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'White Supremacist, Hispanic Surname' — Ted Cruz Courts the Bigot Vote: And Won't Criticize Donald Trump

Everything Ted Cruz said about Donald Trump and immigration this weekend was hot, flaming garbage
Illustration by DonkeyHotey.
Illustration by DonkeyHotey.
By Simon Maloy
Last week I expressed my bemusement at the fact that none of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates had forcefully denounced billionaire racist and shriveled apricot Donald Trump for calling Mexican immigrants criminals, drug dealers, and “rapists.” For a party looking to boost its pathetically low share of the Latino vote in presidential years, it seemed like a layup – disagree with the frizz-topped bigot and demonstrate that, at a minimum, not all Republican presidential candidates view undocumented immigrants as dangerous criminals.

A number of those candidates apparently came to the same conclusion, and over the last few days they’ve attacked Trump and gone to great pains to say that he doesn’t represent the mainstream of the party. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee all hit back at The Donald’s grossly insulting remarks. Even George Pataki got in on the action.

There was one 2016 Republican contender, however, who pointedly refused to criticize Trump and even celebrated him for what he said – Ted Cruz. He appeared on “Meet the Press” this weekend and stood by Trump’s remarks, arguing that they’d had the beneficial effect of focusing people on immigration issues.
CRUZ: When it comes to Donald Trump, I like Donald Trump. He’s bold, he’s brash, and I get that it seems the favorite sport of the Washington media is to encourage some Republicans to attack other Republicans. I ain’t going to do it. I’m not interested in Republican on Republican violence.

CHUCK TODD: But rhetoric matters? Doesn’t rhetoric matter?

CRUZ: I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. The Washington cartel doesn’t want to address that. The Washington cartel doesn’t believe we need to secure the borders. The Washington cartel supports amnesty, and I think amnesty is wrong and I salute Donald Trump for focusing on it. He has a colorful way of speaking. It is not the way I speak. But I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans. I’m just not going to do it.

Every syllable of every sentence of that response is hot, flaming garbage.

First of all, Cruz is joining in on what is apparently the new, fun game for prominent conservatives – credit Trump for saying things he didn’t actually say. Nothing about Trump’s comments bring any focus or clarity to the immigration debate. He called undocumented immigrants rapists. Trying to argue that he did anything else is making excuses for bigotry.

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