In May 2008, National Review profiled a rising star in Texas politics, Ted Cruz. The article declared, “At only 38, Cruz has accrued a list of legal honors and accomplishments that would be impressive for a man twice his age. He recently spent five and a half years as solicitor general of Texas; both the youngest and longest-serving solicitor general in state history, he won the Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General for five consecutive years.” That year, Cruz briefly pursued the position of state attorney general but ended his bid when the incumbent decided to seek reelection. But Cruz’s ambitions for elected office did not lay dormant for long. Earlier this year, he announced a bid for another statewide office: Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Senate seat, from which she is retiring in 2012.
Cruz recently spoke with NRO’s Jim Geraghty about his career plans and the country’s future.
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE: The first, most basic question: Why are you running for Senate?
CRUZ: I’m running for Senate because in my judgment, Barack Obama is the most radical president this nation has ever seen and America is at a crossroads. We are facing what I consider to be the epic battle of our generation — a battle of whether this nation remains a free-market nation. The size, power, and spending of the federal government has increased faster in the past two years than ever before. And we desperately need leadership to stand up and defend liberty, free-market principles, and the U.S. Constitution.
NRO: You’ll be facing a crowded primary: a lieutenant governor, one current and one former railroad commissioner, a former secretary of state of Texas, and others. How do you stand out in a crowded primary, where it’s likely all of the candidates will be claiming to be “the conservative choice”?
CRUZ: There are lots of good people in this race. They’re all friends of mine, whom I like and respect.
There are two themes for our campaign. First, new leadership. I think voters in Texas and across the country are tired of the same establishment incumbents. And 2010 showed they were looking for new leaders who have the courage of their convictions and are strong, principled conservatives who are willing to fight to defend limited government.
Second, we’re running based on a proven conservative record. For the past decade, over and over again, I have been standing up for conservative principles and winning victories on the national level. Whether it was defending the Pledge of Allegiance, the Ten Commandments, or the Second Amendment before the U.S. Supreme Court — all of which were major victories — Texas won while I was solicitor general.