|United States Senator
January 3, 2013
Serving with John Cornyn
|Preceded by||Kay Bailey Hutchison|
|Solicitor General of Texas|
January 9, 2003 â€“ May 12, 2008
|Preceded by||Julie Parsley|
|Succeeded by||James Ho|
|Born||Rafael Edward Cruz
December 22, 1970
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Heidi Nelson (m. 2001)|
|Education||Princeton University (BA)
Harvard University (JD)
Power in politics, sovereignty in America is with we the people, and that is the path to turning this country around: empowering the people.
It's been 80 years since the Senate has confirmed a Supreme Court nominee who was nominated during an election. And particularly when the court hangs in the balance, it makes no sense whatsoever to give Barack Obama the power to jam through a judge in the final election year.
Do you know the rate of military enlistment among Hispanics is higher than any demographic in this country?
When George W. Bush entered office, the national debt was $5 trillion. When he left, it was $10 trillion. I think the administration spent too much money.
There's an old joke that politics is Hollywood for ugly people. An awful lot of the press coverage about Washington reads like coverage of Hollywood. Madonna is having some spat with Sean Penn. Who cares? And who cares which politician is mad at that politician?
Millions of Americans are standing up and saying, 'We want our country back!' Republicans, Democrats, Independents, will not go down the path of Greece, we will not go quietly into the night.
The essence of the conservative message should be we want a dynamic nation where anybody with nothing can achieve anything.
If Obamacare is so wonderful, why is it that its loudest advocates don't want to be subject to it?
Voting for a candidate for the DC circuit is very different from confirming someone to the US Supreme Court. I have been very clear that the Senate should not confirm any nominee in a lame duck session.
We should allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines. That will create a true 50-state national marketplace which will drive down the cost of low-cost, catastrophic health insurance.
Going to school on a campus where the faculty overwhelmingly disagrees with you, and where the student body overwhelmingly disagrees with you, is challenging. If you go in without a firm foundation, it can undermine what you believe.
How do we turn our nation around? President Obama thinks the answer is more and more government. Government is not the answer. You are not doing anyone a favor by creating dependency, destroying individual responsibility.
On issue after issue, the Obama Administration has openly ignored, defied, and unilaterally tried to change the law.
We are seeing a great awakening. A national movement of We the People, brought together by what unites us – a shared love of liberty, and an understanding of the unlimited potential of free men and free women.
Washington is a bubble, and there is nothing more powerful than the conservative grassroots when we are engaged and letting our voice be heard.
We can build the fence. We can triple the border patrol. We can end sanctuary cities by cutting off funding to them. We can end welfare for those here illegally.
I've spent the past month in Washington, D.C., and it is terrific to be back in America.
We should work to de-link health insurance from employment so if you lose your job, your health insurance goes with you and it is personal, portable and affordable.
If you want a president to stop amnesty, to secure the borders and keep us safe, then support a candidate who has led the fight to stop amnesty to secure the borders and to keep us safe.
If I'm elected president, let me tell you about my first day in office. The first thing I intend to do is to rescind every illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by Barack Obama.
Often you see big companies, big banks who are eager to embrace crushing regulatory burdens because they drive up everyone's costs.
Washington has, with some justification, gained a reputation for being hopelessly mired in partisan gridlock.
Is it true that the American people are war-weary? Absolutely. We are tired of sending our sons and daughters to distant lands year after year after year, to give their lives trying to transform foreign nations.
I'm not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate.
I think the Hispanic community, the values that resonate in our community, are fundamentally conservative. They are faith, family, patriotism.
You'd better believe that Putin sees that in Syria, Obama draws a red line and ignores the red line.
One of the specific powers and responsibilities of the federal government is to secure the borders. Property can be taken with due process of law and just compensation.
I'll tell you, in my life I've never once have seen a Hispanic panhandler, because in our community, it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging. Those are all conservative values – faith, family, hard work, responsibility.
You always have to be worried about something that is considered a so-called 'scientific theory' that fits every scenario. Climate change, as they've defined it, can never be disproved.
Sure, I've listed myself as Cuban-American. That's my heritage and my background.
We should expand health savings accounts so people can save in a tax-advantaged way for more routine healthcare needs.
We shouldn't let anti-science zealotry shut down the ability to produce low-cost, quality food for billions across the globe.
