Senator Ted Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz

Presidential Primer: Ted Cruz

Name : Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz

Age: 44

Previous Experience: Office of Policy Planning at the FTC, Domestic Policy Advisor to George W. Bush, Law Practice, Texas Solicitor General, U.S. Senator for Texas 2010 - present

Signature Issue: Healthcare. Ted Cruz rose to prominence opposing Obamacare and seeking its repeal. His reputation in the Senate has been built on bold and vocal opposition what he calls President Obama’s unconstitutional actions, and the maneuverings of the “Washington Cartel.” The centerpiece of this opposition is the repeal and replacement of the President's trademark health legislation, as well as the rolling back of various executive actions.

Opportunities: Cruz’s marathon senate speeches, threatened government shutdowns, and other dramatic acts of opposition to the Obama Administration give him real credibility with the Tea Party and the conservative base in general. He frames himself as a true conservative, willing to take the kind of dramatic actions necessary to confront threats to the founders’ ideals. This kind of outsider appeal helps distinguish him from some of the other more conservative candidates in the field who cannot make similar claims about direct opposition to the President’s more controversial politics. 

Challenges: Cruz risks being drowned out in a cycle with so many conservative voices fighting for a relatively narrow portion of the electorate. Similarly assertive voices, Donald Trump’s in particular, draw attention away from his campaign. His relative inexperience and extremely conservative positions raise questions about his competitiveness in a general election. 

Did you know? Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta to a Cuban father and an American mother.  He has renounced the Canadian portion of his dual citizenship.