The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that first-term Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will announce a presidential bid on Monday. He is expected to do so in a speech at Liberty University, a Lynchburg, Virginia-based Evangelical University founded by the late televangelist Jerry Falwell and known for its far-right social policies.
Cruz has been an outspoken critic of those in the GOP who he says want to “abandon” the “Judeo-Christian values” on which the country was founded. At Liberty, those values include prohibitions on out-of-wedlock sex and entertainment that might “incite behaviors that are contrary to the Bible and/or the Liberty Way” such as “promiscuity” or “gratuitous crass language/behavior.”
Like Falwell’s campus, Cruz has espoused some rather controversial views. Among them:
1. Denies that humans are contributing to climate change because it snowed in New Hampshire.
Cruz has repeatedly rejected overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, making the debunked claims that recent weather and non-oceanic temperatures create great doubt. Moreover, by pushing the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, a ban on fracking regulation, the repeal of EPA regulations that he says “kill jobs,” increased drilling, and greater fossil fuel exports, his energy agenda would increase CO2 emissions and hasten climate change.
2. Calls same-sex marriage “tragic and indefensible.”
Nearly a decade since Congress rejected a federal constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages, public sentiment has hugely shifted to the point that 60 percent of Americans indicated support for marriage equality in a recent poll. But Cruz continues to fight against equal protection for same-sex couples, pushing for legislation and a federal constitutional amendment to allow states to deny them the freedom to marry. He denounced 2014 court rulings overturning state same-sex marriage bans as “judicial activism at its worst,” calling them “tragic and indefensible.” “Traditional marriage is an institution whose integrity and vitality are critical to the health of any society. We should remain faithful to our moral heritage and never hesitate to defend it,” he said.
3. Refers to emergency contraception as “abortifacients.”
Cruz is a strong opponent of abortion rights, but also has opposed access to contraception. He backed the Blunt Amendment to decimate the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of contraception coverage and denounced emergency contraception as “abortifacients,” incorrectly suggesting that Plan B causes abortions.
4. Believes Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme.”
Cruz, in a 2011 interview with the Texas Tribune, agreed that Social Security was indeed a “Ponzi scheme.” While he called it a “vital bulwark of our society,” he also proposed a three-part plan to raise the Social Security retirement age, cut future benefits, and privatize much of the program. A similar privatization proposal by President George W. Bush died at the hands of a solidly-Republican Congress in 2005.
5. Worried about Sharia Law being imposed on America.
Although the U.S. constitution expressly prohibits the establishment of a national religion, Cruz has expressed concern that a religious group that makes up only about 1 percent of the nation’s population might do just that. At a 2012 candidate forum, Cruz warned “Sharia law is an enormous problem” in the United States.
6. Fears a United Nations plot to ban golf courses.
In a 2012 article on his Senate campaign site, Cruz sounded the alarm that “Agenda 21 is wrong, and it must be stopped.” Cruz wanted that George Soros and others backed a 1992 United Nations agenda to “abolish ‘unsustainable’ environments, including golf courses, grazing pastures, and paved roads.” The non-binding resolution, signed by 178 nations including the United States (under then-President George H. W.Bush), was nothing more than a general statement about reducing policy and building sustainable environments — and has, more than two decades later, not been used to eliminate golf courses.