Most of us are beginning to lean (not choose) toward a presidential candidate, one more than the other. None are without blemish, as they are all human. Ted Cruz has a solid record of conservatism, but his wife Heidi worked for the hated Goldman Sachs, resigning when her husband declared for the Oval Office. Mrs. Cruz was at one time, a member of the liberal, hated Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Freedom Outpost had an informative post and video in March 2015 on the Cruz’s and the CFR. The video and video transcription is the main interest here.
The video interview was done by Derrick Broze, a “blogger/activist/citizen/journalist.” At the time, Cruz was a 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate from Texas. I have a few comments about the interviewer after the transcript.
Remember that this was in 2012 when Cruz was running for a first term in the US Senate. His Republican opponent was David Dewhurst, the Lt. Governor of Texas. Dewhurst lost the runoff election to Cruz, and Cruz mentions Dewhurst in the video.
You’ll also hear Cruz refer to Medellín v. Texas. Here’s a short background:
1993 – José Ernesto Medellín (an eighteen-year-old MEXICAN citizen), along with other gang members, raped two girls, fourteen and sixteen years old in Houston, Texas. The rape went on and on. Both girls died, one of them by strangulation with Medellin’s own shoelaces.
Hours after Medellín’s arrest he admitted to his part in the crime and boasted of having “virgin blood” on his underpants.
Also, in 2003: Mexico brought suit against the United States in the ICJ, claiming that the United States had failed to notify 51 defendants (all Mexican citizens having been accused in state courts of committing crimes in the U.S.) of their Vienna Convention right to notify their consulate. Medellín was one of the 51 Mexican nationals named in the suit. Source.
Now to Broze’s question about Heidi Cruz and the CFR.
Transcript beginning at 3:23 mins in (red text the meat of Cruz’ answer):
Broze: What do you say to allegations that your [inaudible – famous?] connections to the Council on Foreign Relations could influence your campaign?
Cruz: Well, it’s kinda interesting. There are opponents in this race who have taken to attacking my wife. I’ll say several things to that. First of all, it’s pretty revealing. When you see opponents in a campaign attacking a candidate’s wife, she’s not running for office, I am, and the fact that they are attacking my wife –– and what they’re targeting [3:51 mins in] is she was, for a brief period, what’s called a “term member” of the Council on Foreign Relations. There are thousands of members on the Council on Foreign Relations. She joined it when she stepped down –– she was in the Bush administration –– she joined it as one of the few conservatives a part of the Council of Foreign Relations trying to push for conservative outcomes. John Bolton is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. There are a handful that do so [I believe he is intimating a handful of conservatives on the CFR].
You know, the fact though that some of my opponents are attacking my wife, is what I would suggest, if someone’s worried about that, the reason they’re worried about it is the attack is suggesting that I would be less than a full-throated defender of U.S. sovereignty. And that’s what my opponents are trying to do.
Actually, the person pushing it is David Dewhurst, and what he’s trying to encourage other candidates of mine to attack me on that front. All he wants to do is divide Conservatives, Tea Party activists, Libertarians, cause if we’re divided, he wins. That’s his objective, to divide everyone.
So let me suggest this, if you hear a candidate raising this, if you hear a supporter raising this, ask, okay, tell me what your candidate has done –– ever in his entire life to stand up and defend U.S. sovereignty.
The irony of this attack is that the biggest case in my tenure as Solicitor General was Medellín v. Texas, and Medellin –– the World Court, the judicial arm of the United Nations issued an order to the United States to reopen the convictions of fifty-one murderers across this country, and on behalf of the state of Texas, I stood up. I fought the World Court. I fought the United Nations, I fought the President of the United States. He was from my own party, it was George W. Bush, but I went before the U.S. Supreme Court and said ‘no President has the constitutional authority to give away U.S. sovereignty. I won 6-3.
I’ve got a proven record and there’s no candidate in this race, that has any record of standing up to the UN. There’s no candidate in any senate race in the country who has a comparable record of standing up, fighting for US sovereignty, and winning.
