Ted Cruz

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Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) graduated from Harvard Law School  in 1995 and practiced law in various capacities before serving as the Texas Solicitor General from 2003-2008. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012, and continues to represent Texas today. In the Senate, he serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Committee on the Judiciary, the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and the Committee on Rules and Administration. He is widely known for his 21-hour filibuster over the Affordable Care Act, which led to a government shutdown in October 2013, and for his strong backing by the Tea Party. Cruz ran for President in 2012, and announced his 2016 campaign in March 2015 at Liberty University in Virginia. 

On the Issues

AAI tracks statements, non-statements, and the track records of each presidential candidate on the issues we care about most. Click on an issue to read what Ted Cruz has said on the campaign trail. For our take on why these are the 12 issues that are most important to our community, read here.


Foreign Policy     

Domestic Policy


U.S. Role in the Middle East 

Voting Rights 


U.S. Response to ISIL

Civil Rights + Civil Liberties








Community Policing




Bigoted Speech


Iran Negotiations 

Immigration Reform

Key Advisors

  • Elliott Abrams: Foreign Policy Advisor. Abrams is a graduate of Harvard University Law and London School of Economics. He is currently a senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2002-05, Abrams moved to senior director of the National Security Council for Near East and North African affairs under President George W. Bush. Before the Bush administration, he served as assistant secretary of state for Ronald Reagan, receiving from Secretary Shultz the Distinguished Service Award.

  • Mark P. Campbell: Political Director. Campbell is founder of Campbell Campaigns and has worked on numerous political races, including George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Rudy Giuliani. He was also senior vice president for strategic, international and government affairs at Fairleigh Dickinson University and worked in the presidential management program for the Federal Office of Personnel Management.has worked on several other presidential campaigns, along with congressional races and for GOP party committees.
  • Victoria Coates: National Security Advisor. Coates has previously worked on former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign and was an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. She also aided Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Coates was Ted Cruz's Senate staff on national security and joined him on the campaign.

  • Fred Fleitz: National Security Advisor. Fleitz serves as the Senior Vice President for Policy and Programs at the preeminent anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy. Fleitz co-authored of a report titled, “The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement” published by the Center for Security Policy.The report recommends, among other things, stopping the immigration of “Shariah-adherent” individuals to the U.S. Fleitz recently attacked President Obama for speaking at a mosque, claiming the mosque had “known terrorist ties.”
  • Frank Gaffney: National Security Advisor. Gaffney is the founder and President of the anti-Muslim organization Center for Security Policy and host of Secure Freedom Radio. He has been banned from a number of forums and has been named “one of America's most notorious Islamophobes” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Gaffney is a conspiracy theorist who regularly slurs President Obama’s faith and ethnicity, and even proposed a House Committee investigation into Muslim Brotherhood infiltration into the Obama Administration. Gaffney has led both state and federal efforts to promote Islamophobia and fear of sharia in the United States. Previously, Gaffney served in various posts in the Reagan administration. 

  • Michael Ledeen: Advisor. Ledeen is a former official in the Reagan administration, and currently works for the neoconservative think tank, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. 

  • Claire Lopez: National Security Advisor. Lopez serves as the Vice President for research and analysis at the preeminent anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy. Lopez has long claimed that the White House has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, specifying Huma Abedin as her example of that claim. Lopez has repeated the claim that because President Obama's father is Muslim, that President Obama is Muslim himself and that is the reason why he has - in her opinion - attack Israel.
  • Andrew McCarthy: Foreign Policy Advisor. McCarthy is a former Chief Assistant Attorney in New York, who is most well know for prosecuting the first World Trade Center bombers. McCarthy has been outspoken in his view that Muslims are seeking to impose Sharia law in the U.S. McCarthy also claims that Islam is not a religion and should not have protection under the Constitution. Today, McCarthy is an author and contributor to the National Review and has written The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America and Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad.

  • Jason Miller: Senior Communications Adviser. Miller formerly served as Deputy Communications Director on former New York Governor Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. He has also worked on elections for Arab American Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49) and former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). He is a partner and Executive Vice President at Jamestown Associates, which was blacklisted by The National Republican Congressional Committee last year in light of its campaigns against incumbent Republicans.

  • Jeff Roe: Campaign Manager. He has been a campaign strategist since the early 1990’s. Founder of Axiom Strategies, based in Kansas City his organization has become famous for their large winning ratio, being hired by Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign as well as Rick Perry’s in 2012.

  • Alice Stewart: Senior Advisor. A well seasoned political advisor, has worked as Press Secretary to many Republican presidential hopefuls. Some of these campaigns include Mike Huckabee (2008 & 2016), Michele Bachmann (2012), Rick Santorum (2012) and Mitt Romney (2012).

  • Chad Sweet: Campaign Chairman. He previously served as Chief of Staff for Michael Chertoff, former Homeland Security Secretary. Sweet co-founded the Chertoff Group—a private security and risk consulting company—with Chertoff. Sweet served on the U.S. Board of the Quilliam Foundation, an influential independent London-based "counter-extremism" think-tank.


