Ted Cruz Hails 'Spectacular' Giorgia Meloni as GOP Finds Potential Ally

Ted Cruz tweeted that the likely new Italian prime minister was "spectacular" in a sign the Republican senator strongly identifies with the hard-line right-wing European leader, who is claiming victory after elections on Sunday.

The senator's comments suggests the Republican party may seek to align itself with Giorgia Meloni—who would be Italy's first female PM and its most right-wing leader since wartime Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini—in the hopes of lining up the country as an ally should the GOP win power.

Cruz, who represents the state of Texas, posted his praise online in response to video footage he shared of one of Meloni's speeches, in which she outlined some of her views.

Cruz retweeted a section of Meloni's speech, with a simple one-word caption: "Spectacular."

Giogia Meloni victory sign
Giorgia Meloni, leader of the Brothers of Italy, reacts to news about exit polls in Rome overnight on Monday. Ted Cruz tweeted that the likely new Italian prime minister was "spectacular" in a sign the Republican strongly identifies with the hardline, right-wing leader. Getty Images

Subtitles translate the Italian politician's words into English, as she is seen telling a crowd: "Why is the family an enemy? Why is the family so frightening? There is a single answer to all these questions. Because it defines us. Because it is our identity. Because everything that defines us is now an enemy for those who would like us to no longer have an identity and to simply be perfect consumer slaves.

"And so they attack national identity, they attack religious identity, they attack gender identity, they attack family identity. I can't define myself as: Italian, Christian, woman, mother. No. I must be citizen x, gender x, parent 1, parent 2. I must be a number. Because when I am only a number, when I no longer have an identity or roots, then I will be the perfect slave at the mercy of financial speculators. The perfect consumer…[But] we will defend it.

"We will defend God, country, and family. Those things that disgust people so much. We will do it to defend our freedom. Because we will never be slaves and simple consumers at the mercy of financial speculators."

She closed her speech with a quote from English writer G. K. Chesterton, saying: "'Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer.' That time has arrived. We are ready."

While Meloni's rhetoric about gender identity and Christianity would obviously strike a chord with Cruz—who has been outspoken about similar issues and frequently references his own faith—do their respective parties have similar views on other major issues?

Earlier in 2022, Meloni clearly set out her political ideology during a speech to members of Spain's far-right Vox party. Rattling through a list of topics, she told the raucous crowd: "Yes to the natural family, no to the LGBT lobby, yes to sexual identity, no to gender ideology… no to Islamist violence, yes to secure borders, no to mass migration… no to big international finance… no to the bureaucrats of Brussels [the European Union]!"

So there is much there that Cruz would relate to.

Additionally, Meloni has seemingly swept to power on a wave of populism that echoes the fervor fostered by the last Republican president, Donald Trump. Like Trump, Meloni has framed herself as speaking out on behalf of all those disillusioned with politics and focusing on fears of the alleged threats posed by immigration.

After claiming victory, Meloni vowed to "lift Italy up," which chimes with Trump's promise to "make America great again."

However, there are some differences between Cruz and Meloni, which may signify some departures between their respective politics.

While they both share a faith—frequently referring to their Christianity and seeing it as entwined with their political beliefs and outlook—Cruz is a southern Baptist, while Meloni is Catholic.

Cruz is famously anti-abortion but Meloni has said she wouldn't change existing laws governing abortion, which has been legal in Italy since 1978, although it remains difficult to obtain. She has promised that abortion would remain "accessible and safe and legal." However, Meloni has also claimed that her mother nearly aborted her and added she wanted to strengthen "prevention" sections of the relevant law too. Critics fear her approach will chip away at the rights of women to access abortion.

Cruz is not the only Republican publicly supporting Meloni. Former Trump advisor Steve Bannon has also hailed her leadership. And it has also been said that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is also Meloni as a potential ally as his list of friends dwindles amid his increasingly bloody war with Ukraine.

But Meloni's success has reportedly alarmed other European leaders, while U.S Democratic president Joe Biden has yet to comment on her election.

Newsweek has reached out to representatives of Cruz and Meloni for comment.