The irony of this attack shows how desperate my opponents want to slander my wife, rather than addressing the records, and the reason is, they don’t have an answer. I ask any of you, if you are listening to another candidate, ask them –– don’t give me a speech. Lots of candidates can give a speech –– ‘I hate the UN.’ That’s easy to say. Ask ‘what have you done? Have you ever once stood up and fought the UN and defended US sovereignty?’ If they haven’t, you ought to, maybe, discount the speech they’re giving on their election stump, just a little. [End partial transcript]
Derrick Broze listened respectfully, and gave Cruz plenty of time to answer. Two thumbs up for that. He introduces himself as being with the Conscious Resistance Network. I know nothing about them. I want to point out two things from the Broze commentary before the interview begins:
Broze: I found Cruz to be extremely well-coached. When the camera was off, he sounded as though he was talking conversationally like he would to anybody else, and as soon as the camera turned on, it was ‘hey, I’m Ted Cruz. Make me your Senator.’ It felt a little fake, I guess you could say, and also, Ted Cruz wanted to go on and on. You could tell he had perfected his elevator speech, his political speech, what he would say when he got in front of the camera.
I don’t know how you feel about this, but Cruz being “coached,” well or poorly, has never been apparent to me. The man is smart. He knows the issues, and whatever your opinion of him, I’m guessing no one, not a single soul, coached him on what to say about the CFR.
The remarks about Cruz on camera, and off, seem no different than how most candidates would appear. On camera, you speak to the camera, to the audience. Off camera, you relax and chat informally with the person giving you access to the camera. Natural for anyone, in my opinion. Cruz was making a pitch, and that’s what politicians must do, or we’d never learn anything about them.
The Broze commentary in this video is current. He says the interview happened three years ago. We all know a lot more about Ted Cruz today. We know that he, irritatingly, begins most sentences with the word “Well,” and we know he does go on a bit, but when he gives a speech, he is on fire. He doesn’t need a teleprompter, and he can be quite engaging, quite funny, and highlight Rule of Law. That’s my viewpoint.
Find a list of CFR members here. Note that former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, is still on the list, Heidi Cruz is not. Searching for “conservative members of the CFR” yields nothing. There is no doubt that the CFR is far left, but it doesn’t mean that every member is far left. Just as the minority party in Congress seeks to influence the committees he/she serves on, I suspect it’s the same way with most Task Forces. Not everyone agrees on everything.
If Heidi Cruz supported/backed the idea of a North American Union in a way that can be traced publicly, I expect it will be all over the media, but we need to look at Ted Cruz’s record.
Having said all that, here’s some insight into the Ted Cruz view of foreign policy (Bloomberg View, by Josh Rogin, March 2015):
In a long interview at the Halifax International Security Conference late last year, Cruz walked me through his strategy for staking out a position that falls somewhere between the isolationism of Senator Rand Paul and the neoconservatism of Senator John McCain. When asked which foreign policy experts he trusts, he named three: John Bolton, ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush; Elliott Abrams, who served in top foreign policy posts under Bush and President Ronald Reagan; and former CIA director James Woolsey, a hawkish Democrat. He framed his worldview as one that spares no effort in defending American national security but limits adventurism abroad.
Elliott Abrams is the flash-point: Here’s the view from Right Web, which claims to track “militarists’ efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy.”
Elliott Abrams, a well-known neoconservative ideologue, is a senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. A key adviser on Mideast policy at the National Security Council (NSC) during the George W. Bush presidency, Abrams was a leading proponent of pursuing an aggressive “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks.
Abrams was also a key figure in the Ronald Reagan administration before being convicted (and later pardoned) of charges related to the Iran-Contra scandal. He is the son-in-law of former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz and writer Midge Decter, the trailblazing couple who helped shape neoconservatism in the 1970s. His spouse, Rachel Abrams, who passed away in 2013, was an activist based at the Emergency Committee for Israel.
Abrams has used his perch at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), including his CFR blog “Pressure Points,” to comment on high-profile U.S. foreign policy issues and discuss political problems in the Middle East, often with a view to encouraging U.S. intervention and promoting a right-wing Israel-centric agenda.
In the Freedom Outpost article (March 2015) Garrison rightly asks us to put all biases aside, including Broze’s words about coaching and asks do “you think Ted’s explanation is sufficient.”
So . . . what do you think, and if you think Cruz’s comments are not sufficient, who among the candidates do you see as less dangerous than Ted Cruz?
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