Texas Sen. Ted Cruz disagrees with fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul that their party should “agree to disagree” on social issues to attract young voters, saying we should “continue to defend life and traditional marriage.”
Cruz sat down for an interview in Iowa with The Des Moines Register on Tuesday as part of a visit to the state, which plays a pivotal role in the selection of presidential candidates.
Like Paul, Cruz is rumored to harbor presidential aspirations for 2016. The two Senate colleagues have started butting heads in recent months, with the Kentucky senator pushing a libertarian line while the Texas lawmaker attempts to portray himself as more traditionally conservative.
“Rand Paul recently made a comment that he thinks the Republican Party, in order to get bigger and not alienate young people, would have to agree to disagree on social issues,” the reporter asked Cruz. “Do you agree with Senator Paul on that?”
Cruz chose his words carefully.
“Look. I am a conservative,” he asserted. “I am a fiscal conservative, I am a social conservative. I think we’ve seen that in order for the Republican Party to succeed we need to be a big tent. We need to embrace American values, American values that have been present in our country . . . for centuries.”
“There are some who say the Republican Party should no longer stand for life,” he continued. “I don’t agree with that. There are some who say the Republican Party should no longer stand for traditional marriage. I don’t agree with them either. I think we should continue to defend our shared values.”
The reporter tried to press Cruz on whether he personally disagreed with Paul. “I’ll let him characterize his views,” he deflected. “What I can tell you is, my views are that we should continue to defend life and we should continue to defend traditional marriage.”
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