The U.S. Role in the Middle East

"Let me give you an example of a Muslim for example, we ought to be standing with, President el-Sisi of Egypt, a president of a Muslim country who is targeting radical..." (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

"One of the real challenges with both Donald and Senator Rubio is that they have agreed over and over again with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. So for example, in Libya, both of them agreed with the Obama/Clinton policy of toppling the government in Libya. That was a disaster. It gave the country over to radical Islamic terrorism and it endangered America. Another example is John Kerry. John Kerry — Senator Rubio voted to confirm John Kerry as secretary of State. I voted against him. And Donald Trump supported John Kerry against George W. Bush in 2004, gave him a check. And John Kerry has been the most anti-Israel secretary of State this country has ever seen. His diplomacy has been a disaster. And if we nominate someone who agreed with John Kerry, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on foreign policy, we’re not in a strong position to win the general election." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

"There’s a real danger when people get distracted by peripheral issues. They get distracted by democracy building. They get distracted about military conflicts. We need to focus on defeating jihadism. ISIS and Iran have declared war on America, and we need a commander in chief who will do everything necessary to keep our children safe." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"The best way to project America’s leadership is by protecting and promoting America’s strength and this principle should always guide our actions." (December 2015, The Heritage Foundation)

“In regards to sending even more troops over to the Middle East, they don’t have a strategy… And President Obama has admitted this over and over again that he doesn’t have a strategy. And so if we don’t have any strategy to win against ISIS, then the president sending more and more troops in harm’s way without a plan to win, that doesn’t make any sense. We should use overwhelming air power and we need to combine that arming the Kurds. The Kurds… are long-time allies of ours. They’re very effective fighters.” (December 2015, Associated Press)

“ISIS, al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and their state sponsors like Syria and Iran, are all engaged in a vicious genocidal campaign to destroy religious minorities in the Middle East. Sometimes we are told not to loop these groups together, that we have to understand their so-called nuances and differences. But we shouldn’t try to parse different manifestations of evil that are on a murderous rampage throughout the region.”(September 2014, Daily Caller)

“Over the last six and a half years we've seen the consequences of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy. Leading from behind is a disaster. We have abandoned and alienated our friends and allies, and our enemies are stronger. Radical Islam is on the rise, Iran's on the verge of acquiring a nuclear weapon…General Soleimani, you just mentioned, the Iranian general is the head of the al Quds forces. He's directly responsible for the murder of over 500 American servicemen in Iraq, and part of this Iranian deal was lifting the international sanctions on General Soleimani. We need a new commander in chief that will stand up to our enemies, and that will have credibility.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

“Megyn, we need a commander in chief that speaks the truth. We will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as we have a president unwilling to utter the words, “radical Islamic terrorism” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

“It’s not the job of the U.S. military to do nation building or produce democratic utopias.” (July 2014, Daily Beast

U.S. Response to ISIL

“We need to do whatever is necessary to utterly defeat ISIS. And that needs to be driven not by politicians but by military expertise and judgment. Right now we’re not using a fraction of the tools that we have. We’re not using our overwhelming air power. We’re not arming the Kurds. Those need to be the first steps. And then we need to put whatever ground power is needed to carry it out. But, you know, a question that actually Jake asked, and I’m glad to come back to it now, is rules of engagement. We have right now our troops engaged in combat but President Obama has rules of engagement that are so strict that their arms are tied behind their back. They’re not able to fight. They’re not able to defend themselves. They’re not able to kill the enemy. And I have got to tell you, Hugh, I think that is wrong. It is immoral. And I give my word to every soldier, sailor, and airman, and marine, and every wife and husband, every son and daughter, every mother and father, that will end in January 2017.” (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

Regarding whether the U.S. should target the families of terrorist in its war on ISIL, Cruz said “No, of course not. We’ve never targeted innocent civilians and we’re not going to start now. But listen, Jake, I understand. People are scared and for seven years, we’ve faced terrorist attacks and President Obama lectures Americans on Islamophobia. That is maddening. But the answer is not simply to yell, ‘China bad, Muslims bad.’ You’ve got to understand the nature of the threats we’re facing and how you deal with them. And yes, it is true there are millions of radical Islamic terrorists who seek to kill us. We need a president, commander in chief focused on fighting them. And I’ll tell you, frankly one concern I have with Donald is that although his language is quite incendiary, when you look at his substantive policies on Iran, he has said he would not rip up this Iranian nuclear deal. I think that’s a mistake. The Ayatollah Khomeini wants nuclear weapons to murder us. I’ll give you another example, dealing with Islamic radical terrorism.” (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

“We will rebuild this military so that it remains the mightiest fighting force on the face of the planet. And then, when I am Commander-in-Chief, every militant on the face of the Earth will understand that if they go and join ISIS, if they wage jihad against the United States of America, they are signing their death warrant.” (March 3, 2016,  GOP Debate in Michigan)

“You know, you claim it is tough talk to discuss carpet bombing. It is not tough talk. It is a different, fundamental military strategy than what we’ve seen from Barack Obama…You want to know what carpet bombing is? It’s what we did in the first Persian Gulf war; 1,100 air attacks a day, saturation bombing that utterly destroyed the enemy.” (New York Times, 1/28/16)

"You would carpet bomb where ISIS is, not a city, but the location of the troops. You use air power directed — and you have embedded special forces to direction the air power. But the object isn’t to level a city. The object is to kill the ISIS terrorists." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"There are millions of peaceful Muslims across the world, in countries like India, where there is not the problems we are seeing in nations that are controlled — have territory controlled by Al Qaida or ISIS, and we should direct at the problem, focus on the problem, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. It’s not a war on a faith; it’s a war on a political and theocratic ideology that seeks to murder us." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"Everyone understands why Donald has suggested what he has… I understand why Donald made that proposal. I introduced legislation in the Senate that I believe is more narrowly focused at the actual threat, which is radical Islamic terrorism, and what my legislation would do is suspend all refugees for three years from countries where ISIS or Al Qaida control substantial territory." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"If I am elected president, we will hunt down and kill the terrorists. We will utterly destroy ISIS. We will stop the terrorist attacks before they occur because we will not be prisoners to political correctness. Rather, we will speak the truth. Border security is national security and we will not be admitting jihadists as refugees." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"We need to listen to our closest ally in the region [Israel], and in the absence of a viable alternative to Assad that isn’t ISIS, I believe we should focus on the immediate and unambiguous challenge to our security, which is utterly destroying ISIS." (December 2015, The Heritage Foundation)

