Ted Cruz said Harvard law staff wanted government overthrow

Cruz, a former law student at Harvard, accused the school of employing a dozen Communist professors

By Jillian Rayfield

Published February 22, 2013 8:14PM (EST)

In a speech about two and a half years ago, before he became a senator, Ted Cruz , a former Harvard law student, claimed that there were twelve professors there who would say "they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government.”

Jane Mayer of the New Yorker reported on Cruz's speech, which she attended at the time, and which took place at a conference hosted by the Koch-funded Tea Party group Americans For Prosperity, called “Defending the American Dream."

Cruz, who graduated Harvard Law School in 1995, said in his speech that President Obama is “the most radical” president “ever to occupy the Oval Office," and "would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School." Why? "There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government."

Charles Fried, a Solicitor General for Ronald Reagan and a professor at Harvard Law who once taught Cruz, told Mayer: “I have not taken a poll, but I would be surprised if there were any members of the faculty who ‘believed in the Communists overthrowing the U.S. government.'" Fried added: “There were a certain number (twelve seems to me too high) who were quite radical, but I doubt if any had allegiance or sympathy with anything called ‘the Communists,’ who at that time (unlike the thirties and forties) were in quite bad odor among radical intellectuals."

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

MORE FROM Jillian Rayfield

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Barack Obama Harvard Republicans Tea Party Ted Cruz