Is Ted Cruz smart? Or evil? Or crazy?

Updated
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas. ...
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas. ...
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) smart? Or evil? Or crazy?
The question comes from a new Time Magazine profile of Cruz in which the Texas Senator says that “in the media there is a tendency to describe conservatives as one of two things: stupid or evil … I suppose I feel mildly complimented in that they have recently invented a third category, which is crazy. It’s the alternative to stupid or evil.”
In the article, Time’s Alex Altman explores the inherent contradiction between Cruz’s stellar academic credentials and his anti-intellectual public rhetoric by looking at Cruz’s unusual upbringing–noting that at the age of 13, Cruz was sent to after-school programs that promoted free-market economics and was introduced to the works of Adam Smith and Milton Friedman.
Later, he was a champion debater at Princeton, graduated from Harvard Law and argued nine times before the Supreme Court, mostly in his capacity as Texas Solicitor General from 2003-2008.
“The thing that I don’t get about Ted Cruz–and I think a lot of people don’t understand this–is that he’s a highly educated person with a formidable resume,” Alex Wagner said on Thursday’s show. “And yet his rhetoric is so out there–abolishing the IRS and the TSA, shutting down multiple cabinet-level agencies.”
Alex was joined by Time magazine Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer, who argued that Cruz was different from past Tea Party leaders like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
“When he was at all those places–Princeton, Harvard–he defined himself as against that establishment,” Scherer said. “I think what he is is the arrival of this Tea Party view of the country and the Constitution who really does have the credentials that all of his predecessors have lacked.”
Cruz will be making his third trip to Iowa in October.

Is Ted Cruz smart? Or evil? Or crazy?

Updated