It's an impressive feat to show up in The New Yorker as a freshman Congressman, and kudos to Senator Ted Cruz for pulling it off. Cruz has been facing widespread criticism for, among other things, his aggressive questioning of Chuck Hagel, President Obama's nominee for Defense Secretary. Jane Mayer joined in last week by reporting on Cruz's attempts to bring back the Red Scare.
At a 2010 Fourth of July-weekend rally in Austin sponsored by Americans For Prosperity, Cruz described the ideological makeup of the Harvard Law School faculty when he was a student: "There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than Communists! There was one Republican. But there were twelve who would say they were Marxists who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government."
Cruz attended Harvard Law from 1992 to 1995, and as Mayer reports most reps from Harvard aren't sure where he got his numbers. A spokesman for the school called it "puzzling."
Charles Fried, a solicitor general under Ronald Reagan who taught Cruz at Harvard, says, "I can right offhand count four 'out' Republicans (including myself), and I don't know how many closeted Republicans when Ted, who was my student and the editor on the Harvard Law Review who helped me with my Supreme Court foreword, was a student here."
But Senator Cruz was good enough to clear everything up on The Blaze via spokesperson Catherine Frazier. The explanation: Harvard was full of Commies and why are you asking?
"It's curious that the New Yorker would dredge up a three-year-old speech and call it 'news,'" Frazier said in a statement to TheBlaze late Friday. "Regardless, Senator Cruz's substantive point was absolutely correct: in the mid-1990s, the Harvard Law School faculty included numerous self-described proponents of 'critical legal studies' -- a school of thought explicitly derived from Marxism - and they far outnumbered Republicans."
To be clear, The New Yorker isn't calling it breaking news. They're saying that in light of Cruz's questions and insinuations with Hagel (e.g. that Hagel's nomination was "publicly celebrated by the Iranian government" which was rated "Pants on Fire" by PolitiFact) it's probably worth taking a look at how loose he's been historically with his political accusations.