Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tells a sweet story about the sacrifice he and his wife made four years ago to finance his upstart campaign for the U.S. Senate. The story, as it turns out, is phony. That doesn’t come as a total surprise, since it is in keeping with the sham persona of Cruz’s candidacy for president.

Cruz’s account of getting his wife to agree “to liquidate our entire net worth, liquid net worth” so he could wage his underdog candidacy against the party favorite in the 2012 Senate Republican primary was debunked by the New York Times, which revealed that he took out as much as $1 million in loans, with much of the money lent to the campaign. The loans from Goldman Sachs (where his wife works) and Citibank were never disclosed, as required by law, to federal election officials but were subsequently included on financial disclosure forms he filed as a senator.

“Inadvertent filing error” was how Cruz characterized the failure to list the loans with the Federal Election Commission. Let’s give Cruz the benefit of the doubt and assume that this was not a calculated omission; that a Harvard-educated attorney who speaks endlessly of his smarts and legal prowess was unaware of requirements that candidates, including those running for offices far less lofty than the U.S. Senate, are able to follow without a problem.

What’s harder to overlook is the hypocrisy. At the very time he was presenting himself to voters as an anti-establishment candidate free of Wall Street influence, he was getting a big loan from a Wall Street firm. So much for Cruz’s attacks on crony capitalism and his tale of putting everything on the line to get where he is.

But then such duality is in the DNA of Cruz’s campaign. The Harvard law grad who, according to a friend at the time, didn’t want to study with anyone who hadn’t graduated from a big Ivy League school now disdains intellectualism. The onetime Supreme Court clerk now wants to strip the court of authority. Positions on issues — be it immigration or military intervention in Syria or accepting refugees — change with the political winds and what he thinks will advance his career.

Federal election officials will determine whether there was a violation of law in the failure to disclose these loans and whether there should be consequences. Pundits will debate the fallout on his campaign. The most important question will be answered by voters who must decide if a man of Cruz’s character — or lack thereof — belongs in the Oval Office.

Editorial by The Washington Post

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