"We should also include the Jordanian and Egyptian militaries, in which the United States has made significant investments in past decades, and then above and beyond that we should do whatever is necessary and required to defeat ISIS…. And using whatever ground troops are necessary to kill the terrorists and then come home." (December 2015, The Heritage Foundation)

“I don’t believe in nation building. It shouldn’t be our object to turn foreign nations into democratic utopias to try to turn Iraq into Switzerland and that’s where sometimes we lose track of what the military really is. The job of this military is to keep this nation safe and we do that by killing our enemies who declared war on us before they’ve managed to kill innocent civilians.” (December 2015, Associated Press)

“[The Kurds] are right now fighting against ISIS every day, but their weapons are vastly outclassed because ISIS has American equipment they seized in Iraq.” (November 15, MSNBC)

"We must immediately recognize that our enemy is not ‘violent extremism.’ It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the West." Cruz said Obama's airstrikes were "targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life." (November 2015, Politico)

"We should do everything possible to make ISIS understand there are serious ramifications for threatening to attack the United States and for killing American civilians…because of the very nature of ISIS, the response must be principally military” (September 2014, CNN)

“This mission must be led by the United States if it is to be done right, and we cannot make the assembling of a coalition a higher priority than the execution of our mission.” (September 2014, CNN)

“First and foremost, Washington should resolve to make border security a top priority finally, rather than an afterthought, of this plan in light of concerns about potential ISIS activities on our southern border.”(September 2014, CNN)

“They want to go back and reject modernity. Well, I think we should help them. We ought to bomb them back to the Stone Age."(August 2014, Fox News)

"When I asked General Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs, what would be required militarily to destroy ISIS, he said there is no military solution. We need to change the conditions on the ground so that young men are not in poverty and susceptible to radicalization. That, with all due respect, is nonsense. What we need is a commander in chief that makes — clear, if you join ISIS, if you wage jihad on America, then you are signing your death warrant.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

“Of course it’s an ideological problem, that’s one of the reasons I introduced the Expatriate Terrorist Act in the Senate that said if any American travels to the Middle East and joining ISIS, that he or she forfeits their citizenship so they don’t use a passport to come back and wage jihad on Americans.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

“We need number one overwhelming air power. Right now our rules of engagement are so constrained that in many ways its photo op foreign policy. Number two we should be vigorously arming the Kurds...I think the Kurds are in a very real sense boots on the ground fighting ISIS.” (July 2015, CUFI DC)

“The solution to ISIS is not eradicating poverty in the Middle East, or expanding Medicaid in Iraq. The solution to ISIS is to hunt down and kill the terrorist leaders.” (February 2015, Defeat Jihad summit)


"We’re certainly hopeful that the violence will cease, but there’s reason to be highly skeptical. Russia has enhanced its position because of Obama’s weakness in the Middle East, weakness in Syria." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

“For as bad as Assad was and is, radical jihadis controlling Syria would be a significant turn for the worse… Intervention in the Syrian civil war is in America’s interest. In fact, the situation is now materially worse despite hundreds of millions of dollars the United States has poured in to try and identify and train the Syrian opposition. As ISIS now controls a significant portion of the country, while Assad is consolidating his position as a vassal of Iran and Russia. Quite simply, we do not have a side in the Syrian civil war… We’ve seen the catastrophic results of these myopic policies [of toppling Middle Eastern regimes].” (December 2015, The Heritage Foundation)

“[Obama, Clinton, and Rubio] want to topple Assad and Assad like Qaddafi is a bad man, he’s murdered hundreds of thousands of his own citizens… and if [they] succeed in toppling Assad, the result will be the radical Islamic terrorist take over Syria, that Syria will be controlled by ISIS, and that is materially worse for U.S. national security interests.” (December 2015, Associated Press)

“And I think virtually anybody, and actually doesn’t matter, you can ask Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, anyone with an ounce of common sense, would say ‘no.’ We shouldn’t be bringing in tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. Instead, we should be resettling them humanely, in Middle Eastern countries that are majority Muslim. We can help them deal with their refugee status but the first obligation of the president needs to be, as commander in chief, to protect the safety of the United States of America.” (November 2015, South Carolina Rally)

"We need to immediately declare a halt to any plans to bring refugees that may have been infiltrated by ISIS to the United States. We need to redouble our efforts to prevent ISIS agents from penetrating our nation by other means...We must immediately recognize that our enemy is not ‘violent extremism.’ It is the radical Islamism that has declared jihad against the West." (November 2015, Candidate Statement)

After saying he would introduce a bill banning all Muslim Syrian refugees from entering the United States, Cruz said, “What Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are proposing is that we bring to this country tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. I have to say particularly in light of what happened in Paris, that's nothing short of lunacy.” (November 2015, CNN)

"President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America -- it is nothing less than lunacy... Now on the other hand, Christians who are being targeted, for genocide, for persecution, Christians who are being beheaded or crucified, we should be providing safe haven to them." (November 2015, Fox News)

"Right now, Barack Obama is proposing to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. That is, in a word, lunacy. This refugee crisis is a humanitarian crisis, but it is a crisis of President Obama’s own creation." He then said that 77% of refugees in Europe are young men, claiming "now that is an unusual demographic for a refugee crisis. The director of national intelligence has said that among those refugees coming into Europe are no doubt ISIS terrorists. Now it makes no sense whatsoever to bring in ISIS terrorists coming to wage jihad and murder innocent Americans." (October 2015, Iowa campaign statement)

