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On perhaps the defining issue of the 2016 Republican primary, Senator Ted Cruz falls well to the right of Ronald Reagan, who supported granting legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants.
He opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, and has called for a federal amendment that would allow states to avoid performing or recognizing same-sex marriages.
He wants to return to the gold standard, abolish the Internal Revenue Service and create a tax structure simple enough for Americans to file on postcards.
He has criticized Donald J. Trump on deportation policy. From the right.
Throughout his Senate career, Republican opponents have moved to cast Mr. Cruz as a master of the ill-considered — a “wacko bird,” as Senator John McCain of Arizona once called him — whose seemingly reckless pursuits were thought to place him well outside the mainstream.
Yet a close reading of Mr. Cruz’s policy prescriptions, influences and writings over two decades, combined with interviews with conservative intellectual leaders and Cruz allies, suggest two powerful truths about the man who might yet assume the mantle of modern conservatism.
He would be the most conservative presidential nominee in at least a half-century, perhaps to the right of Barry Goldwater, testing the electoral limits of a personal ideology he has forged meticulously since adolescence.
And he has, more effectively than almost any politician of his generation, anticipated the rightward tilt of the Republican Party of today, grasping its conservatism even as colleagues dismissed him as a fringe figure.
Now, even Mr. Cruz’s staunchest Republican enemies tend to criticize him most forcefully on tactics — lamenting his leading role in the 2013 government shutdown, for instance — but not on substance, where they have generally arrived at equivalent positions.
“Nobody has been more assiduous than Cruz at staying on the same page as the conservative base of the Republican Party,” said Ramesh Ponnuru, a conservative author and senior editor of National Review, who first met Mr. Cruz when they were students at Princeton University. “That said, it was also the man meeting the moment. He was always a constitutionalist conservative, and then constitutionalism became cool among conservatives.”Read the rest of story HERE.
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