Just when we thought this election cycle couldn’t get more competitive, this happened today. Republican candidate Ted Cruz made a stop in the Bronx to talk to about 100 people at a campaign event hosted by state Sen. Rubén Díaz, Sr., a conservative Democrat and a Christian minister.
At the Chinese-Dominican eatery Sabrosura 2, reporters outnumbered patrons. Apparently, only about 70 ministers affiliated with Díaz and a dozen voters turned up—and two of them were tossed out after screaming protests about the Texas senator’s hardline stance on immigration. Rodrigo Venegas, of the hip-hop duo Rebel Díaz was escorted out of Ted Cruz’s campaign event after he yelled that Cruz was a “right-wing bigot”
“Ted Cruz has no business being in the Bronx! This is an immigrant community. We deal with climate change every single day, and he wants to say that it doesn’t exist. We live in one of the poorest congressional districts in the country. And to receive this right-wing bigot is an insult to the whole community.”
For the record, Rebel Díaz is not related to Senator Díaz but Bronx Borough President Ruben Díaz, Jr. is. And the younger Díaz blasted Cruz as a hypocrite, just hours before Mr. Cruz was set to meet with the borough president’s father.
“Ted Cruz is a hypocrite. 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.”
At the event, Cruz rebranded his “New York Values” message, slamming Donald Trump:
“Let’s be clear. The people of New York know what those values are, the values of liberal Democratic politicians like Andrew Cuomo, like Anthony Weiner, like Eliot Spitzer, like Charlie Rangel, all of whom Donald Trump has supported, given tens of thousands of dollars to throughout the years,” said Cruz, a day after his decisive win over Trump in the Wisconsin primary. If you want to know what liberal Democratic values are, follow Donald Trump’s checkbook.”
Asked a question in Spanish, the Cuban American son of immigrants replied that he understood the language but that his spoken Spanish was not that good—and answered in English.
Cruz was scheduled to speak at Bronx Lighthouse College Preparatory Academy until students wrote a letter to the principal asking her not to let Cruz come, prompting staffers to cancel the appearance.
Hello Ms. Duggins,
A group of students will be leaving during 4th period, as act of civil disobedience in regards to the arrival of Ted Cruz to BLCPA.We have all considered the consequences of our actions and are willing to accept them. We respect you and all the staff at BLCPA as well as the expected guests. But we want you to understand that as passionate students, we have ideas and principles that should be heard and respected. This walk out isn’t a reflection of our discontent with BLCPA but our opportunity to stand up for our community and future. This walk out is taking place because we as students all share a common idea.The presence of Ted Cruz and the ideas he stands for are offensive. His views are against ours and are actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love. He is misogynistic, homophobic, and racist. He has used vulgar language, gestures, and profanity directed at a scholar and staff members, along with harassing and posing threats to staff and scholars according to the Disciplinary Referral slip. This is not to be taken kiddingly or as a joke. We are students who feel the need and right to not be passive to such disrespect.
All wasn’t lost for Cruz, however. He picked up an endorsement from New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, the PAC representing New York’s evangelical Christians.
Photography by Edwin Pagán @