Ted Cruz said he would never compromise on core principles, such as religious liberty, during the Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Thursday night.
Asked by debate moderator Bret Baier about whether a gay couple should be able to adopt children, Cruz said he would leave that decision to the states.
“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,” he replied.
Cruz pointed out that states were making those decisions for themselves “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.”
The senator from Texas then acknowledged the connection between the issue of same-sex marriage and religious liberty, attempting to draw a contrast between himself and rival Donald Trump.
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.
I can tell you, for me, there are areas that we should compromise on. Marginal tax rates, we can reach a middle ground on. But when it comes to core principles and convictions, when it comes to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, I can tell the men and women at home I will never compromise away your religious liberty.
And for me, Bret, religious liberty has been a lifelong passion. I’ve spent two decades defending religious liberty, including defending the Ten Commandments before the U.S. Supreme Court and winning. Defending the Pledge of Allegiance before the Supreme Court and winning.
And defending the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial, a lone white Latin cross that was erected to honor the men and women who gave their lives in World War I. I represented 3 million veterans for free defending that memorial and we won 5-4 before the Supreme Court.
When asked if he had a response to Cruz’s remarks, Trump said he generally “agrees with what he said. I would have certainly have rather left it to the states.”