It is the job of our military to protect America and to hunt down and kill those who would threaten to murder Americans.
We need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words 'radical Islamic terrorism'.
When I ran in Texas, I told the people of Texas, 'if you elect me, I will lead the fight against amnesty.'
It has been suggested that those of us who are fighting to defend liberty – fighting to turn around the out-of-control spending and out-of-control debt in this country, fighting to defend the Constitution, it has been suggested that we are wacko birds.
We ought to be allowing the private sector to pursue every form of energy because the energy of the future, it's not going to come from the government picking winners and losers.
A lot of the Republicans wanted exactly what Barack Obama wanted, exactly what Nancy Pelosi wanted, exactly what Harry Reid wanted, which is to raise the debt ceiling, but they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn't do it.
There is a problem in Washington, and the problem is bigger than a continuing resolution. It is bigger than Obamacare. It is even bigger than the budget. The most fundamental problem and the frustration is that the men and women in Washington aren't listening.
Twenty years from now if there is some obscure Trivial Pursuit question, I am confident I will be the answer.
The radical Left loves attacking people as anti-science when anyone dares question their computer models on global warming.
And if you want a commander in chief who will fulfill the most solemn obligation of the president to keep this nation safe, then support a candidate who has demonstrated the commitment, the judgment, the experience, the clarity of vision, to identify our enemy, to call it by its name, radical islamic terrorism.
President George Herbert Walker Bush ran as a strong conservative, ran to continue the third term of Ronald Reagan, continue the Ronald Reagan revolution. Then he raised taxes and in '92 ran as an establishment moderate – same candidate, two very different campaigns.
The American free market system is the greatest engine for prosperity and opportunity that the world has ever seen. Freedom works.
I support capital punishment. But let's be clear: It's a decision for each state to make.
The Obama administration came into Utah and said, 'We're not going to listen to what the U.S. Supreme Court said. 'We, the federal government, are going to recognize marriages in the state of Utah and Utah state law explicitly does not recognize as marriage,' and that was really, in my view, an abuse of power.
The American president has a peculiar leadership responsibility to speak out for freedom.
When you tell the American people, 'Read my lips. No new taxes,' that should mean no new taxes.
My dad came from Cuba when he was a teenager not speaking English. And I grew up here speaking Spanglish. That's the world in which I grew up, and that's a world in which a lot of second generation immigrants find themselves.
I do not believe any president can bind a successor president to give up his fundamental role as protector of the country.
I'm a lot less concerned with Bill Clinton's escapades decades ago than I am with Hillary Clinton's consistently wrong record when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to domestic policy.
When Mitt Romney talked about Putin expanding his sphere of influence, Obama mocked and said, 'The Cold War has been over 20 years, nothing to be worried about'… We keep making that mistake with Putin.
There are people who wonder if faith is real. I can tell you, in my family there is not a second of doubt.
This election presents a stark choice – we can continue down the road of the Obama Democrats, more and more spending, debt and government control of the economy, or we can return to the founding principles of our nation – free markets, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty.
Do you want to know what scares the Washington cartel? Actually, not remotely. I don't scare them in the tiniest bit. What scares them is you. What scares them is that old Reagan coalition is coming back together, of conservatives.
The Obama economy has led to the lowest labor force participation since 1978.
The Senate Majority Leader has the unilateral ability to stand up and say, 'If you defy Congress, if you defy the Constitution, if you defy the American people, none of your nominees will be confirmed.'
I have never supported amnesty, and I led the fight against Chuck Schumer's gang of eight amnesty legislation in the Senate.
The most enduring legacy of President Barack Obama is going to be a new generation of leaders standing up for liberty.
I don't think it's government's job to find health care for people. I think it's the individual's job to find health care.
We are here today because of grass-roots conservatives all over the place. That's the way the democratic process is supposed to work. It's not supposed to be a bunch of guys in a smoky room in Austin picking the next Senator.
God's blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation, and I believe God isn't done with America yet.
The systematic murder of Christians in the Middle East is a horrible atrocity, and all of us should be united against it. Likewise, we should speak with one voice against the persecution of Jews, usually being carried out by the very same jihadist radicals.
You often see in Washington those who disagree you described as stupid or evil. It's one of the most unfortunate trends of modern political discourse. Portraying opponents as too dumb to know the truth but smart enough and wanting people to suffer.
