In an interview with EWTN News, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said he is convinced that 2016 is going to be a religious liberty election, and that he will push for legislation to protect people's rights against any possible discrimination or persecution from the federal government.
In the interview, part of a series on the views of presidential candidates, called "Candidate Conversations 2016," Robert P. George, professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, asked Cruz what he would do as President of the United States, to protect the rights of people of all faiths who believe in marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
"This has been a life's passion fighting for it, and I'm convinced 2016 is going to be a religious liberty election," replied Texas senator Cruz in the 50-minute interview. "I've hosted now two religious liberty rallies, one in Iowa, one in South Carolina, they both had 2,000-3,000 people come out."
Cruz mentioned that he was a student of George at Princeton, and George called him a "star student."
George asked Cruz if he would, in his first 100 days, push for the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act that would protect people's rights to believe and act on their belief that marriage is the union between a husband and wife.
"Absolutely, yes," Cruz said. "As you know, I'm an original sponsor of that legislation. And when it comes to religious liberty, religious liberty has been a passion for me for decades, and it has been something that I have been fighting to defend for many, many years."
Cruz said when he was the Solicitor General of Texas, he defended the Ten Commandments monument on the State Capitol grounds. "We went to the U.S. Supreme Court and we won 5-4, upholding the public display of the 10 commandments and changed the judicial interpretation all across the country. We defended the Pledge of Allegiance — you'll remember when an atheist sued seeking to strike down the pledge — and we defended those words, "one nation under God," we went to the Supreme Court and we won unanimously," he said.
Even during private practice, Cruz added, he represented over 3 million veterans pro bono, defending the Mojave Desert Memorial, which is a lone white Latin cross, which was erected over 70 years ago to honor the men and women that gave their lives in World War I.
"And the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) sued seeking to get that veterans memorial torn down," he continued. "They won in the District Court, they won in the Court of Appeals — the court ordered that veterans memorial to be covered with a giant sack with a chain and a padlock at the bottom because they said you cannot gaze at the image of a cross on public lands. And we went to the Supreme Court on behalf of 3 million veterans defending that veterans' memorial, and we won 5-4."
During the interview, Cruz also said he believes the foundations of America are the free market principles and the constitutional liberties of free citizens to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, to pursue their natural God-given rights. "And those foundations are profoundly under assault."