He Wants to End Obamacare, but What Else Is on the Agenda? Where Ted Cruz Stands on the Issues

Meet the Candidates: With the Tea Party favorite picking up steam in the polls, what should African Americans expect from a possible Cruz presidency?

Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks at the Heritage Foundation Dec. 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks at the Heritage Foundation Dec. 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, came into the U.S. Senate with a promise to his Tea Party backers to block President Barack Obama’s progressive agenda. He’s kept that promise, fighting with Democrats and even other Republicans over spending, the federal budget and the Affordable Care Act, over which he once kept up a 21-hour filibuster.

Cruz has rankled the left, but he’s also alienated the GOP establishment as he’s pursued his conservative mission. Now he’s fighting with Donald Trump for GOP front-runner status on the campaign trail.

The Root’s Meet the Candidates series concludes with an examination of Cruz’s positions on some of the issues that affect the black community. Previously we took a look at the candidacies of Bernie Sanders, TrumpHillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson.

Now we turn to Cruz, who touts his family’s humble beginnings as the encouragement he needed to become a high-achiever. But does his record suggest that he would reach back to help others?

Health Care

It was a memorable moment that lives on in cyberspace. Cruz was in the middle of an epic Senate-floor talkathon, attacking the Affordable Care Act, when he began reading Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. It was part of his 21-hour filibuster, part of his failed promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.”

But two years later, one of Obamacare’s most strident opponents did something puzzling: He signed up for medical insurance through HealthCare.gov. Some viewed that move as hypocritical, while others disagreed. One thing is certain: Rolling back the president’s signature policy is a pillar of Cruz’s candidacy.

Voting Rights

Cruz praised the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to scrap the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance provision. That section of the law required several (mostly Southern) states to obtain federal approval of changes to their voting laws because of a history of denying voting rights to blacks. 

Criminal-Justice Reform