A few days out from the 2016 Iowa caucus, I wanted to share my June 2015 profile of Rafael Cruz, the controversial father of Sen. Ted Cruz. To win the GOP nomination, as Robert Draper recently wrote in the New York Times Magazine, Ted Cruz has focused entirely on winning over his party's base, especially evangelical voters. For more than a year, Cruz's father has been traveling the country and meeting with pastors and their congregations, imploring them to get out the vote and to support his son. We'll see on February 1, the day of Iowa caucus, whether Rafael Cruz's endless evangelizing pays off.
Ted Cruz’s Secret Weapon to Win the Right
On the trail with Rafael Cruz—dad, preacher, and Ted’s ambassador to the true believers of the Right.
National Journal | June 26, 2015
“YOU REALLY HAVE to hand it to these progressives,” the speaker is saying. He’s stalking the front of the chapel, pacing left to right, hands lifting and slicing and jabbing at the air. “They come up with the greatest terms.” He tosses out an example: “social justice.” “It sounds so good. Who would want social injustice?” But what does this term, social justice, mean? he asks. Where does it come from? “I’ll tell you where it comes from,” he says. “It comes directly out of Karl Marx.”
“That’s right,” comes the reply from the pews as the speaker’s voice gains new urgency. Social justice, he explains, is a scheme to divide society into tiny factions and turn them into victims. It makes those factions dependent on government handouts. It removes God from everyday life.
“Now, let’s try to understand this a little bit,” he continues. “If you don’t believe in God, you can’t rely upon God.”
“If social justice destroys individual responsibility, there is no self-reliance.”
“So if these people can’t rely upon God, and there is no self-reliance, the only thing left”—he waits a beat—”is to rely upon almighty government.”
It’s a warm evening on the first Tuesday of June, and the pews at the Grace Baptist Church in Marion, Iowa, are nearly filled with well over 100 people. They wear red “TED CRUZ” stickers, and they’ve jotted their names and emails on the “Cruz for President” sign-up sheet in the lobby. But it’s not the Texas-senator-turned-presidential-candidate who is in town tonight. It’s his father.