Cruz: Let’s face it, Rubio and Trump are using Obama’s talking points on gay marriage

posted at 2:01 pm on February 12, 2016 by Allahpundit

Cruz isn’t playing around in trying to consolidate evangelicals in South Carolina, huh?

I’m going to give this statement three Pinocchios, at least as it applies to Rubio.

Speaking at the Carolina Values Summit at Winthrop University, the Texas senator said that the “lawless” decision by the Supreme Court to legalize gay marriage nationwide was “judicial activism.” And he indicated that Rubio and Trump, whom he did not identify by name but as his top two challengers, were flimsy in their opposition to gay marriage.

Even though both oppose gay marriage, each said they would abide by the “law of the land” last year.

“Those are the talking points of Barack Obama,” Cruz said.

The Supreme Court decision, he added, “will not stand.”

Trump and Rubio have indeed said that SCOTUS’s decision legalizing gay marriage is the law of the land, which is why this doesn’t qualify as a total lie. (Trump also said yes last week when a reporter in New Hampshire asked him if gays could expect more “forward motion” on equality during his presidency.) But here’s the thing: Although Cruz won’t join them in saying that, he behaves as though he agrees with them. Unless I missed it, he’s never gone to the crank-ish lengths Mike Huckabee did in insisting that the Court’s decision is non-binding until it’s ratified by the various states’ legislatures. The most he’s said is that states not directly implicated in the Obergefell ruling should ignore it, which sounds like a bold call for civil disobedience but amounts to little more than putting gay-rights activists through their paces legally. If, say, Texas were to ignore Obergefell, it’d be sued immediately by gay residents of Texas and the state supreme court would simply issue an opinion ruling that Obergefell applies in Texas too. Then Texas would have to comply, and Cruz knows it. Cruz has called for civil disobedience if and when government tries to silence pastors, and he’s also proposed various constitutional amendments — one to return marriage to the states, the other to impose retention elections on the Supreme Court — aimed at undoing Obergefell. But as far as treating Obergefell as the current law of the land, I can’t recall him ever seriously challenging that proposition. Go figure that a Harvard Law grad turned state solicitor general turned would-be SCOTUS justice (if this year’s presidential run doesn’t pan out) thinks court rulings need to be followed until they can be undone through proper legal channels.

The most noteworthy difference between Cruz and Rubio on SSM is Rubio saying last year that he opposes an amendment to return marriage to the states, which is a baffling position for a socially conservative candidate in a primary to take. Rubio justified it on grounds that he doesn’t want the feds interfering in marriage, except that … the whole point of that amendment is to undo federal judicial interference in marriage by getting three-quarters of the states to vote to overturn Obergefell. Rubio has since tried to walk that back (kinda sorta), though, saying in November:

“If you live in a society where the government creates an avenue and a way for you to peacefully change the law, then you’re called on to participate in that process to try to change it, not ignoring it, but trying to change the law.

“I continue to believe that marriage law should be between one man and one woman, and that the proper place for that to be decided is at the state level, where marriage has always been regulated, not by the U.S. Supreme Court, and not by the federal government.”

Obergefell may be current law, he emphasized at the time, but it’s not settled law. Between that, his support for letting states decide on marriage, and respecting Obergefell as the law of the land, at least for now, that puts him a lot closer to Ted Cruz’s position than to Barack Obama’s. Again, the only meaningful difference I know of is their disagreement on using an amendment to overturn the decision, and since that amendment’s not going to pass anytime soon anyway, it’s academic. Cruz is trying to get to Rubio’s right on this issue largely through symbolism, proposing amendments that sound good but have no good chance of passing and showing up to Kim Davis’s rally after she was released from jail for contempt to get a photo op, suggesting that he supports individual civil disobedience to endorsing SCOTUS’s decision even though he’s put no real rhetorical muscle behind the effort. There are various reasons to prefer Cruz to Rubio as nominee but, even if you’re anti-SSM, I don’t see how this is a strong one. Especially since Cruz is already on record that rolling back gay marriage isn’t a top-three priority for him.

