Washington Week

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16 Things to Know About….Ted Cruz

1. Cruz is named after his father and his legal name is Rafael Edward Cruz.

2. Cruz was born in Calgary, Canada, to a Cuban-born father and American mother who were working in the oil industry.  As a natural born citizen, he is eligible to run for president.  He renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2014.

3. In his first election in 2012, Cruz won the race for the U.S. Senate from Texas, and he is the first Hispanic senator from Texas and one of three Cuban-American senators.

4. During his campaign for Senate, Cruz was endorsed by the Houston Chronicle, an endorsement the paper later regretted.

5. He was the longest-serving and youngest solicitor general in Texas history.  During his five year tenure, he argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court – more than any current member of Congress.

6. Cruz served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 1996

7. Cruz is a Harvard-educated lawyer and later taught Supreme Court litigation at The University of Texas.

8. Cruz worked as a domestic policy adviser on the 2000 campaign of George W. Bush.

9. Served as deputy attorney general during George W. Bush’s first term.

10. During the campaign, Cruz’s wife Heidi is taking an unpaid leave of absence from her job as a managing director of Goldman Sachs.

11. Served as editor of the Harvard Law Review.

12. While an undergrad at Princeton, Cruz was a national debate champion and the 1992 Speaker of the Year.

13. He has claimed that his favorite shoes are a pair of black ostrich skin boots.

14. Cruz has stated that he wants to abolish the IRS and instead have a “flat tax where the average American can fill out taxes on a postcard.”

15. His opposition to Obamacare led to a 13-hour filibuster in 2013 where Cruz read Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor.

16. Along with conservatives in Congress, Cruz is credited by many for shutting down the federal government for two weeks in 2013 after trying to defund implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Photo: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the National Federation of Republican Women's 38th Biennial Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. [flickr / Gage Skidmore]