What We Learned From Senator Ted Cruz’s Twitter Q&A This Morning
In honor of Constitution Day, the federal observance that occurs every year since 2004 on the weekday nearest to September 17th, Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter for a quick fifteen-minute Q&A with supporters this morning.
Fifteen minutes isn’t a lot of time to dig into the meat of the issues, and much of what he said came as no surprise (he wants to defund Obamacare, as you may have heard), but there were still a few tidbits about the junior Senator from Texas that were worth learning directly from the source in 140-character bites.
His favorite Amendment? Number one.
While the Senator struggles with the question—he opens his tweet with a shout-out to the Second Amendment, also giving props to the Ninth and Tenth—he quickly settles on the First Amendment as the most important. “Speech, press, religious freedom—key to all else,” Senator Cruz affirms.
He wants conservatives to understand liberals and to learn to argue civilly.
Gabriella Hoffman, Northeast Regional Field Coordinator for the conservative Leadership Institute, asked about what she sees as restrictions on free speech on campuses—a point echoed by @LilBeanieTweets, who says her “conservative son has been conditioned to keep his beliefs to himself in class for fear of retaliation.” Senator Cruz responded saying that “it’s a real problem.” The solution that he suggests is that it makes conservatives stronger in understanding opposing sides.
He says the Supreme Court was wrong when they declared Obamacare constitutional.
Senator Cruz didn’t do much in the way of taking questions from non-supporters, but he did address a question from NBC News correspondent Kasie Hunt about whether the Supreme Court was wrong on Obamacare, and he didn’t mince words: “Yes,” he tweeted, explaining that they “rewrote the law” to call it a tax.
He thinks we’re going down a path that will bring an end to Constitutional rights.
There was a bit of fear-mongering in the Q&A, too, as a broadly-phrased question from a supporter in Massachusetts (“do you think we’re going down a path that will bring an end to the Constitutional rights we’re fighting to keep”) led to a “Yes, if we keep down this path” response from the Senator. Twitter can sometimes take the blame for a lack of nuance, but it’s unclear from this what specific rights Senator Cruz feels are at risk (are we fighting to keep the Third Amendment right to not shelter soldiers? Is he referring to the Fourteenth Amendment right to abortion?) and what “down this path” means exactly.
He’s doesn’t seem to care for Harry Reid.
The only fellow Senator that gets called out by name in the Q&A is Nevada’s Harry Reid, who Senator Cruz describes as President Obama’s “most important protector.” This is in response to a question about how the President “is allowed to get away with circumventing the Constitution,” which Senator Cruz describes as “lawless and dangerous.”
He thinks we might see the states call for a new Constitutional Convention.
While it requires at least 34 state legislatures to vote to make it happen, Senator Cruz thinks that “the possibility grows more and more” that we’ll see a Constitutional Convention called under Article V of the US Constitution, “if Congress continues to disregard the Am[erican] people.” No word what that convention would take up.
He comes dangerously close to praising President Obama on Syria.
Saying nice things about President Obama is a way to get yourself branded a RINO by your fellow conservatives (just ask Chris Christie), but Senator Cruz admits that he’s “glad POTUS submitted to the [constitutional] authority of Congress” on Syria.