Update: Here’s the strongest language I’ve found from Cruz on Obergefell:

“My response to this decision was that it was illegitimate, it was lawless, it was utterly contrary to the Constitution and that we should fight to defend marriage on every front,” he said, before promoting constitutional amendments to overturn the ruling and put justices up for retention elections, along with legislation “to strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over challenges to marriage.”

Cruz conceded that none of his proposals are politically feasible at the moment. Once he is elected president, however, Cruz said he will make sure that “we will not use the federal government to enforce this lawless decision that is a usurpation of the authority of we the people in this country.” He also committed to only appoint Supreme Court justices who would not “legislate from the bench” like the justices did in Obergefell.

Okay, but the president’s role in enforcing or not enforcing Obergefell is unimportant. It’s a matter of the states enforcing it, since marriage is a creature of state law. Here again you find Cruz laying down rhetoric that makes it sound like he’s preparing to do something bold when really it’s just symbolism. Even as he’s deriding the decision as illegitimate and lawless, he insists on sticking to Article V procedures or trying a jurisdictional move in Congress to overturn it. Again, how is this different from acknowledging the decision as the current, if not settled, law of the land?


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Is Cruz delivering a sermon on Sunday?

Chomsky Dance Recital on February 12, 2016 at 2:51 PM

Yes and his topic is: I am not running to be Pastor in Chief… now the hymn will be…

Words and actions do not line up.

petunia on February 12, 2016 at 4:12 PM

Don’t know if Cruz should be leading with this issue with a week to go, but the people complaining that Cruz isn’t playing by Marquis of Queensbury Rules: I say good. Romney and McCain both tried Mr. Congeniality and got stomped. Time to have a candidate who plays to win. Trump also has my respect in that regard.

BKennedy on February 12, 2016 at 4:16 PM

Yet another issue that’s been decided. Should have got the constitutional amendment back in the 1990s, when we had the numbers to do it. Too late on it now.

cimbri on February 12, 2016 at 4:24 PM

The national law has been decided. I disagree with it. I wish it could be challenged. But apparently it can only be challenged by the states.

If this battle is in the states then Cruz needs to be a Governor to fight it.

President’s don’t make laws. Or did we forget that once again?

petunia on February 12, 2016 at 4:07 PM

It can, and will, be challenged.

Presidents do make SCOTUS appointments, and our next President will likely make more than one.

It matters — probably more than any other single issue in the long run.

Also, for everyone, even if you HATE whoever our candidate is, the Senate still must advise and consent, so get out and vote even if you must leave the top pick alone.

hillbillyjim on February 12, 2016 at 4:26 PM

I’m guessing the Eminent Domain arguments aren’t working very well in the private polling, so Ted’s shifting to another low-priority issue. Wonder how long this one will last. I bet he goes for Gun Owner Rights next, though Trump’s several steps ahead of him.

Buckshot Bill on February 12, 2016 at 4:31 PM

Indiana Jim on February 12, 2016 at 3:34 PM

Terribly sorry my friend, I meant to say first 100 days.

cornbred on February 12, 2016 at 5:23 PM

On the other hand, they haven’t liked anything anyone has ever done, so even Cruz is going to make the Hot Air commenters madder than they have ever been, as soon as he has any actual power.

That is why you ignore them, and look at records, and personalities, and choose what is right.

