For anyone seeking elective office anywhere, this story is as good as it gets: At age 14, Cruz’s father fought with rebels (including Fidel Castro) against Cuba’s dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Captured and tortured, at 18 he escaped to America with $100 sewn in his underwear. He graduated from the University of Texas and met his wife — like him, a mathematician — with whom he founded a small business processing seismic data for the oil industry.
By the time Ted Cruz was 13, he was winning speech contests sponsored by a Houston free-enterprise group that gave contestants assigned readings by Frederic Bastiat, Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises. In his early teens he traveled around Texas and out of state giving speeches. At Princeton, he finished first in the 1992 U.S. National Debate Championship and North American Debate Championship.
As Texas’s solicitor general from 2003 to 2008, Cruz submitted 70 briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has, so far, argued nine cases there. He favors school choice and personal investment accounts for a portion of individuals’ Social Security taxes. He supports the latter idea with a bow to the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who said such accounts enable the doorman to build wealth the way the people in the penthouse do.