Cruz: Obama Has ‘Inflamed Racial Tensions’

30 Apr 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cruz: Obama Has ‘Inflamed Racial Tensions’.

The Republican presidential hopeful commented on the Baltimore riots following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died of a spinal cord injury after being in police custody. Senator Ted Cruz said Wednesday that Republican Mitt Romney’s rhetoric about working class Americans — not an immigration stance that is similar to his own — cost the 2012 Republican presidential candidate support among Hispanics.

Cruz said what’s been happening in Baltimore has “been heartbreaking,” but that the president should have been a “unifying figure” on race relations after he was elected. “President Obama, when he was elected, he could have been a unifying figure. On the same day that one of his potential rivals for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, was touting a plan to provide legal status for many of the nation’s illegal immigrants before a Hispanic audience in Cruz’ home state, the Texas Republican defended his opposition to such a plan before a Hispanic business audience in Washington. Ted Cruz took his first major step in advocating for the Hispanic vote by challenging the Obama administration’s economic policies, saying they have disproportionately hurt hardworking Latinos. Instead, “he’s made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions — that have divided us rather than bringing us together.” Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate, took questions for 90 minutes from Javier Palomarez, president and chief executive of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, at the National Press Club.

The speech included other controversial assertions, including that the growth of national support for same-sex marriage was “heartbreaking” and that Democrats had tried to “scare” Hispanics into voting for them by talking about immigration. Cruz cited a remark made by Vice President Biden during the 2012 presidential campaign that Mitt Romney and the GOP are “going to put y’all back in chains.” The Romney campaign seized on the comment as a “new low,” while the Obama campaign said the context of Biden’s comment was meant to convey the risks of letting Wall Street operate unregulated under Republicans. He was questioned, at times pointedly, by the group’s President Javier Palomarez, who previously questioned whether Cruz is abandoning Hispanics for political reasons. He said there is a bipartisan agreement outside of Washington that work needs to be done to secure the border, stop illegal immigration and streamline legal immigration. “I’m the son of an immigrant who came here legally.

When individuals get crowbars and start prying open doors to loot, they’re not protesting, they’re not making a statement, they’re stealing.” He also criticized a society that doesn’t do enough to uplift poor minority communities. In March, Cruz skipped the chamber’s annual legislative summit, where Palomarez took exception to his absence. “I hope it is not indicative that he’s backing away from the Hispanic community in order to get through the primary,” Fox News Latino quoted him as saying. He has exacerbated racial misunderstanding and racial tension.” Cruz cited Obama’s facilitation in 2009 of what’s known as the “beer summit,” in which the president brought together Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. He said the solution to deep-seeded problems that spur violence include early education, criminal justice reform and job training, while suggesting that kind of a response is out of reach with a Republican Congress. “I’m under no illusion that out of this Congress we’re going to get massive investments in urban communities,” Obama said. Following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, the proportion of Americans naming “race relations” or “racism” as the top problem facing the country spiked to 13% in a Gallup poll, a 20-plus-year high.

For more than an hour, Cruz answered a variety of questions about energy independence, the economy, and appealing to Hispanic voters that were posed by Hispanic Chamber President and CEO Javier Palomarez. Some have criticized America’s first black president for not speaking out forcefully enough as he tries to avoid criticism of law enforcement, and he responded by calling the deaths “a slow-rolling crisis.” “We have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals, primarily African-American, often poor, in ways that raise troubling questions. Cruz placed blame for the phenomenon not on the seemingly constant high-profile cases in which unarmed black men have been killed by police officers since Eric Garner was killed in July 2014, but on the president.

He said Latinos take pride in earning their keep. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Hispanic panhandler,” he said. “I think it’s because in our community it’s shameful… If you want someone working to the bone, you will have Hispanics lining up.” The Wednesday afternoon event marked a departure for Cruz, who has been criticized for rarely taking part in Latino-sponsored events on the national level. The reason Cruz Romney got “clobbered” was his “infamous comment” that Republicans don’t have to worry about the 47 percent of all Americans vote reliably Democratic because they feel entitled to government services. “I can’t think of a statement in politics I disagree with more strongly,” said Cruz.

He said although such cases aren’t unprecedented, there’s new awareness as a result of cameras and social media. “We shouldn’t pretend that it’s new.” (TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. Like Cruz, Romney spoke in favor of actions to stem the flow of undocumented immigrations coming into the U.S. without supporting a path to legalization for those already here, though Romney also called for immigrant self-deportation.

Some supporters during his first presidential run said he was too slow to talk about race in light of incendiary comments by his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. He said it would be better if Republicans and Democrats would focus on areas of agreement — such as increasing tech worker visas or boosting the border patrol. “We don’t have to solve every issue all at once,” he said. “For millions of people seeking a better life in America, this isn’t about politics,” Manriquez said, standing by Obama’s executive actions on immigration and a comprehensive approach to overhauling the nation’s complex immigration system. “Republicans like Ted Cruz are the ones playing politics with the future of these families by obstructing commonsense policies that keep families together and refusing to pass immigration reform,” he said. Cruz has become a leading voice against President Barack Obama’s recent orders easing deportations for individuals brought to the U.S. as children and for their parents. This year, there’s no expectation that any immigration legislation is likely to move in Congress. “There is no stronger advocate of legal immigration in the U.S. At least one other potential candidate in the Republican field, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, has proposed reducing legal immigration at times of high unemployment.

Last fall, a national poll by Latino Decisions found 89 percent support of Hispanic voters support Obama’s use of executive authority to ease deportations.

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