And that is Marco Rubio.

petunia on February 12, 2016 at 4:09 PM

I’d have to disagree with that. HA commenters have always been smart, funny, and positive (not counting AP’s dirty socks and some seriously sharp snark attacks). It has only been since the TPP fiasco and the onset of the campaign that things seem to have turned nasty regarding Cruz. I recall that there was plenty of cheering when Cruz tried to orchestrate the government shutdown over O’care, and most of HA loved it when he went on the Senate floor and called Mitch McConnell a liar. I would just remind all here that our enemies in the MSM are really good at painting a negative picture of any candidate they don’t like. I disagree with Cruz regarding H1B visas but believe that he is entitled to be wrong on some issues just like everyone else. I think he voted to end debate on the TPP because he was lied to by McConnell. The kerfuffle with Carson at the Iowa caucus was as much Carson’s fault as anyone’s. Any of you here who really believe Cruz or any other candidate will create a theocracy because of his beliefs should go back and listen to some of Reagan’s speeches about the USSR. This “unlikeable” garbage is nothing more than a media-generated meme that many here are helping to further. We need representation in DC, folks, and although I’d take Trump or Rubio in a minute over the loony left I still think Cruz is the best choice hands down.

It all really boils down to who you truly believe in. A little mutual respect for each other’s opinions would go a long way in calming some of the hysteria around here.

cornbred on February 12, 2016 at 5:48 PM

Cruz is a lying sack of shit. He’s no christian and if he’s a conservative, then you can count me out

rik on February 12, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Even though I am closer to Cruz’s positions on paper than any other candidate, I just can’t see him getting elected with stuff like this. And, even if he were elected, I doubt he would actually enact anything to move the conservative agenda forward – he would just maintain one extreme position after another and fundraise when they were shot down. He’s the only GOP candidate who does not have the likeability edge on Hillary.

Lou Budvis on February 12, 2016 at 6:11 PM

He’s the only GOP candidate who does not have the likeability edge on Hillary.

Lou Budvis on February 12, 2016 at 6:11 PM

“Likability” has context. A food may not have a “likability” to a majority of people. An odd movie may not have a “likability” to many people. A athlete may not have a favorable personality “likability”, etc.

What.The.Hell. does the “likability” of a potential POTUS have to do with the person best qualified for the job description of POTUS??? Is the survival of the republic going to decided by the standards of a reality TV show???

Bizarre.

Mimzey on February 12, 2016 at 6:27 PM

Cruz really is a low life in this campaign. He is getting into the mud worse than any candidate I can remember. Why doesn’t he save his venom for the Democrats? He’s turned me off SOOOO much that if he’s the nominee, I won’t be able to support him. I feel like I have to take a shower after everything he does. Does anybody wonder why this guy has ZERO friends?

rexbatt on February 12, 2016 at 2:12 PM

I totally agree. We need a candidate more like Mitt Romney if we’re ever going to beat those nasty Democrats at their own game.

/Sarc

Oxymoron on February 12, 2016 at 6:28 PM

We need a candidate that will sue Hillary Clinton for saying bad things about him.

Oxymoron on February 12, 2016 at 6:34 PM

Even though I am closer to Cruz’s positions on paper than any other candidate, I just can’t see him getting elected with stuff like this. And, even if he were elected, I doubt he would actually enact anything to move the conservative agenda forward – he would just maintain one extreme position after another and fundraise when they were shot down. He’s the only GOP candidate who does not have the likeability edge on Hillary.

Lou Budvis on February 12, 2016 at 6:11 PM

I’m beginning to re-think my support for Cruz…and not simply because of this latest attempt to pander to Evangelicals by deeming SSM to be “lawless”, etc. His attitude and persona have been aggravating lately. I’ve never agreed with Cruz’s stance on SSM, and a few other things, but like you said…he’s the closest to my own stance on most issues.

Unfortunately, none of the other GOP hopefuls still in the running excite me. But I’ll vote for whoever does get the GOP nod, because any of them would be better than Hillary or Sanders.

JetBoy on February 12, 2016 at 6:36 PM

rexbatt on February 12, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Delusional at best.

Mimzey on February 12, 2016 at 6:40 PM

We could change the Constitution and get rid of ED.

You’d love the much higher prices for utilities, oil and gas among other things.

