Rafael Cruz had big plans for the 2016 primary season. The minister and speaker was going to crisscross the country campaigning on behalf of his son, presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
Through January, he planned to focus particularly on Iowa, hoping to sometimes speak two or three times a day in the lead-up to the Iowa caucus.
More importantly, he had planned to tour in support of his brand new book, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America.”
But fate has derailed the elder Cruz’s plans, at least for the time being. He underwent emergency surgery for a detached retina on Dec. 28. The surgery confined him to his home, forcing him to cancel all of his speaking engagements for a time.
In a statement provided to WND, Cruz said he felt “bad, restless, and frustrated” about having to abandon so many speeches at such an important time in his son’s campaign. He said he hopes to get back on the road shortly after Jan. 19, when he next visits his surgeon.
“I offer my most sincere apologies to all that have been inconvenienced by these cancellations but, unfortunately, it has been totally outside my control,” Cruz said. “I look forward to seeing all of you in the near future.”
Over the past seven years, Cruz has spoken at numerous tea-party rallies, conservative meetings, pastors’ conferences and churches around the country. His schedule has been most intense during his son Ted’s campaigns for Senate and the presidency. His speeches are usually focused on showing Christians why they need to get involved in the political arena.
Historian David Barton, founder of WallBuilders, knows Cruz well, having spent time with him at numerous conferences. He told WND Cruz is very valuable to his son’s campaign.
“Rafael is a rock star in the campaign,” said Barton, author of “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson.” “He’s a rock star on the road, he draws large crowds, he’s very enthusiastic, but he’s very blunt, and I think one of the reasons he does so well is he does not pull punches. He’s not politically correct.
“He has seen a country go down the tubes, and he sees so much of what’s happening in America right now being what he saw years ago in his own country [Cuba].”
Barton said Rafael and Ted are “extremely close.”
“There’s no question that what Ted has was very much made by his father,” Barton declared. “Everything from his relationship with Christ all the way through to his knowledge of the Constitution. … His dad literally had him study economics at a very young age, free-market economics. I mean, everything that Ted stands for now, you can trace back to when he was a young adolescent teenager that his father instilled in him.”
To some critics in the media, Rafael passed down more than a love of God and the Constitution to his son. Last week, New York Times columnist David Brooks accused Ted Cruz of speaking in “dark and satanic tones” on the campaign trail. His co-panelist on the PBS NewsHour, David Corn of Mother Jones magazine, added:
“If you go to a speech from his dad, who is a pastor, evangelical, Rafael Cruz, it actually is satanic. He – I watched a speech in which he said Satan was behind the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage.”
In the statement announcing his injury, the elder Cruz offered strong words in support of his son’s campaign.
“Ted is a leader and a fighter,” the proud father declared. “He has been at the forefront of fighting every battle. He has spent decades fighting for the Constitution, religious liberty and the rule of law. He has been a champion at defending life and the family. He has stood repeatedly against the corruption in Washington, in both parties. He has led the fight to repeal Obamacare and Common Core, and is fighting relentlessly against judicial activism and all the unconstitutional and lawless actions of this administration.
“Ted Cruz is a man you can trust. He will tell you the truth, and he will do exactly what he said he was going to do. He has done so 100 percent of the time.”
According to Rafael, Ted took an interest in conservative politics at the age of nine, when Rafael was working with the Religious Roundtable, helping mobilize millions of Christians to elect Ronald Reagan president.
As Rafael mentions in his new book “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America,” he repeatedly told his young son, “When I faced oppression in Cuba, I had a place to come to; if we lose our freedom here, where are we going to go?”
Rafael believes that statement impacted Ted, and as the younger Cruz entered high school, he started reading the works of Adam Smith, John Locke, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Frederic Bastiat, Milton Friedman and others. He became involved with the Free Enterprise Institute, which eventually selected him to be part of a group of five kids dubbed “The Constitutional Corroborators.” The institute hired a memory expert to help Ted and the other four kids memorize the entire U.S. Constitution. Over the next four years, according to Rafael, Ted gave roughly 80 speeches on free-market economics and the Constitution.
“Before he left high school, Ted was passionate about the Constitution, the Declaration, free markets, limited government and the rule of law,” Rafael asserted. “And this passion became like ‘fire in his bones.’ The reason I know that my son Ted will not compromise his principles in Washington is that that fire is as alive today as it was over 30 years ago!”