"There is a reason the director of national intelligence said among those refugees are no doubt a significant number of ISIS terrorists.It would be the height of foolishness to bring in tens of thousands of people including jihadists that are coming here to murder innocent Americans." (October 2015, Michigan campaign event)

“if the ultimate goal is to return [Syrian refugees] to their homes, which I believe it should be, it doesn’t make sense from a logistical or a security standpoint to move large numbers of them to far-off countries like the United States.” (September 2015, campaign statement)

“I do not support arming the rebels in Syria, because the administration has presented no coherent plan for distinguishing the good guys from the bad guys.”(September 2014, National Review)


In a statement from Sen. Cruz's Senate Office: "After Sen. Cruz strongly supported the Prime Minister’s statement on the status of the Golan Heights, the Department of State signaled that the Obama administration does not accept the Golan as sovereign Israeli territory.The government of Israel reiterated the reality that the Golan Heights are part of Israel’s sovereign territory. Given the presence of hostile terrorist organizations ranging from ISIS to Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border, it is foolhardy and dangerous for elements in the international community to try to pressure Israel to abandon the Golan to the chaos engulfing Syria. The path to peace cannot involve Israel’s abdication of its own security. I applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu’s courage in standing up for the safety of his people. America stands with you.” (April 18, 2016 - Senate press release)

“Palestine has not existed since 1948.” (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

"As president, I will do everything in my power to assure that anyone who provides financial support to the BDS movement, including schools and universities, will lose any access to federal funding. And to the extent that they have engaged in illegal behavior, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

"As president, I will not be neutral. America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel." (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

"On the first day in office, I will rip this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal to shreds. This agreement gives over $100billion to the Ayatollah Khameini the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism....That dwarfs the $3billion in military aid we give each year to the nation of Israel.That difference is not just unconscionable, it is fundamentally immoral." (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

"On my very first day in office I will begin the process of moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, the once and eternal capital of Israel...I recognize for years that a whole lot of candidates - Republican and Democrats - have stood here and said that. Here's the difference: I will do it."  (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

"All of us here understand that Israel is not the barrier to peace. It is the Palestinian Authority in a so called unity government with Hamas that celebrates the murder of women and children, and incites and even compensates the terrorist attacks."  (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

"If the Palestinians try to push through a U.N. resolution to unilaterally declare Palestinian statehood, America will veto that resolution...I will fly to New York to personally veto it myself."  (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

"You know, we need a president who understands the national security interests of this country. The reason we are friends and allies with Israel is they are a liberal Democratic country that share our values, they're our strongest ally in the region. We get billions in intelligence resources, billions in military resources. And the Palestinian Authority that Donald, along with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say they want to treat neutrally, the same as Israel. The Palestinian Authority is in a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization. They pay the families of these terrorists who murder people. And this is exactly the moral relativism Barack Obama has. And the answer is not scream, all Muslims bad." (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

“On Israel, Donald has said he wants to be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. As president, I will not be neutral. And let me say this week, a Texan, Taylor Force. He was an Eagle Scout, he was a West Point graduate, he was an Army veteran. He was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist this week in Israel, and I don’t think we need a commander in chief... who is neutral between the Palestinian terrorists and one of our strongest allies in the world, the nation of Israel. You know, we need a president who understands the national security interests of this country. The reason we are friends and allies with Israel is they are a liberal Democratic country that share our values, they’re our strongest ally in the region. We get billions in intelligence resources, billions in military resources. And the Palestinian Authority that Donald, along with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say they want to treat neutrally, the same as Israel. The Palestinian Authority is in a unity government with Hamas, a terrorist organization. They pay the families of these terrorists who murder people. And this is exactly the moral relativism Barack Obama has.” (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

"Both Donald and Hillary Clinton want to be neutral, to use Donald's word, between Israel and the Palestinians," Cruz said. "Let me be clear. If I'm president, America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

"And the notion of neutrality is based upon the left buying into this moral relativism that is often pitched in the media. Listen, it is not equivalent. When you have terrorist strapping dynamite around their chest, exploding and murdering innocent women and children, they are not equivalent to the IDF officers protecting Israel. And I will not pretend that they are. Just today, Iran announced they’re going to pay $7,000 to each suicide bomber. And I would note, missing from Donald’s answer was anything he has done in his nearly 70 years of living defending Israel. I have over and over again led the fight to defend Israel, to fight for Israel. And this — if you want to know who will stand with Israel, we ought to start with who has stood with Israel when the heat was on." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

"And I’ll give one more example on Israel. When the Obama administration canceled civilian air flights into the national of Israel, when Hamas was raining rockets down on them, I publicly asked, is this an economic boycott against Israel? The next day Michael Bloomberg, another New York billionaire, got on a plane, a commercial flight, and flew to Israel from London. Together the heat and light that was put on the State Department was so great that within 36 hours they lifted the ban on air flights into Israel. During that entire battle, and indeed during every battle on Israel the natural question is, where was Donald? If this is something he cares about, why has he supported anti-Israel politicians from Jimmy Carter to Hillary Clinton to John Kerry for four decades? If you care about Israel, you don’t write checks to politicians who are undermining Israel. Instead you stand and support the national security of America and the alliance with Israel." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

"Just this week, Donald Trump said on a TV program that he would be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians. Let me tell you this: As president, I have no intention of being neutral. As president, I will be unapologetically alongside the nation of Israel....There is a different between right and wrong. There is a difference between terrorists who strap nails around their chests and go into a mall to murder women and children and the armed forces protecting the innocents in Israel....I am not neutral at home between murderers and the innocent citizens murderers are targeting. I am not neutral at home or abroad between radical Islamic terrorists and the targets of their terror." (February 19, 2016, South Carolina town hall)

