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2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign: Ted Cruz

Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz is a politician from Texas who is vying for the Republican Party's nomination for President during the the 2016 election. He was born on December 22, 1970, in Calgary, Canada but was raised in Houston, Texas. His father was a Cuban immigrant who came to the United States in the 1950's, and his mother was born in America.

After performing well in high school Cruz was accepted to Princeton University and graduated in 1992, subsequently moving on to Harvard law school. Cruz found work as a legal clerk for several judges after law school, including Supreme Court Judge William Rehnquist. Ted Cruz was the first person of Hispanic descent to ever clerk for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

From 1996-1999 Cruz practiced law, specializing in matters related to the National Rifle Association (NRA). He assisted in the preparation of impeachment proceedings for President Bill Clinton , and served as private counsel for Congressman John Boehner. Cruz joined the Bush presidential campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy advisor, where he counseled the then Governor of Texas on everything from the constitution and civil justice to immigration. During Bush's first term in office Cruz served as the Associate Deputy Attorney General of the U.S. Justice Department and the Director of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appointed Ted Cruz the Solicitor General of Texas in 2003, a position he held until 2008. Cruz announced that he would be running for Texas Senator in January 2011, and easily defeated his opponent in the 2012 election even though he was outspent by a ratio of 3-1.

In the U.S. Senate, Ted Cruz served on the Committee on the Armed Services, Committee on the Judiciary, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Committee on Rules and Administration, and the Special Committee on Aging.

Ted Cruz is opposed to environmental regulations by the EPA, and is publicly in support of building the Keystone XL pipeline. He has sponsored legislation aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act, opposes having a federal minimum wage, and has expressed support for a “flat tax” system in which the IRS is abolished. Cruz threatened to filibuster any legislation dealing with gun control while he is in office. Senator Ted Cruz is opposed to the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1, and invited fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to participate with him in an anti-deal rally in September 2015.

On March 23, 2015, Ted Cruz announced via Twitter that he was going to be pursuing the Republican nomination for President. He was the first Republican candidate to officially announce their candidacy for the 2016 election.

Throughout his campaign he spoke openly about plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, stating that he was the only candidate who would commit to doing so.

On January 13, 2016, the day following President Obama's final State of the Union address, Cruz stated that at his first State of the Union address, he would be “pleased to welcome in the gallery Prime Minister Netanyahu.” Cruz was the only sitting Senator to miss Obama's final State of the Union address.

Cruz won the Iowa Caucus on February 1, 2016, with 27.7% of the vote and 8 delegates. On February 9, 2016, Cruz placed third in the New Hampshire primary, behind Donald Trump in first and John Kasich in second. Cruz received 11.7% of the votes, and won 2 delegates. On “Super Tuesday,” Cruz carried Alaska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Cruz won Utah on March 22, 2016, and the next day was endorsed by former candidate Jeb Bush. In hopes of stopping Donald Trump's presidential bid, Ted Cruz and fellow Republican candidate John Kasich joined forces in mid-April 2016, pledging to divide their efforts in different states to prevent Trump from gaining the magic number of delegates that will automatically give him the nomination at the Republican National Convention. Cruz announced on April 27, 2016, that his running-mate and pick for Vice President would be former candidate Carly Fiorina, in an attempt to sway female voters.

In early 2016 Ted Cruz touted an endorsement at campaign rallies from evangelical leader Mike Bickle. Cruz faced backlash for this endorsement when the public learned Bickle seeks to convert Jews to Christianity, believes that there will be another era of concentration camps, and believes that Hitler was sent by God to hunt Jews.

Cruz offered words of support following declarations made by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in April 2016 that the Golan Heights would “forever remain in Israel's hands.” The Presidential hopeful stated, “Today, the government of Israel reiterated the reality that the Golan Heights are part of Israel’s sovereign territory. Given the presence of hostile terrorist organizations ranging from ISIS to Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border, it is foolhardy and dangerous for elements in the international community to try to pressure Israel to abandon the Golan to the chaos engulfing Syria. The path to peace cannot involve Israel’s abdication of its own security.”


U.S. - Israel Relationship

  • “I have for a long time wished that American foreign policy could resemble the strength of Israeli foreign policy, the clarity of Israeli foreign policy, far more... Israel was, by design, a haven.”
    (Hamodia, April 12, 2016)
  • “If I'm elected president, I'll tell you this, the United States of America will stand unapologetically and unequivocally with the nation of Israel.”
    (Twitter, January 18, 2016)
  • “If Israel chooses to negotiate and reach a settlement with the Palestinian Authority that is Israel’s right as a sovereign state and America can help provide a fair forum for negotiations. But it is not the role of the American government to attempt to lecture the Israeli people or dictate terms of peace... Israel is a sovereign nation. Israel is our ally. We should stand with Israel.”
    (Algemeiner, October 21, 2015)
  • “In my view the United States should stand unshakably alongside the Nation of Israel”
    (Rightweb, August 3, 2015)
  • “This administration has been the most antagonistic toward Israel in memory. Standing for Israel is a deep passion of mine. But it's also a manifestation of a basic principle that if I say I'm with you I'm really with you.”
    (Rightweb, August 3, 2015)
  • “Instead of a president who boycotts Prime Minister Netanyahu, imagine a president who stands unapologetically with Israel”
    (Jerusalem Post, March 23, 2015)
  • “Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians. If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ.”
    (Slate, September 11, 2014)

