I first met Ted Cruz in 2008, before I held political office and while he was serving as Solicitor General of Texas. Our meeting was scheduled for 30 minutes, but it ended up lasting about 3 hours.
During our conversation, we discussed everything from his faith, to his political philosophy, to his background having memorized the entire Constitution, as debate champion and Supreme Court clerk, and his current work with the Attorney General's Office. It was amazing to me that Cruz would spend three hours discussing a wide variety of topics with a perfect stranger who had just requested a 30-minute conversation. I could tell a few things from that first encounter — he was a fighter, he had a bedrock foundation of principles by which he viewed the world, he was witty, and his faith was important to him. Cruz most probably had political aspirations in mind at the time, but he had no interest to discuss this at all — even when I briefly brought up the subject.
I came away incredibly impressed with the man. In fact, when I arrived back at my hotel, I told my wife, "If he ever runs for anything, I will support him." I stayed true to my word and was an early supporter of his short-lived run for attorney general in 2010 and then an enthusiastic supporter from day one of his run for the United States Senate in 2012.
It was with that same enthusiasm and excitement that I endorsed Ted Cruz for president on the day he announced his candidacy at Liberty University on March 23 of last year.
The reason I so ardently support Ted Cruz for the nation's highest political office is that he is the same person, espousing the same principles that he did back in our first meeting in 2008. Integrity, by one definition, is "who you are when no one is looking." For all intents and purposes, no one was looking that day we met in February of 2008. Cruz had no reason to think I would ever have a title by my name that could be beneficial or helpful in a future political run. He was not telling me things that day to pander or win votes — it's just who he is.
So, who is he?
- He's a tenacious fighter for conservative principles. As shown by his work as Solicitor General and other legal arenas, he has fought for — and won — battles regarding the Second Amendment, 10th Amendment, religious liberty, pro-life issues and our military. And that commitment to conservative principles is critical when the next president will assuredly appoint at least one, if not more, Supreme Court justices during the next four years.
- He's a man of deep faith. He understands that our rights come not from government but from God, and it is the government's role to recognize and protect those rights. The fact that his faith is so important to him is a reason he has become one of the country's foremost defenders of religious liberty in the courthouse and the halls of Congress.
- He loves his family. If you have heard the senator speak, you have probably heard of the admiration for his father, Rafael, and the freedom he found in America after escaping communist Cuba. You can also tell his love and devotion for his wife Heidi and adorable children, Caroline and Catherine, by watching the way they interact with each other on and off the campaign trail.
During these perilous times, we need a leader who is courageous, consistent, passionate and principled. That leader is Ted Cruz. His fidelity to the Constitution is sorely needed in the Oval Office. The tenacity with which he fights for conservative principles is refreshing. And he not only fights, he wins. His intellect and wit will serve him well with all the demands in the West Wing.
I hope you will join me in voting for our senator, Ted Cruz, on March 1 — and then again in November.