Cruz: America’s next president or the Canadian Zodiac Killer?

| Copy Chief

Super Tuesday is here. The end is nigh. As is Student Life’s profile series on five leading presidential nominee candidates (and Jeb!). Understanding that the typical Washington University student doesn’t have time to follow politics, the Forum staff wanted to provide a quick college-centered synopsis of each possibility. Today, Republican Ted Cruz has his time in the spotlight after nearly 30 years of running from the law (according to 38 percent of Florida voters). The full schedule was: Jeb Bush (Jan. 25), Marco Rubio (Feb. 1), Hillary Clinton (Feb. 8), Donald Trump (Feb. 15), Bernie Sanders (Feb. 22), and Ted Cruz (Feb. 29).

ted cruz

Who is this guy?

Hailing from the Lone Star State, Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz is a Republican junior senator and presidential nominee candidate. After attending Harvard Law School, Cruz entered into private practice at a Washington, D.C. law firm and even had a role in George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign before becoming solicitor general of Texas in 2003. Nine years later, Cruz would successfully run for a seat in the U.S. Senate, a victory that the Washington Post called “the biggest upset of 2012,” as Cruz was able to capitalize on the Tea Party’s momentum to pull out a grassroots victory. Oh, and the far-right senator absolutely hates Democrats, so don’t expect any bipartisanship if he takes office.

What does he care about?

During his time in office, the staunchly conservative Cruz has established himself as one of the loudest voices of the Republican Party. He cares about a lot of things—especially social issues. Cruz has led the charge to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, spoken out against abortion and marriage equality, defended the Second Amendment, fought for greater border security and criticized Barack Obama’s executive actions. When it comes to economic and foreign policy, Cruz’s stances are standard for the GOP: he wants to lower taxes and strengthen the military.

Why should we care about that?

Do you have opinions on abortion? Obamacare? Border security? Yes, yes and yes. Ted Cruz is the posterchild for radical conservatism. Even the headings on his campaign page scream radicalism. “Restore the Constitution,” “Secure the Border,” “Defend our Nation” and, best of all, “Rein in Washington.” You should care about Ted Cruz because the buzzwords he’s using to drive his campaign could potentially affect every aspect of your life.

I’m bored; tell me something funny about him.

Ted Cruz might be the infamous Zodiac Killer, the never-identified serial killer who murdered at least five (but as many as 37) people in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Now, Cruz was born in 1970, so this theory, which has been circulating since 2013, doesn’t seem to hold up. But hey, a recent poll showed that 38 percent of Floridian voters think Cruz could be the Zodiac Killer, so there’s that.

Who would his vice president be?

Generally, presidential candidates choose running mates who make up for their weaknesses, and there’s a good chance Cruz will pull a John McCain and pick a woman. Carly Fiorina is a possibility, but Governor Nikki Haley is more likely. Haley, however, is no Sarah Palin—the South Carolina governor was chosen to deliver the Republican response to Obama’s last State of the Union, proving her political capital.

What would their couple name be?

This was not easy. You could ignore the spelling (and pronunciation) of Haley’s name and go for the emphatic “Hail Cruz!” But obviously that won’t happen because it’s very similar to “Heil Hitler!” Instead, they’d need to be “Haley’s Cruhz,” after the infamous nickname Cruz’s college roommate gave him.

So will he win the nomination?

In short, probably not. Cruz is splitting votes with Marco Rubio—who is another Cuban-American in his early 40s. Given Rubio’s strong showing in Thursday’s debate and his more moderate policies, it seems increasingly more likely that, if someone’s going to find a way to overtake Donald Trump, it’s going to be Rubio rather than Cruz. Even if he were to win the nomination, there’s still the question of whether Cruz is qualified to be president—he was born in Canada (to an American mother and a Cuban father), and he held dual citizenship until 2014.

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