And cities could no longer widen streets or build new highways to accommodate more traffic, so you’d get to sit still in your car a lot longer.

And that’s just a couple of examples.

Partners and I were threatened with ED over natural gas pipelines that XTO wanted to put across my property. We negotiated for a year. We settled before they went to ED, which they could have asked for in Texas since gas is used for public utility.

We negotiated them into going around the edge of my property rather than through the middle, which was a lot more expensive for them.

Then they paid us a fortune for the right of way. Then we promptly sold the property at no discount due to the ROW being where it didn’t bother future construction. It was all good. Very good.

It was a 13 acre piece, and they paid 600k for the ROW.

Meremortal on February 12, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Everyone’s like Obama, but the smarmy Harvard lawyer most of all.

sauldalinsky on February 12, 2016 at 6:47 PM

It was a 13 acre piece, and they paid 600k for the ROW.

Meremortal on February 12, 2016 at 6:47 PM

Good job. You have to know what you’re doing in a complicated landscape. Playing the poor victim, and being stubborn isn’t a good strategy.

cimbri on February 12, 2016 at 7:04 PM

It all really boils down to who you truly believe in. A little mutual respect for each other’s opinions would go a long way in calming some of the hysteria around here.

cornbred on February 12, 2016 at 5:48 PM

Fair enough, and I understand that, for some, Cruz rings true. On the other hand, I don’t consider it hysteria to point out that Cruz has been far less than straightforward about his positions, while outright lying about those of his opponents. That, combined with his grandstanding, his preachy superiority and his preference for attacking his own party with far more relish than he attacks the Democrats (yeah, yeah, I know it’s a primary and all, but this started from day 1 with him) makes him a hard guy to believe in.

Priscilla on February 12, 2016 at 8:20 PM

Let’s face it. A president Cruz would change anything about gay marriage law.

NYCMike on February 12, 2016 at 8:55 PM

So Cruz is up to his usual tricks. Gin up emotion with no path of success. Divide and conquer a minority.

Coltrane on February 12, 2016 at 11:36 PM

Here’s reality people. Most of the country supports gay marriage, and the Supreme Court does now too. It’s not changing. As people age young people will only increase this trend. I’m Republican and support gay marriage

People line Cruz fundraise and make silly promises.

The truth is democrats #1 fundraising base are gays.

One more time. THE TRUTH IS THAT DEMOCRATS #1 FUNDRAISING BASE ARE GAYS! !!!

move on.

Abandon this futile effort and you win!!!

NYCMike on February 13, 2016 at 12:02 AM

One more time. THE TRUTH IS THAT DEMOCRATS #1 FUNDRAISING BASE ARE GAYS! !!!

move on.

Abandon this futile effort and you win!!!

NYCMike on February 13, 2016 at 12:02 AM

All the more reason then not to hew to their fascistic agenda.

By far the pushiest, most aggressive, least tolerant strain of activist is the homosexual activist, whose general tenor is: “I AM GAY! YOU WILL CELEBRATE ME! OR ELSE!

Every single person knew they didn’t care about marriage. They just wanted a foot in the door to sue everyone who didn’t bow at the sound of their name and clap at the sound of their voice.

BKennedy on February 13, 2016 at 4:00 AM

If you took Rick Santorum, made him more annoying and less qualified, you’d have Ted Cruz.

ak90049 on February 13, 2016 at 9:12 AM

I started out a Cruz supporter, but I’m finding him less appealing by the day.

claudius on February 13, 2016 at 9:16 AM

Cruzers are using Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton’s talking points on the War on Womyn against Trump.

fossten on February 13, 2016 at 10:44 AM

Is that the best bad picture of Rubio you could find? Wow.

petunia on February 13, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Oh never mind, it is just Cruz’s “sincere” face.

petunia on February 13, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Abandon this futile effort and you win!!!

