As a teenager in the 1950s, his father, Rafael Cruz, fought with Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution, not knowing Castro was a communist. He was eventually imprisoned and brutally beaten by the Fulgencio Batista dictatorship’s police.
Rafael’s father bribed his son’s way out of prison. The son fled Cuba with a hundred dollars sewn into his underwear — and earned a degree in mathematics from the University of Texas.
Cruz’s mother, Eleanor, grew up in an Irish-Italian working-class family in Wilmington, Del. She ended up in Texas, too — earning a degree in mathematics from Rice. Ted Cruz’s mathematician parents started a small business doing seismic data-processing for oil exploration companies. The business rose and fell with the domestic oil industry, and Ted Cruz learned the risks and rewards of entrepreneurial activity up-close and personal.
You may be wondering why I start off talking about his parents instead of him. I want to emphasize that Ted is not from a family that is from old money and political connections. The parents are an American success story, and it is their individual determination, work ethic, and desire instead of credit to any federal programs that made them successful.
Ted Cruz has an impressive resume of accomplishments:
- He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude and served as a Primary Editor of the Harvard Law Review, an Executive Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and a Founding Editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.
- Ted clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court
- Ted served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission
- Ted served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice
- Ted served as Domestic Policy Advisor on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign.
- 2003-08, Ted served as the Solicitor General of Texas
- 2004-09, he taught U.S. Supreme Court Litigation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law.
- Ted currently serves as a Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Houston, where he leads the firm’s U.S. Supreme Court and national Appellate Litigation practice.
The establishment pundits care about the experience his resume reveals. For me, the most important consideration is reading what a candidate says in his own heart-felt words. Everything below this paragraph is Ted Cruz in his own words. Please read. I report, and you decide. If you like Ted Cruz and you are able to contribute to his candidacy, then please visit his website. In 2010 we sent Marco Rubio to the US Senate from Florida. It will please me in 2012 to send Ted Cruz from Texas and John Sanchez from New Mexico to the US Senate.
When my Dad came to Austin in 1957, as a teenage immigrant from Cuba bound for the University of Texas, he spoke no English and had $100 sewn into his underwear. He worked his way through school as a dishwasher making 50 cents an hour, just as my Mom – the first person in her family ever to go to college – earned her math degree at Rice in the 1950s, working summers at Foley’s and Shell. From them, I learned that America has always been the land of opportunity, a beacon of freedom and hope for the world. They taught me the value of education and hard work and the importance of an environment that allows every American the opportunity to achieve the American dream.
This nation is a miracle of opportunity. Founded by men and women fleeing religious persecution, America has prospered for two centuries under a Constitution that constrains government and a culture that rewards entrepreneurship and free enterprise. To solve our many challenges, we need to harness the frontier mentality that defines Texans, and work tirelessly to ensure that our children enjoy the same freedom and opportunity – built on individual responsibility – that has formed the foundation of our country.
We are facing the epic battle of our generation. This president is the most radical president ever to occupy the White House. The question we are fighting over is: Does this nation remain a free-market economy?
Entitlements must be reformed — not just for fiscal reasons, but also to advance liberty.
It is absolutely clear if we are going to address spending and the deficit and the debt we have got to address entitlements in a serious way. Historically, politicians have been terrified to do that. They have been terrified that they will be demagogued. In my judgment, we are at a moment of time where serious leadership is possible to address entitlements and to look for a way both to restrain the exploding unfunded liabilities of our entitlements and also provide for more individual ownership, responsibility and choice both with respect to Medicare and Social Security.
One way to do this is to reform Social Security by allowing people to have personal retirement accounts. It is a transformative policy, and it is based on an understanding that focuses on individual ownership and policies that expand and facilitate individual responsibility.
I am pro-life unapologetically. If someone is really a conservative, they will bear the scars of having been in the fight, and if they don’t bear the scars and if they have never stood up and defended conservative principles, that suggests that is not their principle and motivation.
The person in modern times whose views I think were closest to mine on foreign policy issues was President Reagan. I think the principal focus of U.S. foreign policy should be protecting U.S. interests, protecting our national security interests, and I think we should be vigorous in doing so. That should be the touchstone. I think we should not be engaged in nation-building.
Simultaneously, though, I think we should be unrelenting voices for freedom, and this is where some of the realists I disagree with, because the realists in the 1970s said the Soviet Union was unbeatable: We have to accept their military superiority. We have to accept our second-class position. But President Reagan had the moral clarity to say communism will end up on the dustbin of history because the Soviet Union is a communist nation that is an evil empire.
We need to remain unapologetic, clarion defenders of liberty.