Ted Cruz: Proud to Be a Wacko Bird

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013 5:03 PM CDT
Ted Cruz: Proud to Be a Wacko Bird
Ted Cruz, then Republican candidate for US Senate.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Brett Coomer)

For its upcoming edition, GQ profiles controversial Tea Party Republican and possible Canadian Ted Cruz. It's a long one, full of colorful anecdotes about the man in the ostrich-skin cowboy boots, so we've plucked out some of the highlights:

  • Cruz has embraced the "Wacko Bird" nickname bestowed on him by John McCain—a baseball cap emblazoned with the title next to a picture of Daffy Duck given to him by supporters in Texas is one of his prized possessions.
  • In his office, Cruz has a giant oil painting of himself delivering his first argument before the Supreme Court. "I've always enjoyed the fact that as I'm sitting at my desk, I'm looking at a giant painting of me getting my rear end whipped 9-0," he says. "It is helpful for keeping one grounded."
  • Cruz loves to tell the story of how his father came to the US at 18 as a Cuban immigrant with only $100 sewn into his underwear, and bootstrapped his way to the American dream. He doesn't so much enjoy talking about how his father's gas and oil exploration business went bankrupt in the '80s. When author Jason Zengerle brings it up, he says Cruz's "face fell and he grew quiet" before sighing and acknowledging the story.

  • One of his former college roommates says Cruz is an Ivy League snob. While studying law at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn't done their undergraduate degree at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. "He said he didn't want anybody from 'minor Ivies' like Penn or Brown," says the roommate. He also wore his old crimson Harvard robe to give a commencement speech at a different university earlier this year.
  • Cruz was not popular amongst his colleagues while working on W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. One source says he regularly sent out group emails detailing his personal accomplishments, akin to "the cards people send about their families at Christmas, except Ted's were only about him and were more frequent."
Click through to read the full profile. (More Ted Cruz stories.)

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