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Ted Cruz’s 10 Biggest Flip Flops

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As the 2016 GOP Primaries come into view, less than 60 days until the Iowa Caucuses, one candidate has crafted an image of being the most consistent conservative candidate in the field. It would certainly be hard to find a candidate who is more in touch with the “talk radio” wing of the party than Ted Cruz, and he has tried hard to stake out a position as a conservative truth teller and man of principle in this primary. Despite his background in the Bush administration, he has had some success with this strategy. That being said, libertarians and conservatives deserve to know the whole story, and Cruz has had a series of flip flops on several important issues which may cause some to question the sincerity of his positions. Unfortunately the media has been very slow to report these facts, so I have compiled a short list of some (not all) of Ted Cruz’s greatest flip flops.

1. Allowing The States To Legalize Marijuana

Ted Cruz raised the eyebrows of many libertarians at CPAC 2015 when he told Sean Hannity that he supported allowing the states to legalize marijuana if the citizens of that state voted for it. This was a reversal of a position he had taken previously at the Texas Public Policy Conference in 2014. If you watch the video below, from 7:21-8:41 after joking about the ‘Colorado brownies’ the crowd had been provided with, Cruz argued that while “reasonable arguments” can be made about legalizing pot, the president ignored criminal laws by circumventing congress and telling the people to ignore the law. While the only explicit reference to the states in question was made in a joking manner, the line of logic most certainly applies to Obama’s decision regarding the two (now four) states where marijuana is legal recreationally, as they are in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. This was reflected in the media coverage of the remark, which was universally that Cruz had attacked Obama’s allowing of Washington and Colorado to enforce their own drug laws. Cruz made similar remarks in an interview with Reason Magazine, where Cruz called Obama’s refusal to enforce marijuana laws “dangerous to liberty”, and demanded that he go to congress instead of deciding to refuse to enforce the law. He claimed Obama’s approach to drug policy is to “announce that they will stop enforcing certain drug laws”, and said that was a “very dangerous precedent”.

2. Background Checks On Guns

While flip flopping on marijuana may strike some as a relatively minor and even predictable issue for somebody trying to bridge the gap between libertarians and conservatives, an issue where many may be shocked to find Cruz flip flopping is gun control. Though he threatened to filibuster any bill that strengthens federal background checks on the Senate Floor, in a Fox News Sunday interview he expressed a desire to improve the quality of the federal database by tightening loopholes surrounding localities not reporting mental health problems and criminal convictions. This stands in direct contrast to his pledge to vote against any expansion of gun control.

3. TPA

Trade Promotion Authority became a major topic in the Fall of 2015 and conservatives across the country reacted in disgust at the notion that we would grant Barack Obama exclusive powers over the trade agreement process. One of the people who was opposing conservatives on the issue was Ted Cruz, writing an Op-Ed alongside future house speaker Paul Ryan in support of the agreement. After seeing the outcry among grassroots conservatives across the country, however, Cruz quickly reversed his position, siding with conservatives against the President’s power. This flip flop is probably the most blatant on the list both in its clarity and appearance of political calculation, and it should cause all conservatives to question Cruz’s view of executive power.

4. Birthright Citizenship

Senator Cruz has come out against birthright citizenship in this campaign, arguing that it does not make sense on a policy level and that on a constitutional level it is questionable. As Megyn Kelly points out in the video below, this is a total reversal of his 2011 stance in favor of birthright citizenship. In 2011 Cruz stated that birthright citizenship was protected by the Constitution and the arguments against it were not very good. When confronted by Megyn Kelly on this blatant flip flop, Cruz avoided the issue. I have also included the clip of Cruz’s 2011 statement in its entirety.

5. Agriculture & Flood Insurance

Ted Cruz has often railed against government subsidies, and even hit rival Marco Rubio over his support of sugar subsidies during the Fox Business debate, but when his political interests are tied to subsidies he changes his tune. Cruz has been on the record both on the campaign trail and in Senate votes supporting agricultural insurance, arguing that there is a legitimate federal role in providing agriculture insurance. He has also voted in favor of national flood insurance, a program which disproportionately aids his coastal state. Cruz has certainly demonstrated a willingness to compromise his principles for political gain in the area of government subsidies.

