The attack on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has begun. Fearful of Cruz as a prospective Republican presidential nominee in 2016, the media is now digging into his past, all the way back to birth. The Daily Beast ran a profile on Monday with this headline: “Ted Cruz at Princeton: Creepy, Sometimes Well Liked, and Exactly the Same.” The hit piece questions whether “master debater who wore a paisley bathrobe to creepily stroll by the women’s wing of the dorm [can] be the next president.”
The piece quotes one of Cruz’s former classmates, Craig Mazin, stating, “I remember very specifically that he had a book in Spanish and the title was Was Karl Marx a Satanist? And I thought, who is this person? Even in 1988, he was politically extreme in a way that was surprising to me.” The piece makes no mention of Mazin’s background – Mazin is a leftist Hollywood screenwriter responsible for American classics Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, and Identity Thief. The piece goes on to quote classmate Erik Leitch, stating, “It was my distinct impression that Ted had nothing to learn from anyone else. The only point of Ted talking to you was to convince you of the rightness of his views.” If Cruz had been a liberal at Princeton, that would have been considered ideological purity. He was a conservative, so he was just stubborn, says the Beast: “In addition to Mazin and Leitch, several fellow classmates who asked that their names not be used described the young Cruz with words like ‘abrasive,’ ‘intense,’ ‘strident,’ ‘crank,’ and ‘arrogant.’ Four independently offered the word ‘creepy,’ with some pointing to Cruz’s habit of donning a paisley bathrobe and walking to the opposite end of their dorm’s hallway where the female students lived.”
The Daily Beast even went so far as to dig up poker debts Cruz ran up when he was a teenager. “Cruz [was] disliked, and intensely so, by many of his classmates,” says The Daily Beast. “The time-capsule quality of Cruz’s politics is lost on no one who knew him at Princeton, none of whom could point to a political position that he held 25 years ago that he does not seem to still hold today. For some, that amounts to a laudably consistent belief system. For others, it reveals a man of calcified thinking, dangerously impervious to facts, reality, and a changing world.”
Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News has gone full birther, running a piece titled “Canada-born Ted Cruz became a citizen of that country as well as US.” The piece explains, “Unless the Texas Republican senator formally renounces that citizenship, he will remain a citizen of both countries, legal experts say. That means he could assert the right to vote in Canada or even run for Parliament. On a lunch break from the U.S. Senate, he could head to the nearby embassy — the one flying a bright red maple leaf flag — pull out his Calgary, Alberta, birth certificate and obtain a passport….The circumstances of Cruz’s birth have fueled a simmering debate over his eligibility to run for president. Knowingly or not, dual citizenship is an apparent if inconvenient truth for the tea party firebrand, who shows every sign he’s angling for the White House.”
Cruz has quickly become a Tea Party leader and high-ranking Senate figure despite just entering Congress. He is widely perceived to be a top contender for the 2016 Republican nomination. The former solicitor general for the State of Texas, Cruz attended Princeton University, Harvard Law School, and clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).