3 Times the Old Ted Cruz Contradicted the New Ted Cruz

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz doesn’t always sound like $695/hour lawyer Ted Cruz.

Tony Gutierrez/AP Photo

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) talks a good game as an uncompromising conservative. But before he vowed to destroy Obamacare only to admit he may use it, before he forsook rock’n’roll—back when he was a private appellate lawyer charging $695 an hour, Cruz forcefully argued positions that contradict what he now espouses. Some examples from the Ted Cruz Wayback Machine:

Federal stimulus money

THEN: In 2009, he wrote a brief arguing that giving federal stimulus money to retired Texas teachers “will directly further the greater purpose of economic recovery for America.”

NOW: Obama’s economic program is “yet another rehash of the same big-government stimulus programs that have consistently failed to generate jobs.”

BIG JURY AWARDS

THEN: As a lawyer, Cruz defended a $54 million jury award to a severely disabled New Mexico man who had been raped in a group home, asserting that “a large punitive damages award is justified by the need to deter conduct that is hard to detect and often goes unpunished.”

NOW: Wants to spread Texas-style tort reform—which caps punitive damages at $750,000—to the rest of the nation.
 

The death penalty

THEN: Cruz worked on the Supreme Court case of a Louisiana man who’d been wrongfully sentenced to death, stating that prosecutorial misconduct undermined “public confidence in the criminal-justice system.”

NOW: “I trust the criminal-justice system to operate, to protect the rights of the accused, and to administer justice to violent criminals.”

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate