Freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is worried about radicals. During the confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel to become Secretary of Defense, Cruz's questioning was so agressive that McCain rebuked him, saying, "No one on this committee at any time should impugn [Hagel's] character or integrity." Senators of both parties anonymously told several newspapers that Cruz is kind of a jerk. California Sen. Barbara Boxer referenced Joseph McCarthy, saying she was reminded of "a different time and place, when you said, 'I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such-and-such a date,' and of course there was nothing in the pocket." The New Yorker's Jane Mayer now says Boxer's "analogy may have been more apt than she realized," reporting that, in 2010, Cruz claimed there were 12 communists actively plotting against the government at Harvard Law School when he was a student there from 1992 to 1995. But Harvard and Chuck Hagel shouldn't feel singled out — Ted Cruz sees anti-American plotters all over the place.
Mayer attended Cuz's speech, which was at a rally sponsored by the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity. Cruz said Obama was "the most radical" president "ever to occupy the Oval Office." Mayer reports:
He then went on to assert that Obama, who attended Harvard Law School four years ahead of him, “would have made a perfect president of Harvard Law School." The reason, said Cruz, was that, "There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government."
One of Cruz's professors was Charles Fried, a Republican, and he told Meyer there were at least three others in the Harvard faculty lounge. But Harvard was clearly a searing experience for Cruz. He talks about it a lot. And maybe he's projecting a little bit in imagining it was also a searing experience for President Obama. In October 2009, Cruz gave an interview with World, a Christian magazine, in which he said you can't understand Obama unless you understand Harvard Law. He did not mean it as a compliment:
"To understand what that means you have to understand that there were more self-declared communists on the Harvard faculty than there were Republicans. Every single idea this president has proposed in the nine months he's been in office has been orthodox wisdom in the Harvard faculty lounge...
If you asked the Harvard faculty to vote on whether this nation should become a socialist nation, 80 percent of the faculty would vote yes and 10 percent would think that was too conservative.
At CPAC in February 2011, Cruz told a little communist joke about a headline about Obama's visit with Chinese president Hu Jintao. "World's most powerful communist meets with [comic pause...] president of China." Later in his political career, Cruz started softening his language. Instead of saying "communist," he started saying "government control." In an interview with America's Nightly Scoreboard on Fox News on June 8, 2011, Cruz said:
President Obama was four years ahead of me at Harvard law school, and his entire philosophy embraces the elite academic world view that views government control, that view European socialism as something attractive, as a good direction for this country to go...
I think he very much bought into the prevailing wisdom. Virtually every policy of the Obama administration is conventional wisdom in the faculty lounge at Harvard law school.
On October 7, 2011 at the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit, Cruz compared the American Revolution to the elections of 1980 and 2012. "Barack Obama is the most radical president this nation has ever had," Cruz said. "He is a true believer, and what he believes in is government, government control of the economy and our lives."
Again, Cruz might be projecting a little bit. In March of 2012, the Houston Chronicle noticed Cruz's campaign website taking a position on a conspiracy: the threat of Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is a non-binding U.N. resolution signed in 1992 that calls for urban planning — things like bike lanes. But some conspiracy theorists see it as a plot to establish One World Government. In this conspiracy, Cruz's website indicated that he's a true believer, calling Agenda 21 a "globalist plan that tries to subvert the U.S. Constitution and the liberties we all cherish as Americans." Ted Cruz, it seems, has a habit of spotting people plotting against America.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.