Ted Cruz hit up the Bronx on Wednesday, and unlike Bernie Sanders, he was not welcomed by the crowd. Cruz, who previously attacked Donald Trump and “New York Values” in an ad, visited Chino Latino restaurant Sabrosura, where he got an earful from Rebel Diaz‘s RodStarz aka Rodrigo Venegas.
“Ted Cruz has no business being in the Bronx,” he said. “This is an immigrant community. We deal with climate change every single day, and he wants to say it doesn’t exist. We’re (one of) the poorest congressional districts in the country, and to receive this right-wing bigot is an insult to the whole community.”
A police officer asked him to leave, and RodStarz complied as the crowd applauded him. Cruz’s immigration plan has amounted to trying to one up Donald Trump’s xenophobia. Just like Trump, Cruz plans to build a wall, and on the immigration summary section of his website, completing a wall that works is his first point.
A group of high school students spared Cruz from suffering a similar experience at the Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy. The day before his visit, students wrote a letter to their high school principal to get the visit canceled, according to the New York Daily News. They threatened to walk out of the school if Cruz showed up, and succeeded in persuading the school’s principal to cancel the visit.
“Most of us are immigrants or come from immigrant backgrounds,” said 16-year-old Destiny Domeneck. “Ted Cruz goes against everything our school stands for.”
But nothing could save him from Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., who called him a hypocrite. “Ted Cruz is a hypocrite,” he said, according to the NY Daily News. “He not only offended New Yorkers, he offended Bronxites, and now he’s here today in New York and in the Bronx looking for money and votes. We in the Bronx know how offensive he’s been. We know the truth about our borough.”
Cruz met with Díaz’s dad, who represents the Bronx in the state Senate, just hours after Jr. basically told him to GTFO.
Though people have mostly focused on Cruz’s anti-immigrant stance, some have also questioned his connection to his Latino heritage. For example, 57-year-old Edna Ferrer told the NY Daily News that his last name alone doesn’t make him Hispanic. “His mind is white,” she said.
This exact topic came up on the latest episode of In the Thick. Titled “Is Ted Cruz Downplaying His Latino Identity?” Maria Hinojosa, Bettina Inclán (a political strategist of Cuban descent), Tim Mak (senior correspondent for The Daily Beast), and Julio Ricardo Varela (founder of Latino Rebels) discuss whether his political affiliation makes it difficult for people to see him as a Latino.