Rafael Cruz wouldn’t say the name “Donald Trump.”
But in a Tuesday interview with The Daily Caller, it was clear who [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore]’s father was referring to when he cautioned religious voters to carefully consider the past records of candidates — especially on the issues of abortion and marriage.
“Jesus put it this way,” Rafael Cruz, a Christian pastor, said. “He said, ‘He shall know them by their fruits.’ It’s about time we do some fruit checking. I mean we may find the candidate that tells you they’re pro-life, but they’ve been promoting abortion all their life. Well, don’t believe them. They may tell you they’re for traditional marriage, but that has not been their walk. When the fight was going on, where were they?”
Trump famously supported abortion and gay marriage in the past but says his views have changed on both. With less than a week to go before the Iowa caucuses, the New York businessman and Texas senator are locked in a fight for first place. And both are trying to woo evangelical voters.
“I would say — not only to all Iowans but to all people across America — make sure that you vote for candidates that uphold the principles that have made America the greatest country on the face of the Earth,” Rafael Cruz said. “And make sure you don’t listen to rhetoric but you look at the record.”
Rafael Cruz spoke to TheDC about his newly-released book, “A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America.” He said he wrote the book to encourage religious people to vote.
“I feel that America is on the edge of a precipice and so the motivation to write this book was to encourage especially pastors and people of faith to get involved in the political process,” he said. “Because too many people of faith have been divorced from that critical arena.”
Asked about Trump’s endorsement on Tuesday by evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr., Rafael Cruz said: “Well, you know, every individual has to make his or her own mind as to who they’re going to support.”
Asked whether he thinks Trump has been authentic discussing his faith on the campaign trail, Rafael Cruz replied: “I cannot judge anyone’s faith. But what I can say is we’ve been burned too many times by politicians that have told us something — and we believed them — and those politicians get into office and do exactly the opposite. That is why, as I said before, we need to look at the record instead of listening to the rhetoric.”
Added Cruz’s father: “It is very, very important that we do not be deceived again because we’ve been deceived way too many times.”
He also dismissed Trump’s attacks over his son’s eligibility for president because Ted Cruz was born in Canada. (Cruz’s mother is American so the senator says he was a natural born citizen).
“That’s a distraction,” Rafael Cruz said. “That has been settled for over 200 years. Just think of the thousands and thousands of missionaries that have gone overseas and had children overseas, are those children U.S. citizens by birth? Absolutely. Think about the thousands of military personnel that have gone overseas and have had children overseas. Are they citizens by birth? Absolutely. But not only [crscore]John McCain[/crscore] was born in Panama, George Romney who ran for president was born in Mexico.”
“We need to focus on the issues at hand,” he added.
Rafael Cruz went out of his way to emphasize his son’s lifelong connection with intellectual conservatism.
“When my son was nine years old, our conversation around the dinner table, daily for a whole year, was why we have to get rid of the socialist, progressive Jimmy Carter and replace him with a constitutional conservative like Ronald Reagan,” he said.
“So my son got a dose of conservative politics from a Christian worldview every day for a year when he was nine years old,” Rafael Cruz said. “And perhaps the thing that most shaped his life, when he just turned 13, we introduced him to an organization called the Free Enterprise Institute — reading [crscore]Adam Smith[/crscore], and John Locke, and Von Mises and Hayek and Bastiat and Milton Friedman and the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers.”
Rafael Cruz recalled how his son then joined a group of five kids called the Constitutional Corroborators, who memorized the Constitution.
“My son gave approximately 80 speeches in the next four years on free market economics and the Constitution,” he said. “Before my son left high school, he was passionate about the Constitution, he was passionate about the Declaration, about free markets, about limited government, about the rule of law, and that passion became like fire in his bones.”
Added Cruz’s father: “And I’ll tell you, the reason I know my son Ted Cruz will not compromise those principles in Washington is that fire is as alive today as it was over 30 years ago.”