I would do anything and I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare.
It's not the job of the U.S. military to do nation-building or produce democratic utopias.
Having principled men and women in office is how you protect yourself from tyranny, and that was something I learned from when I was 2, 3, 5 years old.
If you hate the Jewish people, you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ.
It is amazing that the wisdom of the chattering class to the Republicans is always, always, always 'Surrender your principles and agree with the Democrats.' That's been true for my entire lifetime.
I introduced legislation in the Senate to prohibit President Obama's amnesty. The House of Representatives stood up and led. It took the legislation I introduced and it passed it. But the Senate Democrats stood as one uniform block and said, 'No, we will do nothing to stop amnesty.'
In both law and politics, I think the essential battle is the meta-battle of framing the narrative.
We need to remain a nation that doesn't just welcome but that celebrates legal immigrants who come here seeking to pursue the American Dream.
I am far more a fan of aggressive entrepreneurs than I am of major CEOs. You look at major CEOs, and they are almost to a person quite timid. They don't act to defend the free market principles that are vital to growth.
When you're putting together a campaign for president, like I've been, that entails a lot of time. It's not like I've been at the beach sipping a pina colada.
For families, for parents that don't want to feed their kids GMOs, in the private marketplace there has grown up an abundant market.
I'm a big fan of Rand Paul; he and I are good friends. I don't agree with him on foreign policy.
I have been proud to fight and stand for religious liberty, to stand against Planned Parenthood, to defend life for my entire career.
The single biggest surprise about arriving to the Senate is the defeatist attitude here.
Every day, I come home with a spring in my step. We've got to work together to stop the Obama agenda and take this country back.
When, President Obama, do you mean to cease abusing our patience? How long is that madness of yours still to mock us? When is there to be an end to that unbridled audacity of yours swaggering about as it does now?
If I am elected president we will secure the border and we will end the illegal immigration.
I'm not cool enough to hang out with any rock stars. Jay-Z doesn't come over to my house. I don't hang out with Ted Nugent.
It's critical to have a sound foundation in free-market economics and the Constitution. A great many Republicans in Washington don't have that foundation.
We need to conceptualize; we need to articulate conservative domestic policy with a laser focus on opportunity, on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder.
We need to make clear the federal government does not have authority to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens without due process or, for that matter, to use lethal force on U.S. citizens on U.S. soil if they don't pose imminent threats.
When I go back to Texas, I travel the state, and I see people all the time who come up to me, men and women across Texas, and they grab me by the shoulder, and they're afraid. They say, 'Ted, you know, I just lost my health insurance. I got a child with diabetes. I'm scared. Please stop this from happening.'
I am perfectly happy to compromise and work with anybody: Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians – I'll work with Martians if – and the if is critical – they're willing to cut spending and reduce the debt.
It's remarkable that the failures of the Obama, Clinton, Kerry foreign policy are not only uniting the Left and Right in Israel but might even be creating some common ground between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Do not listen to the rhetoric from campaigns, but rather, hold everyone of us accountable, hold me accountable and every other candidate accountable to be a consistent conservative.
There was reference made to our leaders being stupid. It's not a question of stupidity. It's that they don't want to enforce the immigration laws. That there are far too many in the Washington cartel that support amnesty.
It's been federal law for over two centuries that the child of an American born abroad is a citizen – a natural born citizen.
We're seeing conservatives and evangelicals and libertarian and Reagan Democrats all coming together as one, and that terrifies Washington, D.C.
On the Left, the best and brightest go into politics – Barack Obama is the epitome of the perfect leftist. On the Right, the best and brightest go make money. Very few conservatives want to endure all the nonsense you have to put up with to run for office.
I think God has blessed this country with enormous natural resources, and we should pursue all of the above. We should be developing oil, and gas, and coal, and nuclear, and wind, and solar, and ethanol, and biofuels. But, I don't believe that Washington should be picking winners and losers.
The authority to declare war rests in Congress, not in an out-of-control president.
Thanks to President Obama for joining a unanimous Congress and signing S 2195 into law.
The single best thing we can do is expand competition. Let people purchase health insurance across state lines. If you want to expand access, what you want to do is increase choices and drive down cost.
The strength of our economy allows us to maintain the mightiest military in the world, effectively enforcing a Pax Americana.
Voters are hungry for principled, conservative fighters – because the threat to our liberties from Washington never has been greater.
I suspect I was not the first 21-year-old who thought he knew more than he did. And one of the virtues of age, one of the virtues of getting married and becoming a father, is it often leads one to take a more measured approach to life.
Enough of these little kitty cats we keep sending to Washington. David Dewhurst will compromise every day in the U.S. Senate… It's what he's done every day in state government.
Tonight, I want to say to every member of the democratic party, who believes in limited government, in personal opportunity and the united States constitution, and a safe and secure America, come home. To the Reagan Democrats, your party has left you. And the Republican party wants you, we welcome you back.
We ought to open up energy innovation across the board and – and remove the barriers to every form of energy.
An awful lot of Republicans, both in Washington and outside Washington, are resigned to leaving Obamacare in effect.
Millions of people are asking for accountability, for responsibility, for truth from their elected officials, truth about how Obamacare is failing the men and women of America.
If I am elected president, keep an eye on the tarmac, because I'll be back, because Iowa in 2017 will not be fly-over country. It will be fly-to country.
The Washington establishment think Republicans win elections by you don't stand for anything, you keep your head down, you don't rock the boat. You know what? Every time we do that, we get clobbered in the polls.
It used to be, it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier.
I think issues and substance, policy and vision and record should be the meat of politics.
What is problematic about Obamacare is that it is killing millions of jobs in this country and has killed millions of jobs. It has forced millions of people into part time work. It has caused millions of people to lose their insurance, to lose their doctors, and to face skyrocketing insurance premiums. That is unacceptable.
If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you.
The reason why I'm a conservative is because conservative policies work and they improve opportunities. They are the avenue for climbing the economic dream.
The people who suffer in the Obama economy have been young people, African Americans, Hispanics, single moms.
I think it's very important to have a public discussion about why we're denying our soldiers the ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
After 2012, all of the Washington political consultants and all the mainstream media came to Republicans and said, 'You've got to do better with Hispanics, and the way to do better with Hispanics is to embrace amnesty.' And, look, a lot of Republicans in Washington were scared.
Look, I think Hispanic community – the values that resonate in our community are fundamentally conservative. They are faith, family and patriotism.
The hard-core Left loves ridiculing Christians who believe scripture that says, 'God created the heaven and the earth.' They say that it's anti-science to believe that an almighty God would do such a thing.
The grass roots are energized because the absolutely highest priority in the country in November is to defeat Barack Obama. I have spoken with literally thousands and thousands of tea-party activists – I have yet to meet a single tea-party leader that is not going to vote for Mitt Romney.
We are witnessing a great awakening. Millions of Texans, millions of Americans are rising up to reclaim our country, to defend liberty and to restore the Constitution.
Hispanic unemployment is higher than the national average and when the federal government is killing small businesses and killing jobs it is hurting the future of the Hispanic community and we need to carry that message.
You want to know what judicial activism is? Judicial activism is judges imposing their policy preferences on the words of the Constitution.
I think it's an enormous blessing to be the child of an immigrant who fled oppression, because you realize how fragile liberty is and how easily it can be taken away.
What I have been talking about for many years is opportunity conservatism, that every policy should focus like a laser on easing the means of ascent up the economic ladder.
My dad grew up with an avocado tree in his backyard. My entire family, my wife and daughters, they love avocado. I may well be allergic. It makes me physically sick.
President Reagan stood for conservative principles in a way that brought people together.
A friend of mine, a Hispanic entrepreneur asked me a question sometime ago, he said, 'When is the last time you saw a Hispanic panhandler?' I think it's a great question. I'll tell you, in my life I've never once have seen a Hispanic panhandler, because in our community, it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging.
I think Hispanic community – the values that resonate in our community are fundamentally conservative. They are faith, family and patriotism. Do you know the rate of military enlistment among Hispanics is higher than any demographic in this country? And they are also hard work and responsibility.
If we go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany – look, we saw it in Britain. Neville Chamberlain told the British people: Accept the Nazis. Yes, they will dominate the continent of Europe, but that is not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We cannot possibly stand against them.
The power of the American people, when we rise up and stand for liberty, knows no bounds.
I am not content to entrust our free-speech rights to the good graces and whims of Congress and hope that politicians don't abuse their power.
Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats have become an extreme party. They have become a party that has abdicated their responsibilities. Under Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats, we have a do-nothing Senate.
There is no more an enthusiastic advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. Senate than I am, and that is a message that resonates powerfully in the Hispanic community.
I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to re-ignite the promise of America.
I grew up listening to classic rock – the Kinks, Genesis, The Who, Pink Floyd.
When my father came over here penniless with $100 sewn into his underwear, thank God some well-meaning liberal didn't come put his arm around him and say, 'Let me take care of you.'
There is overwhelming bipartisan support outside of Washington that we need to finally secure our borders, enforce our laws, and stop the problem of illegal immigration.
I'll tell you sort of an odd story: My music taste changed on 9/11. And it's very strange. I actually intellectually find this very curious. But on 9/11, I didn't like how rock music responded. And country music collectively, the way they responded, it resonated with me.
If you think back to the fight over drones, when I was proud to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Rand Paul filibustering for 13 hours, that was viewed as a fringe issue, as a quixotic issue, and yet millions of Americans engaged, spoke up, got online.
I'm always amused when the 'New York Times' writes editorials trying to be helpful to Republicans and say, 'This is the way Republicans can save themselves.' Look, the 'New York Times' disagrees with us. They're entitled to disagree with us, but it's not like we should take their advice.
If you look at that 2008 Democratic primary, there was no more formidable, unstoppable candidate – other than an incumbent President – in modern times than Hillary Clinton.
The State Marriage Defense Act helps safeguard the ability of states to preserve traditional marriage for their citizens.
I don't think the federal government has any business keeping a list of law-abiding Americans who exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
We need to protect the privacy rights of all Americans, and that means stopping the federal government from spying on the cellphones and emails of law-abiding citizens.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan understand that government does not create jobs. Entrepreneurs do.
And the people I have been accountable to every single day in the Senate are the 27 million Texans who I represent and I made a promise to them that I make to you today, which is, if I am elected, every single day I will do two things: tell the truth, and do what I said I would do.
My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She's a U.S. citizen, so I'm a U.S. citizen.
Many of the alarmists on global warming, they've got a problem because the science doesn't back them up.
I honored my commitments, and as president, I will honor every commitment that I make to the men and women of this country.
As much as we need to approve the Keystone pipeline, we need to think far broader than that.
One of biggest lies in politics is the lie that Republicans are the party of big business. Big business does great with big government. Big business is very happy to climb in bed with big government. Republicans are and should be the party of small business and of entrepreneurs.
I am blessed to receive a word from God every day in receiving the scriptures and reading the scriptures. And God speaks through the Bible.
I think most Americans don't really care about politicians bickering in Washington.
There is a liberal fascism that is dedicated to going after believing Christians who follow the biblical teaching on marriage.
First of all, we have seen now in six years of Obamacare that it has been a disaster. It is the biggest job-killer in this country. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work, have lost their health insurance, have lost their doctors, have seen their premiums skyrocket.
I will keep my word. My father fled Cuba, and I will fight to defend liberty because my family knows what it's like to lose it.
Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominee for the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the media. Will not be chosen by the Washington establishment. Will not be chosen by the lobbyists. But will be chosen by the most incredible powerful force, where all sovereignty resides in our nation by we the people.
If I am elected president, every militant on the face of the planet will know, if you go and join ISIS, if you wage jihad on the United States of America, if you attempt to murder innocent Americans you are signing your death warrant.
The federal government has not been effective enough monitoring and surveilling bad guys.
What I think is at stake in 2012, is whether the five or six strong conservatives elected to the Senate in 2010 become 10 or 12. And if that happens, it will fundamentally shift the character of the Senate. It will shift the balance.
Back in the '70s – I remember the '70s: we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.
What I try to keep an eye on is I don't work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for 26 million Texans.
I think the first and principle objective is to repeal Obamacare before it does lasting, fundamental damage to our health care system, to our individual liberty, to the relationship each of us has with his or her doctor.
If we're going to win in 2016, we need a consistent conservative: someone who has been a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative.
Every American, I think, should be able to fill out their taxes on a postcard.
I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown.
If you're looking for someone to go to Washington, to go along to get along, to get – to agree with the career politicians in both parties who get in bed with the lobbyists and special interests, then I ain't your guy.
It's tragic from how far we've come from 'Hope and Change'.