Why Hispanic Conservatives say Cruz is as bad or “worse” than Trump

header-hoover-institution-fellows1-1by Alex Gonzalez

Hispanic conservative leaders express worry after meeting with Ted Cruz's presidential campaign Monday in Las Vegas. The leaders met with a number of leading GOP campaigns ahead of the fifth Republican debate Tuesday.
Hispanic conservative leaders express worry after meeting with Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign Monday in Las Vegas. The leaders met with a number of leading GOP campaigns ahead of the fifth Republican debate Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning Alex Castellanos told Moring Joe cast that Ted Cruz was a danger for the Republican Party nomination because it would make Goldwater nomination “look like the GOP won the Super Bowl.”

This comment by Castellano followed a statements made by  Hispanic Conservatives in Las Vegas on the eve of the GOP debated.

For Castellanos, Ted Cruz is only concerned with agitating a “shrinking” white Evangelical base. Cruz believes that if Evangelicals turnout is bigger numbers than those in 2012, republicans will elect the next  president, he has argued this repeatedly. However, Cruz’s harsh and typical ill-mannered rhetoric toward immigrants and the republican party will turn off many voters, Castellanos argues,  who will vote for Hillary Clinton instead, and thereby, turning the 2016 into a greater lost than Goldwater defeat in 1964.

For Hispanic conservatives who gathered in Colorado, the pressing issue was more with harsh, and unrealistic views of “self-deportation” of undocumented Hispanic immigrants; let’s not kid ourselves, this is about Hispanic immigrants.

Alfonso Aguilar from  American Principles Project’s Latino Partnership argued that:after meeting with Cruz’s Campaign,  Ted Cruz  is only interested in self-deportation.

“They don’t like to use the term self-deportation, but for all intents and purposes, that’s really what self-deportation means, So we learned today, to our dismay that Sen. Cruz believes in attrition through enforcement, or … no legalization whatsoever.”

The position, Aguilar later told reporters, is “perhaps even worse” than Donald Trump’s plan for dealing with people already in the country illegally. 

Thus, these Hispanic conservatives believe that “attrition through enforcement” is a dangerous position to pursue and is risky for the future of the GOP, and  because Cruz consistently  makes references to Hispanic immigrants linking them to terrorists, and thereby, inciting cultural resentment towards immigrants from Mexico, and Latinos in the U.S. And Aguilar is right.

For example, during the  CNN GOP debate last night Cruz stated that:

“The frontline with ISIS isn’t just in Iraq and Syria, it’s also in Kennedy airport and the Rio Grande. Now we’ve seen what happened in San Bernardino. When you’re letting people in, when the FBI can’t vet them, it puts American citizens at risk.”

An this is not the first time Cruz links immigrants who have crossed the border have lived in the U.S. for a long time to terrorism.

Bret Stephens from WSJ succinctly pointed out about claims Cruz made at the Heritage Foundation suggesting that the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino was linked to the Rio Grande river – Hispanic immigrants. But Cruz’s claims about national security and terrorism  are not about Hispanic coming from Mexico swinging the rivers as much as it about  Cruz deceiving  his followers by arguing that terrorists are swimming the Rio Grande river from Mexico to possibly kill Americans. Bret Stephens writes that:

Cruz has thoughts on these and other important matters, but first he wants you to know that he intends to finish the wall along the border with Mexico. And triple the border patrol. And quadruple the number of aircraft patrolling the border.

Why? Because “when terrorists can simply swim across the Rio Grande, we are daring them to make the journey.”

By now, illegal immigration is to the GOP what global warming is to the Democrats: the all-purpose bugaboo that is supposed to explain nearly every problem and whose redress must be part of every solution. But immigration policy is not foreign policy, much less a counterterrorism strategy. And there are probably larger pools of would-be jihadists in Montreal and Vancouver than in Monterrey or Veracruz. Shouldn’t Mr. Cruz call for a wall from Quebec to British Columbia?

During the debate, Cruz never made any references to fact that Canada has more Jihadists than come walk across the US-Canada border with Canadian passport without applying for a visa. But Cruz is not worried about facts or national security as much as he is about  stirring fears within Evangelicals based by insinuating that illegal immigration from Mexico is linked to terrorist.

And traditionally, this type of “hot rhetoric” quickly turns into anti-Hispanic and anti-Mexico sentiments, and he and he has a records of doing this for political opportunism and blaming the Republican Party for falling to “secure the border.”

And this is one of the reservations Hispanics conservatives have with Cruz. He is inciting fear among Evangelicals and creating cultural physiological wall between Hispanic voters, a bloc of voters essential to win the White House. That is precisely the point underscored by Hispanic conservative  in Las Vegas and Alex Castellano. He is systematically setting up an anti-immigrant anti-Hispanic feelings witin the GOP that will make even harder for the Republican Party to win the White House and woo Latino voters.

Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst, Founder of Latino Public Policy Foundation (LPPF), and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to vote@latinosreadytovote.com or @AlexGonzTXCA

1 Comment

  1. I have to confess that I am for Ted Cruz and that you as a writer are entitle to your views. Prior to the American invasion of Mexico, Texas , New Mexico and Monterrey were home to my people. We the Sephardim Jews came here escaping the Spanish Inquisition children of Israel. We were here before the American pilgrims. The Spanish discovery was financed by us the Jews. Many say mistakenly that Columbus was Italian when in fact he was a Crypto Jew. I do subscribe to the idea of having a secure border like the one Israel has with Hamas. Israel not only has the best army in the world and the best special forces but also the best border patrol too. Ours is inefficient in comparison to Israel. Speaking about terrorism it It was Israeli intelligence who warned us of terrorist planning 911 our security forces including Immigration and Naturalization Services granted student visas to most 911 terrorists. They came through our airports. Can we say that all Mexicans crossing the border legally or illegaly are terrorists? How many terrorists attacks have Mexicans orchestrated in American soil recently? I do believe your inflammatory writing has no logic because it is not supporting with numbers. That is your personal perception. You are not an educated writer. I do believe Cruz is correct in not labeling Mexicans who grow in the agricultural fields or service jobs terrorists.

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