Heidi Cruz Campaigns Hard To Show Softer Side Of Husband Ted Cruz Heidi Cruz has been one of the most visible spouses on the campaign trail this year, appearing alongside her husband, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and campaigning solo on his behalf.

Heidi Cruz Campaigns Hard To Show Softer Side Of Husband Ted Cruz

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Senator Ted Cruz is not a low-profile guy. He's a fierce debater and a cleverpaul (ph) who is often more admired than liked. As he tries to win over Iowa voters, there's one person who's trying to show people that he has a softer side - his wife, Heidi Cruz, who spoke to NPR's Sarah McCammon on the campaign trail in Iowa.

SARAH MCCAMMON, BYLINE: Heidi Cruz is a successful businesswoman with an MBA from Harvard. And her husband, Ted Cruz, is clearly proud of that. During one of his famously long Senate speeches in 2013, Cruz told a story about a time when his wife was heading off on a business trip.

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TED CRUZ: My wife, Heidi, was taking a car to the airport, and the car got hit.

MCCAMMON: She got on the plane anyway, not realizing until hours later that she had a concussion and a broken bone.

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TED CRUZ: I certainly urged should that happen again to my wife, sweetheart, please let me know when it happens and not 12-14 hours later. But, you know, it's the virtue of marrying strong women who know what they want and are able to tackle the world.

MCCAMMON: On the campaign trail, the Texas senator also extols his wife's more traditional virtues and talks about how grateful he is that she married him.

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TED CRUZ: She is a phenomenal mom to our two little girls, Caroline and Catherine, who are the joys of our life. She has exceptionally poor eyesight.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAMMON: The Cruz's often tagteam during campaign stops, like one at a restaurant in Keokuk, Iowa, in October. Heidi Cruz told the crowd that she thinks the media are scared to death of her husband, but she really knows him.

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HEIDI CRUZ: Ted is incredibly sincere and thoughtful. And I want you to know as his wife, someone who knows him better than anybody else, he's that way at home, too.

MCCAMMON: She describes him as someone who never forgets a birthday and enjoys reading stories with their daughters. The couple met while working on the George W. Bush campaign in 2000. Heidi Cruz often says it was love at first sight and that she was drawn to his strong beliefs in the Bible and the Constitution.

HEIDI CRUZ: In our late 20s, Ted knew what he believed and what he believed in and what he was doing then is the exact same thing that he believes now and is doing now.

(APPLAUSE)

MCCAMMON: Behind the scenes, Heidi Cruz has been busily fundraising for her husband for months. She took a leave of absence from the investment firm Goldman Sachs to work on the campaign. That connection has been a source of criticism for Ted Cruz, who was elected to the Senate in 2012 as a tea party conservative and a critic of the federal bailout of Wall Street. The scrutiny intensified after IT came to light the Cruz had used loans from Goldman Sachs and Citibank to fund that campaign. In an interview, Heidi Cruz said she doesn't see a contradiction.

HEIDI CRUZ: Ted and I were both against the bailouts, but not against Wall Street, not against any industry. We are against government intervention into the industries in this economy.

MCCAMMON: Given Ted Cruz's reputation for alienating even his Republican colleagues, Heidi Cruz is often asked about her husband's personality. And she says it doesn't matter what people in Washington think since he's popular with conservative voters. But it's not just Washington. Some of Cruz's former classmates, including a college roommate, have come forward to describe him as abrasive, arrogant and even creepy. Heidi Cruz suggests the problem is with her husband's critics.

HEIDI CRUZ: We all went to college. We all found our circle of friends and some people we got along with better than others. Even as a teenager, he was a person who didn't look around the room just to be popular. And for people that do, they might find that unlikable that he's going to stick to his guns.

MCCAMMON: At campaign stops, voters seem to find Heidi Cruz likable. In Emmetsburg, Iowa, yesterday, Bobbie Clark said she's already imagining her as the nation's first lady.

BOBBIE CLARK: She's just alive and vibrant and wicked smart (laughter). I mean, you'd have to be to be married to Ted.

MCCAMMON: Or maybe, some supporters have said, to be married to Heidi. Sarah McCammon, NPR News.

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