At a recent town hall meeting in New Hampshire, 2016 presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz called upon Americans to take their country back. One woman in the audience had this response: “Across the state…in town meetings, people are speaking out, and they’re saying they want Big Money out of politics…they’re passing resolutions right now…if elected President, what would you do to stop corporations and billionaires from influencing public policy that often contradicts…regular people like those of u?”
Cruz response was straight out of George Orwell. He begins with long screed on how he is a “constitutionalist,” adding “I believe in the Constitution.” For all that, he doesn’t appear to understand much of it; if he did, he would realize that, having been born in Canada, he is ineligible to hold executive office in the U.S. Cruz continues: “We saw last year…Senate Democrats introduced and voted on an amendment to repeal the free speech protections of the first amendment.”
Which amendment is he talking about?
It was a bill that would have once more enabled Congress to establish legal limits on campaign spending as they did a century ago, effectively overturning Citizens United. That bill went to the Senate floor last September, and while a majority of Senators voted in favor of it, the GOP minority at the time managed to block it.
In Ted Cruz’ opinion, Democratic senators “voted to repeal the free speech protections of the United States Constitution.” He added, “ I believe everyone here has a right to speak out on politics as effectively as possible.” His solution? The “Super PAC Elimination Act of 2014,” which, by his own admission, eliminates all limits on what individuals could contribute to any candidate. His logic? Putting limits on campaign contributions make it more difficult to challenge incumbents (and of course, everyone is fed up with every incumbent member of Congress – except, apparently, their own).
“You hear a lot of times, ‘well, money’s not speech’…let’s be clear – there’s not a person in this room that agrees with that statement…money absolutely can be speech – from Day One.”
Well…at least we know where he stands, even if he’s relatively clueless about the document he claims to believe in so fervently.