Senator Ted Cruz has received a lot of media attention recently, and it's not difficult to pinpoint what is so fascinating about the first-term junior senator from Texas.
Cruz has maintained the same, unaltered far right worldview since arriving at Princeton as an undergrad — as a former classmate points out, an Ivy League education, Harvard Law and life experience have done nothing to alter any of the fundamental beliefs he held as a 17-year-old. What's more is that Cruz is shameless and unwavering in the conviction that he is consistently the smartest, most correct person in any room, or, you know, the entirety of the nation's capital.
Add to the mix the liberal aversion much of the media feels toward Cruz's dearly-held ideals, as well as the fact that the senator could have a shot at being the next president of the United States, and the equation produces insightful articles that are equal parts amusing and horrifying, like the Daily Beast's roommate and classmate interview piece and GQ's Monday profile.
We decided to take a look at some of the most telling Cruz quotes, straight from the senator himself in the past couple weeks.
From Cruz's Sept. 11 foreign policy speech at the Heritage Foundation:
- "We should understand that you don’t deal with nations like Russia and China by embracing arm-in-arm and singing kumbaya."
- "'The president lives in the world of make-believe where mistakes, even very big ones, have no consequences. Disasters are overtaking our nation without any real response from the White House. Who does not feel a growing sense of unease as our allies facing repeated instances of an amateurish and confused administration reluctantly conclude that America is unwilling or unable to fulfill its obligations as leader of the free world?’ ... Now those words could have been uttered this week. But they were uttered in 1980 by Ronald Reagan, describing the Jimmy Carter Administration."
- "Our current president won the Nobel Peace Prize. I think for waking up in the morning and brushing his teeth."
From Jason Zengerle's excellent GQ profile:
- "It is helpful for keeping one grounded." Context: This quote is about a giant oil painting Cruz has in his office that depicts him delivering his first oral argument to the Supreme Court back in his law partner days. Because the painting depicts three courtroom artists drawing Cruz, the painting actually features four images of him altogether. (But it keeps him grounded because he lost the case 9-0.)
- "I don't know a conservative who didn't feel embarrassed voting in 2006 or 2008." A remark that, as Zengerle points out, is sure to really endear Cruz to McCain, who famously called the Texas senator a "wacko bird."
- "These are my argument boots. When I was Texas solicitor general, I did every argument in these boots ... I saw [Chief Justice John Roberts] shortly after his confirmation, and I guess I was feeling a little cheeky, because I took the opportunity to ask, 'Mr. Chief Justice, do you have any views on the appropriateness of boots as footwear at oral argument?' And Chief Justice Roberts chuckled and he said, 'You know, Ted, if you're representing the state of Texas, they're not only appropriate, they're required.'" (I wonder how Chief Justice Roberts would feel about my argument sequined high-tops.)
- "Stopping bad things is a significant public service." Cruz sounds off on the evil concept of immigration reform.
From the Fox News interview in which Fox's Chris Wallace basically told Cruz his plan to defund Obamacare won't work.
- "Well, the first order of business is going to be to ask Harry Reid if he will agree to allow amendments to be subject to a 60- vote threshold. ... Now, in all likelihood, he's going to say no because he wants to use brute political power to force ObamaCare funding through with just Democrats, exactly the same he passed the bill three years ago." As Wallace points out, what Cruz is calling "brute political force" is better known as Senate Rule 22, which has been around for years.
- "I think Senate Republicans are going to stand side by side with Speaker Boehner and House Republicans listening to the people and stopping this train wreck that is ObamaCare." Fact check: A recent poll found "the people" don't want Obamacare defunded.
And what do others have to say about Cruz? Although it might not be the most indicative of his political prowess, the Daily Beast reporter who surveyed Cruz's Princeton classmates found that four independently used the word "creepy" to describe the senator, with some pointing to his habit of donning a paisley bathrobe and walking to the end of the dorm's hallway where female students lived.
“I would end up fielding the [girls’] complaints: 'Could you please keep your roommate out of our hallway?'" Cruz's former roommate said to the Beast regarding the man who could be the next POTUS.