Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz ripped President Obama on Wednesday with scathing remarks about Obama’s role in the epidemic of racial episodes that has gripped the country.
And he urged his Hispanic audience to not allow Democrats to do to Latinos what they’ve done to black Americans – fool them into lockstep support for the party no matter what damage it does to the community.
“He’s made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions, that have divided us, rather than bringing us together,” Cruz said as he addressed a crowd at a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce event in Washington.
Obama spoke on Tuesday about the growing – and often violent – rallies that ignited in Baltimore and around the country after the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who died April 19 in police custody. Obama said America has a “slow-rolling” crisis in minority communities, the Hill reported.
Cruz criticized Obama for being a catalyst in growing racial tension that’s pitting Americans against each other.
“He has exacerbated racial misunderstanding, racial tensions,” Cruz said.
“And part of the problem is the way he advocates for any given plan to build a straw man and then vilify a caricature.”
Cruz said he will be a uniter if elected president and fielded a series of tough questions on immigration and other issues from Chamber President Javier Palomarez.
“I think [Democrats] are treating immigration as a political cudgel, where they want to use it to scare the Hispanic community,” Cruz said.
“Their object is to have the Hispanic community vote monolithically Democrat as, unfortunately, they have succeeded in scaring the African-American community to do.”
Cruz defended against media criticism over his Spanish-speaking ad that didn’t mention Obamacare and immigration like his campaign’s English-speaking ad had featured, according to the Hill.
“My messaging is going to be consistent throughout,” Cruz insisted, and said his “views are not hard to figure out.”
He maintained that Hispanics are a “fundamentally conservative community.”
“If you look at the values that resonate in our community, they are faith, family patriotism, and hard work.”
Cruz said he’s never seen a Hispanic panhandler because “in our community it would be shameful to be begging in the street.”
Cruz said he hopes to bring people together and build on hard working principles as he courts the Hispanic vote, but admitted it will be an uphill battle.
“[The media] are not neutral observers. The media are Barack Obama’s chief protectors right now and no one is more ‘Ready for Hillary’ than the mainstream media,” Cruz said.
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