Ted Cruz is intelligent, articulate, and well-prepared to defend and protect the Constitution as the next president of the United States.  He entered the national spotlight during his contentious 2012 run for the Senate, but it’s worth taking a look at his resume because it highlights long-standing and staunch support of conservative principles.

Conservative Credentials: Pre-Senate Life and Career

Prior to winning that senate seat with conservative grassroots and TEA Party support and becoming the first Hispanic to serve as a senator from Texas, Cruz was also the first Hispanic—and the longest-serving person in Texas history—to hold the office of Solicitor General of Texas.

Cruz joined the George W. Bush campaign in 1999 as a domestic policy adviser and advised then-candidate and Governor Bush on a wide range of policy and legal matters, including civil justice, criminal justice, constitutional law, immigration, and government reform.

During the Bush administration, Cruz served as associate deputy attorney general at the DOJ and as a policy adviser on the Federal Trade Commission.  While at the FTC, Cruz was an avid free-market crusader—an extension of his high school participation in the Houston-based Free Market Education Foundation, a program Cruz entered at the age of 13.

At Princeton, where Cruz obtained his bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and shone as a star debater, he wrote his senior thesis on the separation of powers in which he argued that the Founders provided a means, in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, of protecting the people from a totalitarian central government.

After graduating with honors from Princeton, Cruz attended Harvard Law School, where he not only served as an editor on both the Harvard Law Review and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy but was also a founding editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review.

In his role as Solicitor General of Texas, Cruz successfully defended the constitutionality of the Ten Commandments on the Texas capitol grounds, defended the Second Amendment by arguing that the DC handgun ban infringed on the rights of the people to bear arms, and he defended Texas against an attempt to re-open the cases of 51 Mexican nationals, all of whom were convicted of murder in the United States and were on death row.

In short, Cruz has a long (dating back to his early teens) record of being a conservative in both principle and action.  He didn’t bound out of bed one day, put his finger to the wind, and decide to become a conservative (as was charged against Mitt Romney, among others); he’s always been a conservative.

Conservative Credentials: The Senate

Since his election to the Senate in 2012, Cruz has been an outspoken and unwavering force standing for conservative principles in the Senate and upholding his campaign promises to the best of his quite considerable ability.

Cruz campaigned for Senate on a number of core issues that matter to conservative voters.  From ObamaCare to over-regulation to executive overreach to Common Core, Cruz took positions that he did not abandon, as so many do, upon winning the election.

Instead, he ably fought the Rubio-Schumer immigration bill, has repeatedly worked to repeal ObamaCare (including a memorable filibuster in the Senate), and has been vocal in calling out even other Republicans as “campaign conservatives.”

Cruz was elected, as were so many other TEA Party candidates, to go to Washington and to stand for conservative principles in the face of opposition from both sides of the aisle, and unlike so many others, he did what he said he would do.  He didn’t sell out, he didn’t jump on the DC gravy train, and he didn’t turn his back on his grassroots supporters or on his stated ideals and principles.

For his efforts he was labeled everything from a “wacko bird” to “the most hated man in the Senate.”  Labels, it should be noted, that Cruz wears with pride (as he should).  As Cruz notes, the people in Washington who are well-liked and “popular” are the sell-outs, the “deal makers,” the campaign conservatives who can be manipulated, led by the teeth, and/or bullied into going along to get along.

Ted Cruz is not a fair-weather conservative, and he has shown this time and again in actual deed (not just in pretty speeches on the campaign trail).

Conservative Family Man

Ted Cruz has been married once, and by all accounts is a faithful husband and father.  Cruz met his wife, Heidi—an American by birth, while both were working for then-Governor Bush’s presidential campaign in 1999.  They quickly fell in love and got married in 2001.  Since that time, they have had two daughters who are clearly the apple of Cruz’s eye and whom he defends with fatherly devotion and passion.

He is equally devoted to and passionate about conservative values and defends the sanctity of life and traditional marriage articulately and consistently, and he adamantly refuses to abandon our core American and Judeo-Christian values.

The Eligibility Question

This is something on which I defer to Professor Jacobson and other authorities on matters of law.  But one thing that seems to come up consistently in discussions with those who prefer not to believe Cruz is a natural born citizen is the Founders’ intention.  However, these same people seem to brush aside the fact that until 1947 those born in Canada, like those born in the U. S. prior to our independence, were British subjects and to this day are still considered “Commonwealth citizens” (the term that replaced British “subjects”) as well as Canadian citizens.

Additionally, the intent of the Founders seems to be based in the allegiance one feels to the United States (thus the requirement that one must not only be a natural born citizen but must reside at least fourteen years in the U. S.).  This is an important element, though as we’ve seen all-too-clearly in recent decades—starkly in the last seven years, being born in and living in the U. S. is no guarantee that one will have allegiance to America.

That said, Cruz and his family moved back to the U. S. when he was four years old, so not only was he born an American citizen but he was also raised here.  At four, one has certainly not formed an allegiance to the place of one’s birth, and there is no indication that Cruz or his parents considered him other than as the American citizen he was born.  Importantly, he was raised in a conservative state by conservative parents.  We’re not talking about someone born in the Soviet Union or Iran and only came to the States fourteen years ago as an adult inculcated with anti-American sentiment.  Indeed, his father, Rafael, was imprisoned and tortured by the communist Castro regime in Cuba, and he always reminded his son how precious American liberty is to someone who has known real oppression.

All of this would be moot, of course, if he did not meet the “natural born citizenship” requirement; however, as he was considered by U. S. and Canada law an American citizen at birth (and was therefore not naturalized), it seems clear to me that he does meet the requirement and is eligible to be president.

However, as the question is being so hotly debated, it matters in terms of allegiance and loyalty to country.  Cruz’s entire life and career indicate that he is an American through and through, that he loves this country, and that he respects and has spent his entire career upholding our nation’s laws and defending our Constitution.

Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)

This issue gets a lot attention, and I’m not really sure why.  However, because it is something that is consistently mentioned in terms of attacking Cruz’s conservatism, it’s certainly worth addressing (yet again).

Despite his early support of and May 2015 vote for the bill, Cruz ultimately voted against the TPA (Trade Promotion Authority), also known as “fast track”; this was passed in June of last year and requires only an up or down vote in the Congress on trade deals that are “fast-tracked” by the president.

The problem, of course, is that it grants power to the executive that many believe it shouldn’t have.

Cruz said at the time:

“Despite the administration’s public assurances that it was not negotiating on immigration, several chapters of the TiSA draft posted online explicitly contained potential changes in federal immigration law. TPA would cover TiSA, and therefore these changes would presumably be subject to fast-track.”

Second, he said, were supposed “secret deals between Republican leadership and Democrats.”

In voting against the TPA, Cruz also stated, “TPA in this Congress has become enmeshed in corrupt Washington backroom dealings, along with serious concerns that it would open up the potential for sweeping changes in our laws that trade agreements do not typically include.”

Did he “flip flop”?  Or did he change his stance upon reading the amended bill and considering the implications the amendments held?

“Most Consistently Conservative Candidate Running”

Is he perfect in every way?  Well, no, of course not.  No one is.  But as Mark Levin states, “Ted Cruz is the most consistently conservative candidate running.”  Indeed, he rates among the top, if not the top, conservative in a range of conservative groups’ ratings:  the ACU and Conservative Review each give him a 97% rating, the Club for Growth and Heritage Action each give him a 100% rating.

Do these numbers matter?  On their own, not a whole lot, but they certainly add clarity as part of the much larger picture of Cruz’s deeply-held and long-standing conservative values and principles.

[Featured image via Cruz for President]