During his CPAC speech this weekend, Senator Ted Cruz took shots at previous Republican presidential candidates Dole, McCain, and Romney, for lacking a “clear distinction” from big-government democrats. Well, I think Mr. Cruz has got some ‘splaining to do. It seems he’s just as married—literally—to the establishment as any of them.
A report from the ever-busy infowars.com reveals that Cruz’s wife, Heidi, has some rather behemoth credentials:
Cruz’s insider connection is a family affair. His wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs vice president in Houston, Texas, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also served as an economic advisor for the Bush administration. In 2011, a Cruz campaign spokesman portrayed Heidi as “an expert on North American trade,” in other words she is savvy when it comes to globalist transnational trade deals like NAFTA, the single most destructive government move against the American worker in history.
She was also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (see her bio at Claremont McKenna College), a position that expired prior to her husband’s attack on the globalist organization.
The details come from a page listing Clermont-McKenna College’s Board of Advisors, on which Mrs. Cruz apparently served. In addition to being one of only three of W’s economic advisors,
She also served in the Administration as the economic director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council at the White House, advising the President and then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. She also is a former director at the U.S. Treasury Department and was special policy assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, then Chief U.S. international trade negotiator.
It also reveals that before Goldman Sachs, she worked for another tentacle of the vampire squid, JPMorgan, “focusing on international structured finance.”
None of this says “Tea Party,” “small government,” “sound money,” and contrary to Cruz’s latest pitch, it also does not much support “standing on principle”—unless that “principle” is fiat money, TARP bailouts, financing wars, revolving doors, etc.
Now perhaps Mrs. Cruz’s career is not representative of the Senator’s views. Or, if it is, perhaps the Senator has changed views in recent years. He did later blast the CFR, but that seems to have come only after his wife’s Term ended, and only when trying to present himself as a Tea Party candidate.
But Cruz has wasted no time showing us to his views. Only a day after falling a distant second behind Ran Paul (Paul 31%, Cruz only 11%) in the CPAC straw poll, Cruz took a swipe, albeit a weak one, at Paul. Breitbart.com reports that despite being a “big fan” of Rand Paul, Cruz stated, “I don’t agree with him on foreign policy.”
There’s no doubt Paul is not an imperialist or a warmonger, but he has certainly deviated from his father’s uncompromising non-interventionism. When Fox News Sunday asked about his foreign policy, Paul answered,
I see my foreign policy in the same line as what came out of, probably, the first George Bush. Henry Kissinger wrote something in the Washington Post two days ago [here] which I agree with. I see it coming out of the mainstream of the Republican position.
I opposed with real fervor the involvement of us in Syria, and that became the dominant position in the country—both Republican and Democrat. There’s not one Republican who’s saying we should put military troops in Crimea, in the Ukraine. So I think I’m right in the middle of that position.
And I think that those who would try to argue that somehow I’m different than the mainstream Republican opinion are people who want to take advantage for their own personal political gain. I’m a great believer in Ronald Reagan. I’m a great believer in a strong national defense. . . .
It’s perhaps not surprising then that in his sideswipe at Paul, Cruz didn’t really give any real specifics, just vague sentimental references:
U.S. leadership is critical in the world. I agree we should be reluctant to deploy military force aboard, but there’s a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did. When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an Evil Empire, when he stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and said ‘Tear down this wall.’ Those words changed the course of history. The United States has a responsibility to defend our values.
Of course, Paul seems to share all of these platitudes: who doesn’t believe in “defending our values”? Who doesn’t believe in “U.S. leadership”? So as criticisms these fall flat.
The real questions are things like, “Do we need 800 international military bases to accomplish this?” “Do we need to maintain military bases in 63 countries?” “Do we need standing armies of 255,000 soldiers in foreign countries?” “Can anyone who believes in fiscal responsibility and small government seriously maintain $680+ billions each year in ‘defense’ spending?” And this is all not even considering the biblical doctrines regard the military and war (Paul has hinted at some. Cruz has not, as far as I know).
Since Paul shares the views Cruz mentioned, it seems that Cruz is either uniformed (unlikely), dishonest (harsh), or is engaging in careless political volleys.
Consider the results of CPAC, the latter seems most likely.
In fairness, Cruz was asked about Paul by an interviewer, so he had no choice but answer. But his answer is vague grandstanding on things Paul agrees with.
So, if we are to believe that Cruz’s answer distinguishes him from Paul somehow, then he must have very different definitions of “U.S. leadership” and “defending our values” than those articulated by Paul. For Cruz, these must be euphemisms for “imperialism” and “interventionism.”
If Cruz’s familial associations—Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, W, CFR— are any indication, then I think we know the answer. I suspect there is, therefore, some truth in Infowar.com’s conclusion:
Like the domestication of the Tea Party and the expulsion of its more purist liberty-minded activists, the Cruz the warrior pitted against the establishment motif is another slick subversion directed at the political elite’s most puissant opposition – the real Tea Party and a threatening number of patriot activists gnawing at the edges of the political establishment.
If Cruz gets more prominent for the 2016 primary, I suspect there will be an attempt to scrub these associations.
UPDATE: Paul fires back:
Many forget today that Reagan’s decision to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev was harshly criticized by the Republican hawks of his time, some of whom would even call Reagan an appeaser. In the Middle East, Reagan strategically pulled back our forces after the tragedy in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 241 Marines, realizing the cost of American lives was too great for the mission.
Without a clearly defined mission, exit strategy or acceptable rationale for risking soldiers lives, Reagan possessed the leadership to reassess and readjust.
Today, we forget that some of the Republican hawks of his time criticized Reagan harshly for this too, again, calling him an appeaser. . . .
How many leaders were as great as Reagan, willing to admit their mistakes, learn from them and put their country before their own reputation and legacy?
Today’s Republicans should concentrate on establishing their own identities and agendas, as opposed to simply latching onto Ronald Reagan’s legacy—or worse, misrepresenting it.