"After the European Union decided that products made by Israelis in Palestinian territories would be labeled "Made in Palestine," Cruz and other Senators wrote a letter to High Representative Federica Mogherini that stated: "As allies, elected representatives of the American people, and strong supporters of Israel, we urge you not to implement this labeling policy, which appears intended to discourage Europeans from purchasing these products and promote a de-facto boycott of Israel, a key ally and the only true democracy in the Middle East. We believe strongly that these efforts are unwarranted, dangerous, and damaging to the prospects of a negotiated solution to [the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict." (November 2015, Letter to HR Mogherini)

"Differentiating between products made by Israeli companies creates a troubling precedent that could eventually lead to types of activities that the TPA [Trade Promotion Authority] provisions aim to address." (November 2015, Letter to HR Mogherini)

"At a time of significant instability in the region, it is deeply concerning to us that the EU is considering a proposal intended to impose more diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel. The proposed labeling guidelines play into the narrative of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement, which is an effort to delegitimize Israel rather than promote a resolution of outstanding issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Far from advancing such a resolution, the proposed labeling would prejudge the outcome of future negotiations." (November 2015, Letter to HR Mogherini)

"The fifth thing I intend to do the first day in office is begin the process of moving the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the once and eternal capital of Israel. " (September 2015, Value Voters Summit)

“Let me say this: those who hate Israel hate America. And those who hate Jews hate Christians.”(September 2014, In Defense of Christians Gala)

“The next president should announce that America is moving its embassy to Jerusalem. We need a leader who will act and respect the eternal capitol of Israel.”(June 2015, BPR)

“It’s important that the next president understands that Israel is not the impediment to peace. Israel has tried over and over again…repeatedly Israel has endeavored to negotiate peace, but the Palestinians have been unwilling to accept peace and indeed as long as the PLO refuses to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, as long as the PLO refuses to renounce terrorism—right now the Palestinians are in, as you know, a unity government with Hamas, an avowed terrorist organization that openly celebrated murdering teenagers, and yet they are part of this unity government. One cannot negotiate peace when the opposing party’s objective is seeking to murder you.”(July 2015, CUFI DC Summit)

“President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry seem to have no understanding whatsoever that the impediment to peace is not Israel, which seeks peace, it is rather Palestinian terrorists who refuse to lay down their arms.” (July 2015, CUFI DC Summit)

“I think the United States should stand unshakably with the nation of Israel. I think one of the most disgraceful aspects of the Obama presidency has been how it has treated Prime Minister Netanyahu.” (March 2015, CNN)


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Iran Nuclear Deal 

“And when it comes to Iran, Donald has said he would leave the agreement in place and try to renegotiate it, giving the Ayatollah Khomeini over $100 billion. That reflects you do not understand the radical Islam terrorist that is the Ayatollah that wants to murder us. We need a commander in chief that understands our enemies... understands and doesn’t give them billions of dollars to threaten our safety and security. That’s why on day one, I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal because the Ayatollah Khamenei must never be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.” (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

“the single gravest threat, national security threat, is the threat of a nuclear Iran. That’s why I’ve pledged on day one to rip to shreds this Iranian nuclear deal, and anyone that thinks you can negotiate Konami does not understand the nature of Komani.”(Debate Transcript, 2/13/16)

"The single biggest national security threat facing America right now is the threat of a nuclear Iran. We've seen six and a half years of President Obama leading from behind. Weakness is provocative, and this Iranian nuclear deal is nothing short of catastrophic. If I am elected president, on the very first day in office, I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.” (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

“The entire purpose of Iran’s ballistic missile program is to carry a nuclear weapon to the United States of America.”(July 2015, CUFI DC)

“Today, Friday, in Iran is al-Quds day. It is when they celebrate their goal of the annihilation of Israel. So literally as American diplomats are going to be in Vienna today presumably popping champagne and celebrating their political objectives, Iranians are going to be in the streets of Tehran burning Israeli flags and burning American flags. And this deal at this point has become an R&D program for the Iranian nuclear program.”(July 2015, CUFI DC)

“I believe this Obama-Iranian Nuclear Deal is the single gravest national security threat facing America. It is a catastrophic deal. If this deal goes through, the Obama administration will become the world’s leading global financier of Radical Islamic Terrorism…The truth is that if President Obama and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry are responsible for sending billions of dollars to Iran, and those billions go to jihadists who use that money to murder Americans, to murder Israelis, to murder Europeans, then the administration is responsible [for those deaths].” (August 2015, Voters First Forum)

“I’ve already introduced legislation in the senate that would re-impose sanctions, that would strengthen them, and that would lay out a clear path for Iran to lift sanctions if they would disassemble all 19,000 centrifuges, if they would hand over their enriched uranium, if they would shut down their ICBM program…and cease being the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.” (August 2015, Voters First Forum)

"This deal makes war a certainty, because what President Obama is doing, if this goes forward, is unraveling the international consensus in favor of sanctions. That means the next president who enters the White House in January of 2017 is likely to encounter a world with Iran on the verge of having nuclear weapons where sanctions will have been taken off the table by Barack Obama, because they cannot be placed back with our allies in any reasonable period of time to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, which means in all likelihood the next president will face a binary choice: Either allow Iran to have nuclear weapons or use military force to prevent it.” (May 2015, Huffington Post)