6. Abolishing the TSA

When Ted Cruz ran for Senate one of the issues he ran on was abolishing the TSA. Cruz attracted libertarian support with this issue and used it very effectively to recruit Young Americans for Liberty activists to help his campaign. Unfortunately, Senator Cruz released his list of government agencies to eliminate, and the TSA was not on the list. Cruz’s campaign manager is also a co-founder of the Chertoff group, a group which profited from TSA body scanners, drawing questions as to his sincerity on this issue.

7. Government Stimulus

Ted Cruz has positioned himself as a vocal opponent of government waste, and a Republican who would not participate in bailouts. While representing the Texas Retired Teachers Association, Cruz argued that the one time payment from the stimulus program “will directly impact the economy in both the metropolitan and rural areas of Texas, and will directly further the greater purpose of economic recovery for America”. Though some will argue that his role as the attorney of this group mandated he argue on their behalf, a principled conservative would refuse to argue such a case, as it is directly contrary to their values. Cruz’s argument is disturbing coming from a man who wants to be commander in chief.

8. No Child Left Behind

Ted Cruz has positioned himself as a vocal opponent of Common Core, stating that education should be returned to states and localities. He has even stated he would support allowing school districts to opt out of No Child Left Behind. But in his essay, “The Rise Of Opportunity Conservatism”, Cruz wrote that “Some critics have objected to the increased federal money going to education, but the bill also requires testing of every child in third and eighth grades and requires schools to provide parents with detailed report cards of the school’s performance. . . . The focus is on accountability and results.”. In this essay, where Cruz also defended Bush as a very conservative president despite his spending record, the Bush insider turned presidential candidate outlines his affection for Bush’s “Opportunity conservatism” that would spawn the tea party due to its disregard for limits on big government.

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9. John Roberts

Ted Cruz has taken a position as a staunch opponent of John Roberts in this campaign, even calling for his resignation over the Obamacare ruling. That being said, Cruz was a vocal supporter of John Roberts for many years, calling him a principled conservative and one of the most talented lawyers in the country. This manifested in an exchange where Jeb Bush managed to get the better of Cruz, calling him out for his support of John Roberts and exposing his flip flop.

10. HB1 Visas

Ted Cruz was a vocal supporter of expanding HB1 visas as recently as 2013, advocating for the expansion of these visas by 500%. He has argued for the expansion of these visas both on the Senate floor and in the media, but under pressure from Donald Trump for the votes of anti immigration Republicans, Cruz has now proposed that we suspend the program and investigate it for abuse. He says there is “report after report after report of big companies abusing the HB1 program”. His 180 on this issue is a direct result of the rise of Donald Trump, which seems to have made most of the Republican candidates go a little crazy.

As you can see, this so called “principled conservative” has numerous flip flops to explain if he wants to capture the Republican nomination. Cruz has several conservative skeletons in his closet that the media, for whatever reason, has not seemed interested in covering. But this information is out there for any rival to use against the Senator, and if I were involved in his campaign I would be very concerned about his record of flip flopping being used against him. The big question now is who will take advantage and expose Cruz’s act as a sham?

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  • garywalter

    10 and counting

  • Molly Pitcher

    Wow, so much spinning and stretching to try and design ‘flip flops” that are not flip flops at all. The H1B visa claim is funny considering both he and Sen. Jeff Sessions explained the purpose of the amendment.

  • The_Heretic70

    He flops more than fish outta water.

    • jomotro

      LOL! No, that would be donald trump.

  • GoingBackToCali

    im supporting trump 10000% and i very much oppose this flooding of our borders but on the 14th amendment, cruz is absolutely correct.

  • leslymill

    Ted Cruz just siphons voters from Rand Paul who leads in liberty, never flip flops cause he knows where liberty lives. His family founded the tea party. I have nothing against Cruz but he is not the man for the job of president…Rand Paul is.

    • danny

      Whos family founded the tea party?

      • donnawheelerzipeto

        It wasn’t a family, it was news caster!

  • Trumpbot

    You’ve left quite a bit off your list. His biggest, most egregious flip-flop is his Obamacare vote where he spent 21 hours filibustering that vote and then turned right around and voted FOR it.

  • dadork

    Sure are trying to twist Ted’s words. I think this was written by a Jebster.

