man and one woman. But under the Constitution, if you disagree with that proposition, there is an avenue for you to advance your policy. Namely, you can try to convince your fellow citizens to change the marriage laws of your states. From the beginning of this country, marriage has always been a question for the states. Now it may well be just that the men and women of some states (New York and California) might make one policy decision, and the men and women of other states (like Texas or Florida) make a different policy decision. That’s the way our Constitution is supposed to work. Unfortunately, five judges on the Supreme Court decided they didn’t care what 320 million Americans thought about the laws that should govern them. That they were going to impose their own extreme policy instead that was contrary to Constitution and fundamentally undermined the rule of law in this country.


What would you ask the white house chef to make for your first meal at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?

I had joked that one of the things I would very quickly do is make preparations to have a Christmas Eve pig roast on the south lawn of the White House. The Cuban tradition is to roast a pig for Christmas Eve, and I look forward to doing that.


How many times do you hit snooze in the AM?

Typically twice. It is a bad habit I have had my whole life….when I was in college, my college roommates super glued the snooze button down so that I couldn’t hit snooze again.


How do you take your coffee?

With lots of cream, and being Cuban, we often prefer café con leche.



Cruz is a first-term senator who was elected with a little help from his Tea Party friends. He's won support from a lot of far-right voters for his hard-line positions against Obama administration policies. And caused a few headaches for his less-far-right co-workers along the way. There was that time he filibustered to try to defund Obamacare. And got blamed for the government shutdown.