“Our first priority should be stopping a bad Iran deal that jeopardizes the lives of millions of Americans and millions of our allies…the first responsibility of this body is to protect the national security of this country, to protect the lives and safety of men, women, and children across this country. And the President's Iran Deal deeply jeopardizes the safety of Americans.” (May 2015, U.S. Senate)

Voting Rights

"There is nothing ‘discriminatory' about a law that protects the legitimate votes of American citizens and promotes the integrity of our elections - which is precisely what Texas' common sense Voter ID Law does." (August 2015, press release)

On the Supreme Court ruling in the Shelby County v. Holder to overturn portions of the Voting Rights Act, "Today, the Supreme Court recognized the enormous progress made toward voting equality in the United States since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. The Court rightly decided that the statutory standard used decades ago to subject democratically-elected state legislatures to second-guessing by unelected federal bureaucrats no longer survives constitutional scrutiny." (July 2013, press release)

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

"This is not real tolerance. The Left wants to force its belief system onto Americans across the country and silence people of faith in the public square. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump is all too eager to join them. This simply confirms that the same man who favored partial-birth abortion and still supports public funding for Planned Parenthood will sacrifice principle on the altar of political correctness. Trump will not defeat political correctness. Today he bowed to it." (April 21, 2016 - Statement)

"You are right that after I called for increased vigilance protecting us, that Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton and New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio all attacked me. I wear that as a badge of pride. I'm not going to apologize to anyone. In New York, this was a successful program. It was set up under Mayor Michael Bloomberg to monitor and to work cooperatively with the Muslim community to prevent radicalization and to stop radical Islamic terrorist plots before it occurred. If you want to stop radical Islamic terrorism, the answer isn't to go hang out in random neighborhoods, it is instead to focus on communities where radicalization is a risk...We target the enemy." (March 29, 2016 - CNN AC 360)

Explaining his call for law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods, Cruz praised the NYPD spying program that targeted Muslim neighborhoods saying,“Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies all have divisions that target threats like drugs, gangs, human trafficking, and organized crime. … In New York City, Mayor de Blasio succumbed to unfounded criticisms and eliminated the efforts of law enforcement to work with Muslim communities to stop radical Islamic terrorism.” (March 22, 2016 - CNN Interview)

“New York had a proactive policing program that Mayor Michael Bloomberg championed to work cooperatively with the Muslim community to stop radical Islamic terrorists. And Mayor Bill de Blasio, when he came in a peak of political correctness and cancelled the program –that is refusing to acknowledge the threat that we have in the world.” (March 22, 2016 - CNN Interview)

When asked to detail his plan to "patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods", Cruz elaborated, "It's very simple. It doing what law enforcement does in any circumstance. If you have a neighborhood where there is a high level of gang activity, the way to prevent it is you increase the law enforcement presence there and target gang members to get them off the street. I'm talking about any area where there is a higher incidence of radical Islamic terrorism.” (March 22, 2016 - CNN Interview)

"We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized." (March 22, 2016 - Facebook post)

"As president, I will do everything in my power to assure that anyone who provides financial support to the BDS movement, including schools and universities, will lose any access to federal funding. And to the extent that they have engaged in illegal behavior, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." (March 21, 2016 - AIPAC conference speech)

“I am a believer in the 10th Amendment in the Constitution, I would leave the question of marriage to the states, I would leave the question of adoption to the states. That's the way it has been for two centuries of our nation's history until five unelected judges in an illegitimate and wrong decision decided to seize the authority over marriage and wrongfully tear down the marriage laws of all 50 states. Now, interconnected to this is the question of religious liberty. And at the last debate, one of my colleagues on this stage said on the question of religious liberty and Supreme Court nominees that he'd be willing to compromise and negotiate.” (March 3, 2016,  GOP Debate in Michigan)

"I’ve spent my whole life fighting to defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. I can tell you, for voters that care about life or marriage or religious liberty or the Second Amendment, they’re asking the question: Who do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who do you know will nominate principled constitutionalists to the court? I give you my word, every justice I nominate will vigorously defend the Bill of Rights for my children and for yours." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

In reaction to the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of gay marriage, Senator Cruz said "If any of us believes in democracy, in the constitutional rule of law, then whether we agree or disagree with a policy ... we should be horrified at the notion that five unelected judges can seize authority from the American people," (July 2015, Senate hearing)

“Congress should pass laws that would eliminate redundant crimes and convert regulatory crimes into civil offenses, take steps to give judges more sentencing flexibility, and require prosecutors to disclose material exculpatory evidence during plea negotiations.” (April 2015, Brennan Center)

“Harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug crimes have contributed to prison overpopulation and are both unfair and ineffective relative to the public expense and human costs of years-long incarceration.” (April 2015, Brennan Center)

"Just last week we celebrated Martin Luther King Day. In 1963, Dr. King stood at the Lincoln Memorial and promised justice for all of our children. School choice is the civil rights issue of the 21st century." (January 2015, Washington rally speech)


 “I believe you should start with the facts and evidence first before ending up with the verdict. When the news first broke of the United States government engaging in massive surveillance on American citizens, that was a very troubling development, and it's why the United States Congress acted to correct it. Now, at the same time, I said in that initial statement that if the evidence indicated that Edward Snowden violated the law, he should be prosecuted for violating the law. And, indeed, since then, the evidence is clear that not only does Snowden violate the law, but it appears he committed treason. Treason is defined under the Constitution as giving aid and comfort to the enemies of America, and what Snowden did made it easier for terrorists to avoid detection. And Snowden's comments afterwards, and his behavior afterwards, he fled to Russia, he fled to China. His conducts afterwards indicates that he was not a whistleblower, but instead he was undermining the ability to defend this country. But we need a president who isn't rash, who doesn't just pop off at the -- at the hip, but waits to see what the facts are and then acts to defend this country.” (March 3, 2016,  GOP Debate in Michigan)

