This morning, Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first major candidate – from either party – to formally announce his bid for the 2016 presidency. Many call it a long shot campaign; as one of the most conservative candidates in the GOP field, he doesn’t have the support of the Republican establishment. But this is something he hopes to use to his advantage, instead aiming for the Tea Party movement and evangelical Christians, whom he hopes to unite into a coalition that could help him stand up to the crowded field of Republican competitors (including Jeb Bush, who is widely regarded as a frontrunner for the nomination).
But how will Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, fare with young Latino voters? Here’s where he stands on the issues most important to us.
Budget & Economy
The unemployment rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is currently around 20%, and a Pew Research Center paper published last summer found that 25-34 year-olds are the main drivers of in the rise of multiple generation living since 1980 (in other words, a lot more of us are living at home with our parents). So it’s not surprising that improving the economy and job prospects is the top issue for millennial voters.
Lately, Cruz has been denouncing income inequality in rhetoric that Vox has pointed out actually resembles Elizabeth Warren’s. In January, for example, Cruz said that the economy was only working for the “top 1 percent,” who have gotten “fat and happy” under Obama.
Regarding the budget and national debt, Cruz supports a Constitutional amendment mandating that Congress pass a balanced budget.
Cruz is adamantly opposed to ObamaCare, calling it “a massive wealth transfer, from young healthy people to everybody else.” He has made repealing the Affordable Care Act a central point in the stump speech he has been developing over the last months.
Common Core is a set of guidelines that outline a set of math and English skills students should possess at the end of each grade. A Cruz spokesperson calls the guidelines a “federally created…mess,” though the federal government actually did not create the standards, nor require states adopt them. It did, however, incentivize adoption through grants, and Cruz is a co-sponsor of Local Control of Education Act, which allows states to opt out without affecting their ability to receive federal grant money.
Cruz has taken a hardline stance on immigration, stressing his intention to block any efforts to allow undocumented immigrants to legally remain in the US. He was a vocal opponent of Obama’s executive actions on immigration, even filing a bill to block the president’s actions. In 2013, he opposed the comprehensive immigration bill that passed the US Senate and introduced an amendment to remove language about a path to citizenship (which he denounced as offering “amnesty”). He also introduced an amendment to triple the number of border patrol agents along the US-Mexico border. It didn’t pass.
Cruz has called for sweeping legislation to undo federal recognition of marriage equality, calling same-sex marriage “tragic and indefensible.” He co-sponsored the State Marriage Defense Act, which would allow states that oppose same-sex marriage to not recognize gay couples who were married in other states.
Cruz has also strongly opposed abortion – while also trying to block access to contraception. He backed the Blunt Amendment to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of contraception coverage and called emergency contraception (like Plan B) “abortifacients,” suggesting incorrectly that it causes abortions.