NYCMike on February 13, 2016 at 12:02 AM

Cruz is going to lie to his supporters and pretend he can do something about it, but we all know that SSM is not going to be reversed. The horses have left the barn. I was against SSM, and wanted the government out of marriage, but the Socons did not agree, so here we are. I’ve moved on, don’t know about everyone else.

cimbri on February 13, 2016 at 11:49 AM

Here again you find Cruz laying down rhetoric that makes it sound like he’s preparing to do something bold when really it’s just symbolism.

Allahpundit, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

Here’s how it gets done, with Cruz as President and with current control maintained in the Senate and House.

1)Craft a bill that
a) removes the jurisdiction of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, over marriage, retroactive to the day before the Supreme Court agreed to hear Obergefell; and

b) does so on the grounds that this decision was an unconstitutional infringement on the taxing power, with massive implications for tax collection in the US.

That has the effect of grounding the bill in an Article III, Section 2 mandate, which reserves to Congress the power to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the courts. Specific, enumerated powers such as these have been acknowledged for centuries by the Court, as that place where its review power is at its weakest.

Further, crafting the bill on the basis of its effect on revenue supports a claim that this bill should ‘fast track’ through Congress on the reconciliation process. No filibuster allowed.

Assuming Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to be crucified across his state as champion of sodomy, this bill speeds through Congress on party line votes – whereupon President Cruz signs this, and we all get to stop pretending that Elton John’s now middle aged, former boy toy is his husband.

paladinofthelosthour on February 13, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Here’s reality people. Most of the country supports gay marriage, and the Supreme Court does now too. It’s not changing. As people age young people will only increase this trend. I’m Republican and support gay marriage
NYCMike on February 13, 2016 at 12:02 AM

Mike, the problem with your view is you are thinking nationally. Cruz is thinking state by state. What Cruz wants to do, is to put marriage back to the states, where it originated, and prevent any federal judge on such. Now isn’t that more fair, in that each state can determine what the state will stupidly license?

That’s right, I don’t think the government should be “licensing” marriage in the first place, when the contractual certificate signed in front of witnesses should be more than enough. But most people are used to such requirements, and tax benefits. I’d rather see Cruz push for such a position (a libertarian view) and differentiate himself again from everyone else.

Ronaldusmaximus on February 13, 2016 at 1:17 PM

I give 5 Pinocchio’s to POLITICO, for using a headline that is 180 degrees off from what the quote says.

As for the rest of you who have fallen for this, shame for not catching this, and trusting POLITICO to report honestly.

Ronaldusmaximus on February 13, 2016 at 1:20 PM

Trump and Rubio have indeed said that SCOTUS’s decision legalizing gay marriage is the law of the land, which is why this doesn’t qualify as a total lie.

Ah, so being entirely true keeps it from being a total lie?

Pablo on February 13, 2016 at 3:01 PM

In a divided politics, one can lie against the other. One can vote an evil candidate of your party against the other.

But we haven’t yet reached to that. We’re still at the primaries. We are still one as a party. So we don’t have to lie to each other.

But Cruz is head of all of us. He thinks that it’s already a General Election that he can lie to win the party against the dems, and we will forgive him to throw lies against other Republicans as long as he can win the nomination.

This Cruz is an evil Christian after all. Lies! Lies! Lies! for the win.

TheAlamos on February 13, 2016 at 3:30 PM

Oh, Rik – “sack of shit”? You just joined the ranks of HA Top Ten commenters. Original, erudite, intellectual. Just incredible, man. Congratulations. That’s the kind of insightful post I only dream of making. Consider yourself counted out.

Texlib on February 13, 2016 at 10:52 PM

Wrong, as in the Kentucky case, if a US Marshal isn’t enforcing orders from a Federal judge, the decision is irrelevant. If President Cruz refuses to enforce the unconstitutional decision, it will have no effect, especially if States see that, and refuse to enforce it. Especially in States where the courts will see the message and take action.

federale86 on February 14, 2016 at 12:51 PM

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