Back in January, Ted Cruz made one of the most boneheaded moves of the entire Republican presidential race. And yes, that includes every chunk in Donald Trump’s seemingly endless stream of projectile word-vomit.
Speaking to right-wing talk radio host and human colostomy bag Howie Carr, Cruz derisively said Donald Trump “comes from New York and embodies New York values.”
Usually when phrases like “New York values” or “East Coast elitists” are deployed by a conservative politician, it’s meant to indict people who live in cities and recognize climate change and support gay marriage, among other crimes of intelligence and toleration.
Naturally, Trump possesses neither of these qualities to any noticeable extent; hence his status as the Republican frontrunner. Thus, when Cruz declared that Trump has “New York values,” the senator from Calgary was actually — albeit unwittingly — giving him too much credit.
It’s hard to imagine that in January New York’s delegates were factoring at all in Cruz’s plan for a path to the nomination. But then a funny thing happened. He lost South Carolina and a slew of other contests to Trump in the South and Midwest where bashing “New York values” is typically a hit with conservative chum-gobblers.
Now trailing in delegates with the New York primary just two weeks away, Cruz is desperately trying to grab any delegates he can get. New York isn’t a winner-take-all state, but it requires a candidate to receive at least 20% of the vote to get any delegates at all. And that’s bad news for Cruz, whose polling average is just 19% in the Empire State. And if neither Cruz nor jalopy John Kasich can crack 20%, Trump will get all 95 delegates at stake.
It’s this desperation that yielded a wonderful little scene starring Cruz in the Bronx on Wednesday. For some unfathomable reason, he seemed to think he would be welcomed as someone other than the guy who said what he said about New York, and also as someone other than the guy who channeled Trump by promising to deport all undocumented immigrants in the country.
So you can understand why a campaign stop — which to remind, is an appearance that’s supposed to win over voters — in New York City, specifically the Bronx of all places, might not exactly be the area that puts him over that 20% threshold. Here we see Cruz en route to an event arranged by state senator who’s also a conservative Christian minister. Seventy clergy members attended but only a dozen voters. And two of those were protesters:
As one of the protesters put it, “You’re running on an anti-immigrant platform, and you’re speaking in the Bronx. You should not be here.”
That wasn’t the only indignity Cruz endured in the Bronx on Wednesday. As part of his visit, he was supposed to stop at a charter school to tout vouchers and school choice, erstwhile staples of the GOP’s public education platform. After students got wind of the visit they threatened to walk out of school, prompting the school to withdraw its invitation.
Ted Cruz is going to be spending some time in New York over the next couple of weeks and no doubt he hasn’t seen the last of this stuff. And when he leaves here, hopefully it’s with nothing but an earful from some of the city’s most outspoken denizens.