Iran

  • “What we are seeing with North Korea is foreshadowing of where we will be with Iran.. It's why this Iranian nuclear deal is so catastrophic, and it's why I've pledged, on the very first day in office, to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal so we’re not sitting here in five years, wondering what to do about an Iranian missile launch when they have nuclear weapons.”
    (Republican Debate, February 6, 2016)
  • “If I am elected president, I have pledged on the very first day in office to rip to shred this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal... You know, at some of these Republican debates, there have been other Republican candidates who've said, 'Gosh, that's not a very sophisticated approach. You don't understand, we need to wait to see if we can trust the Iranians.' Well let me tell you what, I do trust the Iranians. When the Ayatollah Khamenei burns American and Israel flags and says 'death to America,' I trust him that he means it.”
    (Republican Jewish Coalition Forum, December 3, 2015)
  • “Those who are leading this negotiation fundamentally don't understand who it is they are negotiating with.”
    (Rightweb, August 3, 2015)
  • “As serious a threat as ISIS presents, the threat from Iran is qualitatively greater.”
    (Rightweb, August 3, 2015)
  • “The greatest risk to this Iranian deal, it is that millions of Americans will be murdered by radical theocratic zealots.”
    (Politico, July 21, 2015)
  • “I'm perfectly familiar with man's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But nowhere in there is the right to enrich uranium. ”
    (Business Insider, May 28, 2014)

Hamas and the Situation in Gaza

  • “Hamas are terrorist monsters using children for human shields.”
    (AIPAC, March 21, 2016)
  • “I joined with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in offering a resolution condemning Hamas’ use of human shields, women and children, as a war crime. And it passed both houses of Congress unanimously.”
    (JPUpdates, April 29, 2015)
  • “The Senate has sent a united signal that we denounce Hamas' barbaric tactics and unequivocally support Israel's right to self-defense.”
    (Ted Cruz Website, December 10, 2014)
  • “Hamas, which controls Gaza, is using the civilian population as human shields. The terrorist group has placed its missiles in schools and mosques and, even more deplorably, burrowed its command center underneath the al-Shifa hospital... The medical care and even survival of the Gazan people are of no concern to these terrorists, for whom casualties are not an unintended consequence of war, but rather a deliberate objective.”
    (Washington Times, July 30, 2014)
  • “Hamas is, unequivocally, a terrorist organization with blood on its hands that must be condemned on the world stage. There should be no path forward for Hamas to have any role in any future government formed by the Palestinian Authority, and no nation should accommodate, legitimize, or negotiate with this group that engages in the killing of innocent civilians.”
    (Newsmax, July 1, 2014)

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

  • “My leading Republican opponent promised he, as president, would be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. Let me be very, very clear: As president, I will not be neutral.”
    (AIPAC, March 21, 2016)
  • “Sadly, even today, the killing still rages. This fall, Palestinian terror attacks in Israel have surged, in the form of stabbings, car-ramming, and shooting attacks. Terrorists have killed nearly a dozen persons, and wounded over 120 - some of them Americans. This hearing is designed to shine a light on the obligation of the government of the United States to stand with American citizens against terrorists who would murder innocent Americans.”
    (Jewish Insider, November 4, 2015)
  • “There is a qualitative difference between antics of Palestinian terrorists murdering innocent women and children in response to the relentless incitement from the Hamas, from the PA (Palestinian Authority). There’s a qualitative difference between that and the IDF defending the safety and security of the nation of Israel. And John Kerry’s suggestion that they are morally equivalent is wrong, harmful and deeply offensive. The barrier to peace is not the government of Israel. The barrier to peace is Palestinians who refuse to renounce terrorism and refuse to even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.”
    (Algemeiner, October 21, 2015)
  • “My thoughts and prayers are with the Israeli people who are enduring a new escalation of Palestinian terrorism... These attacks have been incubated by the continued incitement and glorification of violence by the Palestinian leadership, most recently by President Mahmoud Abbas during his address at the United Nations General Assembly. He still has yet to categorically condemn these attacks. It is long past time for the United States and the international community to hold the Palestinians accountable for their incitement and support for terrorism, including through the financial payment to Palestinian terrorists who are jailed in Israel for committing acts of terrorism. There is no moral equivalence between Palestinian terrorism and the obligation of Israel to act in defense of its people. To the Israeli people, especially those who are victims of terrorism and their families: I proudly stand in solidarity with you during this challenging time.”
    (Ted Cruz Official Website, October 8, 2015)
  • “The question of whether peace is ultimately achieved through a one-state solution or a two-state solution is a question for Israel, and America shouldn’t dictate the answers.”
    (JPUpdates, April 29, 2015)
  • “Israel is a sovereign nation, and I trust the leaders of Israel to determine whether they want to adopt a one-state solution or a two-state solution. It shouldn't be America saying here's how you should resolve this in Israel. ”
    (Newsmax, March 29, 2015)
  • “Israel's action in Gaza was the just self-defense of a sovereign nation against relentless attacks by radical Islamic terrorists. The United States would and should do the same under those circumstances.”
    (The Hill, September 29, 2014)

Key Staff & Advisors

  • Alice Stewart: National spokesperson
  • Austen Furse: Policy director
  • Catherine Frazier: National press secretary
  • Chad Sweet: Campaign chairman
  • Jason Johnson: Chief strategist
  • Jason Miller: Senior communications advisor
  • Jeff Roe: Campaign manager
  • Josh Perry: New media director
  • Mark P. Campbell: Political director
  • Nick Muzin: Senior advisor
  • Victoria Coates: National security advisor
    • Frank Gaffney
    • Fred Fleitz
    • Clare Lopez
    • Jim Hanson
    • Andrew McCarthy
    • Michael LeDeen
    • Jim Talent
    • Mary Habeck
    • Elliot Abrams

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