What they're saying: Is Ted Cruz for real?

The Texas Senate candidate thinks Obama and George Soros are turning the country into a "European socialist nation"

Published August 16, 2012 10:06PM (EDT)

On Aug. 5, Ted Cruz, winner of the Texas GOP Senate primary, appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss his victory and the enduring strength of the Tea Party, a movement he claims to represent. Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general who over the course of the campaign received the endorsements of Sen. Jim DeMint, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, proudly acknowledged his conservative credentials in response to Chris Wallace's questions.

Wallace: Let's look at where you stand on the issues. You want to abolish Education, Commerce and Energy Departments, TSA and the IRS. You support a flat tax and you serve Chick-fil-A at your victory party. You are pretty conservative?

Cruz: Without a doubt. And I think the American people are pretty conservative, and I'm certain the people of Texas are pretty conservative... [and] All across the country, the rest of Americans are looking at Washington and saying, what's wrong with you people? The principles that I think voters are looking for are not that complicated. It's live within your means, follow common sense principles, don't spend money you don't have. And that's what American people are standing up and demanding right now. (See the full transcript here.)

Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant who fought against and was tortured by Batista's regime, is likely to become a senator in January. Thus far, Cruz has run on the standard Tea Party platform supporting freedom, the Second Amendment, the NRA, free-market economic policies and small government. (Also, he loves Ronald Reagan).

Ted Cruz's resume makes it harder for him to rail against elites, however. He attended Princeton, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law, and was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is a partner in a prestigious law firm, and, as Texas solicitor general, he has argued several cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Perhaps to make up for these perceived deficiencies, he trumpets his outrageous beliefs.

As Mother Jones has reported, Cruz and Glenn Beck believe that a treaty, called Agenda 21, "will force Americans to live in 'hobbit homes' and forcibly relocate residents from rural areas into densely populated urban cores." Cruz explains in detail his beef with Agenda 21 on his website:

Agenda 21 attempts to abolish "unsustainable" environments, including golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads. It hopes to leave mother earth’s surface unscratched by mankind. Everyone wants clean water and clean air, but Agenda 21 dehumanizes individuals by removing the very thing that has defined Americans since the beginning—our freedom.

Cruz's ostentation has led Dana Milbank of the Washington Post to argue that Cruz is "playing" the Tea Party, posing as a "caricature" to advance his career. For Milbank, Cruz is an operator, not an ideologue.

We'll find out once he reaches the Senate.


By Santiago Wills

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