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Ted Cruz. Vote for me if you love machine guns and bacon

If you’re afraid of Donald Trump, you’ll be terrified of Ted Cruz. He’s the Republican primaries candidate who swings the most far right. Find out just how far.

Apart from “courageous conservatism“, Ted Cruz loves machine guns and bacon (no joke). Born in Canada in 1970 from a Cuban father and American mother, Cruz grew up in the US city of Houston, Texas. He was adviser to George W. Bush’s presidential campaign in 2000 and elected Senator for Texas in 2012. Married to former Goldman Sachs investment manager Heidi Cruz, they have two daughters.

 


“There has been no recorded warming”

Cruz asserts there has been no recorded warming of the planet in the last fifteen years (sometimes he says seventeen). To him, climate change is a conspiracy of liberal politicians to increase the power of government – a staunch conservative, Cruz is obsessed with pointing out how Democrats have given rise to a bloated state structure.

 

He believes that policy should be guided by science, so if evidence doesn’t prove global warming his plan to unleash an “American energy renaissance” by encouraging the use of resources extracted on US soil, including oil, natural gas and ethanol, is only logical. He also plans to lift regulations such as those protecting the country’s streams and wetlands, as well as those blocking resource exploration and the Keystone XL pipeline.

 

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Ted Cruz on stage with his wife Heidi and daughters Caroline and Catherine © Alex Wong/Getty Images

Let’s shutdown the government

Cruz is aggressive in his language and uncompromising in his beliefs – he prides himself of the fact that, if elected, he would be unwilling to negotiate his policies. He is unequivocally opposed to Obamacare and led a government shutdown in 2013 to protest it. If president, he would repeal it together with federal funding for Planned Parenthood, an NGO that offers reproductive health services, which, according to him, “profits from taking away innocent life,” referring to abortion. He has even threatened a government shutdown over state support for the organisation (this seems to be a recurring strategy of his).

 

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America-first foreign policy

Remaining true to his conservative core, Cruz is against gay marriage and gun control. He even received an award from the NRA, the national gun lobby, for defending the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms. According to the Texas Senator citizens need to be able to defend themselves “now, more than ever, as radical Islamic terrorists seek to attack on our own soil”.

 

On the topics of so-called radical Islam, the Middle East and terrorism Cruz’s approach is as brash as he is. He wants to scrap Obama’s nuclear disarmament deal with Iran, which he calls “the biggest national security threat facing America”, keep Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria, and continue supporting Israel whilst not giving “one penny of American tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority” and promising to “defund the United Nations if it continues its anti-Israel bias”.

 

Ted Cruz in high school yearbook © NPR
Ted Cruz in high school © NPR

Yes to Christian, no to Muslim refugees

Defeating ISIS means rebuilding the military and securing the US’s borders. He called Obama’s plan to welcome Syrian refugees “lunacy”. Syrian Muslims should remain in “Muslim-majority countries,” though Christians should be provided a “safe haven” in the US. After the Paris Attacks, Cruz campaigned for the introduction of a law to stop refugees from countries with “territory controlled by terrorist organizations”, such as Syria and Iraq, from entering the United States. He also wants to “build a wall that works” to keep migrants out on the border with Mexico (he joked that he would get Donald Trump to pay for it). However, the only wall is the one standing between Senator Cruz and reality – machine gun in hand and bacon grease on his chin, he just won’t stop banging his head against it.

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