Ted Cruz: The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

Ted Cruz: The Fast Facts That May Surprise You

Ted Cruz has been serving as a Senator from Texas since 2013 and was the solicitor general of Texas from 2003 to 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Here are some more facts about Ted Cruz that may surprise you:

1. He Was Born In Canada (But He Can Run For President)

Ted Cruz was born on December 22, 1970, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Despite being born outside the United States, Cruz is an American citizen through his mother, Eleanor Darragh, who was a U.S. citizen born in Delaware.

Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, initially came to the U.S. from Cuba in 1957 for academic pursuits at the University of Texas, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen in 2005.

According to legal interpretations and applicable laws, Cruz qualifies as a U.S. citizen at birth due to his American mother, allowing him to meet the constitutional criteria of being a “natural born Citizen,” essential for eligibility to run for the presidency. 


2. He Changed His Name To Ted Because He Didn’t Like Sounding Like a Corn Chip

Ted Cruz was actually born Rafael Edward Cruz and had the nickname “Felito” most of his life. 

Cruz says he hated the nickname, which often caused him to be teased. 

“The problem with that name was that it seemed to rhyme with every major corn chip on the market. Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos and Tostitos- a fact that other young children were quite happy to point out,” Cruz wrote in his 2015 autobiography, “A Time for Truth.

“I was tired of being teased,” he wrote. “One day I had a conversation with my mother about it, and she said, ‘You know, you could change your name. There are a number of other possibilities. She proceeded to list them: Rafael. Raph. Ralph. Edward. Ed. Eddie. ‘Or you could go by Ted.’ I found that a shocking concept.” 

Cruz said, “Ted” felt like him. 

But his father was not happy with the decision. 

3. His Father Was Tortured Under The Cuban Regime

Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, was a Cuban immigrant whose harrowing experiences greatly impacted Ted’s life and political journey.

 Rafael Cruz, having grown up in Cuba, actively opposed the Fulgencio Batista regime during the 1950s. He was deeply involved in the anti-Batista movement, which led to his imprisonment and torture.

In his book, Cruz vividly describes the torture inflicted upon his father during his imprisonment, recounting the horrific conditions and brutality he endured. He paints a grim picture of the squalid cell, reeking of blood, grime, and urine, where his father was confined. 

“They threw him in a rotten cell, acrid with the smell of blood, grime, and urine. Men with clubs beat him. His captors broke his nose when they kicked him in the head with their army boots. They bashed in his front teeth until they dangled from his mouth,” Cruz wrote. 

The narrative delves into how these traumatic events in his father’s life significantly influenced Ted Cruz’s own political journey.

 Rafael Cruz instilled in Ted Cruz a genuine belief in the life-or-death impact that having the right individuals in political office could have. 

4. He Watched Porn With Supreme Court Justices (It’s Not What You Think!)

During his tenure as a law clerk for then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Ted Cruz once had to watch porn with the Supreme Court Justices. 

The Supreme Court was deliberating a case concerning the regulation of online pornography. To demonstrate how easy it was for people to access porn, the court librarians arranged a tutorial for the justices and clerks.  

In his book, Cruz recalls how he stood behind Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as they gazed at a computer screen displaying explicit, hard-core pornography. The demonstration included the librarian searching for the word “cantaloupe” misspelled. 

“A slew of hard-core, explicit images showed up onscreen,” Cruz wrote, according to The Hill. 

“As we watched these graphic pictures fill our screens, wide-eyed, no one said a word. Except for Justice O’Connor, who lowered her head, squinted slightly, and muttered, ‘Oh, my.'”

5. He Played “A Whole New World” At His Wedding

Ted Cruz met his wife, Heidi, in Texas, where they were both working on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign. 

It was love at first sight. 

Their wedding in 2001 was a blend of romance and quirkiness. At the ceremony’s end, Ted insisted they play “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin, aiming to symbolize the beginning of an adventurous journey in their life together. 

Though Heidi found this choice a little puzzling at first, she appreciated the sentiment behind it—a metaphor for a new, exciting life they would embrace.

However, Heidi’s journey into a life heavily involved in politics was challenging. As Ted pursued his career in state politics, she grappled with leaving her job in Washington, D.C., where she worked for Condoleezza Rice on the National Security Council. The transition to Texas was not always easy, and Heidi faced complex emotions and questioned her decisions.

As Ted’s career flourished, particularly when he became a U.S. senator from Texas and a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Heidi found herself at the center of public attention. 

Through all the ups and downs, Heidi has stood by Ted, weathering the challenges that come with being in the political spotlight. Their love, resilience, and the ability to navigate the complexities of life and career ambitions have defined their journey, showing that even in the world of politics, love and understanding can thrive.

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Rachel Emmanuel

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