    • donnawheelerzipeto

      NO TWISTED WORDS HERE! Cruz is a liar, cheat, thief, womanizer and a cultist who believes he has to kill the non-Christians so Christ can return to earth. He plans to push NWO to accomplish the killing part but Satan has him deceived since NWO will see the Christians murdered first.
      The man is a sicko! If you had done your research, you would have known all this too.

  • KCTed

    I will #StandWithRand
    Just a reminder, Rand has shown enormous courage, by going up against the establishment statists, far left progressives and sell-out neocons. If people haven’t noticed, it’s because they aren’t looking or refuse to see. He is extremely strong on the Constitution and Bill of Rights. He has attacked all of the power elite through his Audit The Fed, fighting the NSA, advocating leaving the UN, decimating the IRS with a simple flat tax (rendering the IRS useless, possibly even eliminating the entire department) stating he would repeal all prior EOs, ending the drug war, ending corporate welfare, speaking out against TPP and holding up the vote,, overhauling the criminal justice system, ending asset forfeiture.
    Oh yes, not only securing the borders, but also a plan to straighten out the very messy immigration laws and an improvement in the citizenship process. Add Audit The Pentagon (that should make him some statist enemies..) Audit The IRS, Term Limits and “Read The Bills”. Fighting against Indefinite Detention, the TSA, Patriot Act, on and on,, his voting record is damn near “liberty perfect”.

  • jomotro

    Libertyconservatives? More like liberty cons!

  • Mark Siemens

    This rag is almost worse than huffpo

  • Winghunter

    What a bunch of Paulbot idiocy!
    1) Federalism – Look it up! Criticizing Obama for not enforcing federal law is NOT a flip-flop of arguing for states rights! Idiots!
    The rest is the same kind of stupid conclusions warped by a political hack who was clearly trying to pull down Cruz to push Rand up. Just like any Liberal POS would do.

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  • Theospeak1

    1. Cruz has always supported economic freedom in the agricultural and energy sectors of the economy

    2. Cruz supported the USA Freedom Act, which put in place limitations on metadata collection (i.e., date and time of call, etc.) and prohibitsdomestic collection of the contents of American’s communications

    3. Cruz supports helping refugees at safe sites in the middle east, which is much more cost effective and safe for everyone

    4. Cruz supports overwhelming surgical air strikes to destroy terroristleadership and offensive capabilities, and potentially some limited special ops. This is different from an occupation with boots on the ground

    5. Cruz is against TSA physical body searches, and entirely eliminating the TSA is on the table as an option

    6. Cruz believes issues like drug legalization should be handled at theState level, and if the federal government does anything in this area, policy should be determined by Congress, not ad hoc by the Executive branch making up it’s own rules

    7. Cruz does not support universal federal background checks for gun ownership (which are unconstitutional)but does support FBI consolidation of state records regarding mental health criminal history as a resource for States

    8. Cruz wanted immigration reform to pass or fail as long as long as it was ~with~ several of his amendments, particularly the one which made illegals permanently ineligible for U.S. citizenship. Cruz also supports legal immigration, but opposes allowing U.S. companies to ship in foreign workers using endless H1B work visas (which is not immigration) with thespecific goal of replacing domestic workforce and endlessly rotating the visa workers

    9. Cruz supports birthright citizenship for those who, as the 14th Amendment requires, are (through the actions of their parents) subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which they are born Cruz questions automatically extending that right to those who are,
    again due to the actions of their parents, ~not~ subject to the laws of the jurisdiction in which they are born.

    10. The Cruz campaign reported what CNN was reporting for over seven hours on their broadcast and main twitter account (23 million followers) and still apologized for taking CNN at their word.

    The difference between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump is that Mr. Trump is a populist who wants to use and even expand the system of corrupt cronyism in Washington D.C. to achieve a handful of objectives, just as he has used it to eliminate competition and get favorable regulations for his businesses throughout his career. Senator Cruz, on the other hand, wants to reform and eliminate the system of corrupt cronyism in D.C., a goal he has worked towards for his entire adult life. From that standpoint, there is no comparison between the two candidates.

    • donnawheelerzipeto

      Cruz is a liar, cheat, thief, womanizer and a cultist who believes he has to kill the non-Christians so Christ can return to earth. He plans to push NWO to accomplish the killing part but Satan has him deceived since NWO will see the Christians murdered first.
      The man is a sicko!

  • Mary Jo

    Most ridiculous post since reading one from The Conservative Tree House….Trump must pay these people to lie!

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