"What I said is yes, Apple should be forced to comply with this court order. Why? Because under the Fourth Amendment, a search and seizure is reasonable if it has judicial authorization and probable cause. In this instance, the order is not put a back door in everyone’s cell phone. If that was the order, that order would be problematic because it would compromise security and safety for everyone. I would agree with Apple on that broad policy question. But on the question of unlocking this cell phone of a terrorist, we should enforce the court order and find out everyone that terrorist at San Bernardino talked to on the phone, texted with, e-mailed. And absolutely, Apple doesn’t have a right to defy a valid court order in a terrorism investigation." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

"[In the USA Freedom Act] When you had a terrorist, you could only search a relatively narrow slice of numbers, primarily land lines. The USA Freedom Act expands that so now we have cell phones, now we have Internet phones, now we have the phones that terrorists are likely to use and the focus of law enforcement is on targeting the bad guys… We need to focus on radical Islamic terrorists and we need to stop them before they carry out acts of terror." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"Under the old bulk data program, all of us were presumed guilty at the outset and yet the universe of phone records that could be searched was materially smaller than the universe that can now be searched under the USA Freedom Act and has expanded the number of phones that can be targeted, but requires first some evidence that the person’s phone you’re going after is actually connected with terrorism." (December 2015, The Heritage Foundation)

“I believe in the Constitution. I’ve spent my whole life fighting to defend the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, and the federal government has no right to be seizing, collecting and holding the phone metadata of hundreds of millions of law-abiding citizens.” (November 2015, Washington Examiner Forum)

"I'm not a fan of government registries of American citizens." (November 2015, Media Event in Iowa)

“We need to walk and chew gum at the same time. We need to both be vigorous in protecting the security of our country, and in particular, making sure we have the tools to stop acts of terrorism before they occur. But at the same time, we have an obligation to honor the Bill of Rights.” (April 2015, Politico)

“I think the American people understand that it is entirely possible to protect our national security and vigorously target terrorists — and at the same time, respect the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans.” (April 2015, Politico)

"One of the most troubling things we have seen in recent years is an expansion of federal government authority into surveilling American citizens." (November 2014, The Hill)

"If it is the case that the federal government is seizing millions of personal records about law-abiding citizens, and if it is the case that there are minimal restrictions on accessing or reviewing those records, then I think Mr. Snowden has done a considerable public service by bringing it to light." (June 2013, theBlaze)

Community Policing

"If you look at the Black Lives Matter movement, one of the most disturbing things is more than one of their protests have embraced rabid rhetoric, rabid anti-police language, literally suggesting and embracing and celebrating the murder of police officers. That is disgraceful.” (October 2015, Think Progress)

In regards to the events in Ferguson, Missouri and the death of Freddy Gray, Sen. Cruz said, “There are always bad actors in every community, but one of the most damaging and destructive aspects of these recent incidents has been the rush to condemn law enforcement, to attack police officers.” (April 2015, Fox News)

In regards to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, Sen. Cruz said, "The vilification of law enforcement has been fundamentally wrong and it has hurt the minority community." (April 2015, Huffington Post)

“Having thousands of criminal laws scattered throughout the entire Code works an intolerable hardship on the public akin to Caligula posting his laws high up to make them difficult for the public to see.” (April 2015, Brennan Center)

Bigoted Speech: Instances of Condemnation and/or Use

*The Arab American Institute is leading a campaign to hold public officials accountable for their bigoted rhetoric this election cycle. Join us by signing our Pledge to Combat Bigotry, and use #NoBigotry on social media to hold candidates accountable and thank candidates who stand against it.*

"Donald Trump is no different from politically correct leftist elites. Today, he joined them in calling for grown men to be allowed to use little girls’ public restrooms. As the dad of young daughters, I dread what this will mean for our daughters — and for our sisters and our wives. It is a reckless policy that will endanger our loved one...Donald stands up for this irresponsible policy while at the same time caving in on defending individual freedoms and religious liberty." (April 21, 2016 - Statement)

"I recognize that folks in the media get really nervous when you actually call out radical Islamic terrorism. Frank Gaffney is someone I respect. Frank Gaffney is a serious thinker who has been focused on fighting jihadism, fighting jihadism across the globe. And he's endured attacks from the left, from the media, because he speaks out against radical Islamic terrorism, because he speaks out against, for example, the political correctness of the Obama administration that effectively gets in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization...I'm not interested in playing the media 'gotcha' game of here's every quote, every person who's supporting you has said at any point, do you agree with every statement. That's silliness." (March 22, 2016 - Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer

After being asked how he disagrees with Trump's policy to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., Cruz made a comparison in which horse-thieves represent terrorists and Democrats represent Muslims: "All horse-thieves are Democrats, but not all Democrats are horse-thieves. In this instance, there are millions of peaceful Muslims across the world, in countries like India, where there is not the problems we are seeing in nations that are... controlled by Al Qaida or ISIS, and we should... focus on the problem, and defeat radical Islamic terrorism." (December 2015, CNN GOP Debate)

"There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror. If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation." (November 2015, Candidate Forum in South Carolina)

Is ISIL an ideological issue? “Yes, it is ideological, and let me contrast President Obama, who at the prayer breakfast, essentially acted as an apologist. He said, 'Well, gosh, the crusades, the inquisitions...' We need a president that shows the courage that Egypt’s President al-Sisi, a Muslim, when he called out the radical Islamic terrorists who are threatening the world.” (August 2015, Fox GOP Debate)

“Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez was there to carry out jihad, an act of radical Islamic terrorism. An act of war, in which those four brave Marines lost their lives, while at least two others were wounded.” (July 2015, The Hill)

In response to the murder of four Marines in Chattanooga,TN, “In the wake of this vicious attack on our nation we need to rid ourselves of two dangerous delusions, first and foremost that a ‘lone gunman’–as President Obama described the shooter–is somehow isolated from the larger threat of radical Islamic terrorism. In the modern world, no one acts in isolation. Through social media ISIS, al Qaida, and other groups are infiltrating our nation with impunity while our government will not even admit that radical Islamic terrorism is a problem.” (July 2015, TedCruz.org)

Regarding Donald Trump’s comments that Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals “I don’t think you should apologize for speaking out against the problem that is illegal immigration. I think the PC world, they don’t want to admit it, but the American people are fed up…Donald trump is right to highlight [that] need.” (June 2015, NY Times)

Referring to the shooting in Garland, TX, “We saw the ugly face of radical Islam in Garland, Texas recently. Thankfully, one police officer helped those terrorists meet their virgins.” (May 2015, The Hill)

 “You cannot fight and win a war on radical Islamic terrorism if you’re unwilling to utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.” (February 2015, Iowa Freedom Summit)

Speaking of David Horowitz (President of the Freedom Center and labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "the godfather of the modern anti-Muslim movement) “David is profoundly principled and he commits one simple act that has incredible power over and over again. He tells the truth." (November 2013, Horowitz Television)

Immigration Reform

“Right now, we’re bringing in far too many low skilled workers. What that is doing is driving down the wages of hard-working Americans. Our system isn’t working. And then on top of that, we’ve got a system that’s allowing in millions of people to be here illegally. And the answer to that, I’ve laid out a very, very detailed immigration plan on my website. We’re going to build a wall, triple the border patrol. We’re going to end sanctuary cities. And let me tell you how we’re going to do that. We’re going to cut off federal taxpayer funds to any city that defies federal immigration laws.” (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

“We’re going to end welfare benefits for anyone who is here illegally. And the thing to understand, Stephen, we can solve these problems. It’s not that we don’t know how to do it. It’s that we’re lacking the political will. Neither of the parties in Washington wants to do this. The Democrats support illegal immigration because they view those illegal immigrants as potential voters and far too many Republicans are doing the bidding of Wall Street and the special interest and they view it as cheap labor.” (March 10,2016, GOP Miami Debate)

“Well, the abuse of the H1-B program has been rampant. On the face of that H1-B abuse, I have proposed, and promised as president that I will impose a 180-day moratorium on the H1B program to implement a comprehensive investigation and audit because you got U.S. companies that are firing American workers, bringing in foreign workers, and forcing them to train their replacements. And, I would note that is not dissimilar to what we discovered at the last debate concerning the hotel that Donald owns down in Florida. Down in Florida that hotel has brought in hundreds of foreign workers, and afterwards it was really striking.” (March 3, 2016,  GOP Debate in Michigan)

"...existing law provides that those who are deported cannot come back here legally." (February 26, 2016, CNN Republican Debate in Houston)

"Listen, we should enforce the law. How do we enforce the law? Yes, we should deport them....We should build a wall, we should triple the border patrol...federal law requires that anyone here illegally that's apprehended should be deported. That's what ICE exists for...We have law enforcement that looks for people who are violating the law, that apprehends them and deports them." (February 23, 2016, Fox News interview)

“So let’s start – let’s start with immigration. Let’s start with immigration and have a little bit of clarity. Marco stood with Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama on amnesty. I stood with Jeff Sessions and Steve King. Marco stood today, standing on this stage Marco supports legalization and citizenship for 12 million illegals. I opposed and oppose legalization and citizenship. (New York Times,1/15/16)

When asked if as President he would forcibly round up and deport undocumented immigrants, Cruz said, “No, I don’t intend to send jack boots to knock on your door and every door in America, that’s not the way we enforce the law for any crime.” (January 10, 2016, CNN's State of the Union)

"Border security is national security. We need to secure the border once and for all and I have outlined a detailed immigration plan to do just that. It includes finally completing all 700 miles of the wall mandated by federal law… tripling the border patrol… and direct boots on the ground where attempted incursions are occurring; finishing the biometric exit-entry for our visas, again mandated by federal law… and putting in a strong e-verifi[cist]. It includes deporting criminal, illegal aliens, it includes ending welfare benefits for those here illegally, and it includes ending the indefensible practice of catch and release." (December 2015, The Heritage Foundation)

“I do not agree with [Trump’s] proposal [to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.]. I do not think it is the right solution... I like Donald Trump. I commend Donald Trump for standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.” (December 2015, Speech at the Capitol)

“I am the only candidate on this stage who has never supported amnesty, and in fact, who helped lead the fight to stop a massive amnesty plan." (September 2015, 2nd Republican Debate)

In response to the murder of four Marines in Chattanooga,TN,“We can thoroughly overhaul our broken immigration system that is allowing this type of individual to gain citizenship. And we can accept the reality that while we might wish it otherwise, the forces of radical Islam are at war with us.” (July 2015, TedCruz.org)

Regarding Donald Trump’s comments that Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals “I don’t think you should apologize for speaking out against the problem that is illegal immigration. I think the [politically correct] world, they don’t want to admit it, but the American people are fed up…Donald trump is right to highlight [that] need.” (June 2015, NY Times)

“All across this country, Republicans campaigned, saying: if you elect a Republican Senate, we will stop President Obama's illegal amnesty. We need to honor what we said. We should use the constitutional checks and balances that we have to rein in the abuse of power of the executive.” (November 2014, Fox News Sunday