Texas Senator Ted Cruz has long remained an ardent opponent of marriage equality, arguing that the Supreme Court “crossed a line” when it decided that same-sex couples had a right to marry regardless of individual states’ wishes. However, a secret tape obtained by Politico reveals that the GOP presidential candidate does not consider the fight against gay marriage to be a “top-three priority.”
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The tape comes from a closed-door fundraiser, where Cruz addressed a group of well-heeled donors at a New York City fundraiser. “I would say defending the Constitution is a top priority. And that cuts across the whole spectrum — whether it’s defending [the] First Amendment, defending religious liberty, stopping courts from making public policy issues that are left to the people,” Cruz said.
“I also think the 10th Amendment of the Constitution cuts across a whole lot of issues and can bring people together,” he added. “People of New York may well resolve the marriage question differently than the people of Florida or Texas or Ohio. … That’s why we have 50 states — to allow a diversity of views. And so that is a core commitment.”
Cruz has repeatedly stated that the issue of marriage equality should be left to the states to decide, so the opinion that he expressed behind closed doors does not go against his prior words. However, Cruz has also insisted time and again upon his commitment to protecting Christian values, particularly in the face of a Supreme Court that has made several rulings found controversial to evangelical conservatives.
At a recent Tulsa, Oklahoma campaign stop, Cruz dismissed Politico’s reporting as a non-issue. “It was striking, you know, Politico runs this, you know, banner headline, ‘Secret Tape.’ And it’s almost word for word what I’ve said on Jay Leno. It’s almost word for word what I said on Stephen Colbert. It ain’t very secret,” he told reporters. “I know Colbert may not have a ton of viewers, but saying it on national TV is not a great plan for keeping something secret.”