This morning we have the first official announcement of a candidate running for President. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced his intention to run for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. Of course, everyone paying attention to the secret primary already knew he was running, but today he made it official.
As each candidate announces, I’ll try to give a quick rundown of their stances on science policy. Senator Cruz is a new face in Washington having only been serving in the Senate since 2013. So there is not as big a database of quotes and opinions to pull from.
Senator Cruz is often labeled a “science denier” and that is mostly because of his statements on climate change. Mr. Cruz insists that those who raise concerns about the alarming trend of increased global temperatures are dead wrong. He tries to back this up by saying that the Earth’s temperature has not risen in the last 17 years. Below is an image from NASA/GSFC/Earth Observatory, NASA/GISS showing how misleading that statement is.
Senator Cruz has been serving as the chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness.
I am not aware of the senator ever offering a position on evolution.
Senator Cruz is in favor of vaccinations for children. I’ll be honest, this surprised me a little. From the many times he so enthusiastically embraced Tea Party positions, I assumed he would at least pander about this issue, but his direct quote is “Children of course should be vaccinated.” Kudos!
Finally when it comes to science funding in general, Senator Cruz tends to support cutting government spending in every area except the military. This sentiment comes more from concern about government debt. Earlier I wrote about how our funding priorities heavily favor war over knowledge. Mr. Cruz is guilty of this sin as well, ranting about how our government is saddled with too much debt to allow us to maintain funding for things like research on curing diseases. But at the same time insists we must not decrease military spending despite the fact that we spend more on our military than the next 8 countries combined.