Judge Andrew Napolitano is the FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst for a reason. He understands the Constitution better than almost anyone. He knows what it says, how it was meant, how it’s been applied, and how it should be applied. The Judge also knows when candidates share that same understanding or just feign it. Napolitano is just as much of an expert on candidates that claim to be constitutional conservatives as he is on the Constitution. His problems with Ted Cruz come from the candidate’s less than perfect comprehension of the document.
When Ted Cruz first entered the race for President the Judge was excited. Cruz has consistently billed himself as a constitutional conservative interested in reducing federal government power, and protecting states’ rights among other things. Napolitano opened this segment saying that he was “glad for [Ted Cruz’s] candidacy because he does stir the pot”. Cruz will talk about issues that many big government Republicans would dismiss. The Judge even said his heart stirred when Cruz quoted Jefferson on the purpose of the Constitution.
However, that’s not the end of the story. The Judge’s heart sank when Ted Cruz said there was a federal right to education. There is clearly no mention of, let alone a right to, education in the Constitution. Napolitano knows that as does every other true constitutional conservative and libertarian. That’s a privilege that the left has started calling a right in order to increase government power.
Overall though, the Judge agreed that Cruz would look at the federal government as one with “limited authority” more than any other candidate running for President. Except, Rand Paul. Of course the most libertarian candidate would have the strictest adherence to the Constitution. Libertarians want the most limited government of all and Rand is in line with his father there. In fact, the Judge went so far as to say “Rand Paul is more faithful to the Constitution as I see it” than Ted Cruz.
Furthermore, the Judge mentioned one of the real problems with Ted Cruz was that he would “join with all of the other Republicans, except Rand Paul, with the idea that we should, to use Woodrow Wilson’s phrase ‘make the world safe for democracy’.” That’s the neo-con way of saying what libertarians know as “perpetual debt, and perpetual war”. Napolitano believes Rand Paul wouldn’t follow in their footsteps and instead “pull back from that and only engage in defensive wars where we were truly exposed to danger”.
In other words, a libertarian’s main problems with Ted Cruz stem from his hawkish foreign policy. Libertarians couldn’t support Ted Cruz because of many of his other domestic policies as well but it’s his foreign policy that’s really dangerous. Ted Cruz remains halfway there when it comes to true liberty and that’s simply not good enough.