Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) may not be the first person most people would go to for reaction to the news that Apple’s CEO just publicly came out as gay.
But on Thursday, CNBC asked the Texas Republican to weigh in on Tim Cook’s announcement. And Cruz’s answer showed just how tough it can be for a social conservative and potential 2016 contender to navigate the wave of marriage equality breaking across the country.
“Those are his personal choices, I’ll tell you I love my iPhone,” Cruz said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” as quoted by The Hill.
“Listen, Tim Cook makes his personal decisions, and that is his life. My focus is on the constitutional question of who has the authority to make decisions,” Cruz added.
Cruz has called the Supreme Court’s recent refusal to review same-sex marriage cases “judicial activism at its worst” and vowed to introduce a constitutional amendment to ban the federal government and the courts from overturning state marriage laws.
CNBC’s Rebecca Quick pressed Cruz to explain that position.
“You yourself have talked about introducing anti-gay marriage legislation, trying to protect the rights of the states,” she said. “But at the same time, you’ve also said that what the Supreme Court did by not ruling on the states who have allowed gay marriage, that that was tragic and indefensible?”
“You’re exactly right,” Cruz responded. “Look, I believe in the Constitution. I think we need to follow the Constitution. What the Supreme Court did, effectively striking down the laws of 30 states, was wrong and it was judicial activism.”
“But if a state chooses to allow people of the same sex to marry, shouldn’t they be allowed to do that?” Quick asked.
“Yes. No, no, I agree,” Cruz said. “Perhaps you are not understanding my position. Marriage is a question for the states … the issue is, constitutionally, should the federal government or federal courts impose their policy views in the place of the policy views of citizens of states.”
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