There are more than 1.4 million people in the Bronx — but Ted Cruz couldn’t even muster 100 at a campaign event in Parkchester with state Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a conservative Christian minister.
Cruz visited the Sabrosura Chinese-Dominican restaurant, where Diaz said the presidential candidate could “listen to the social, economic and spiritual needs of our community” while dining with other clergymen on the eatery’s famed fried rice and plantains.
Aside from about 70 ministers affiliated with Diaz, only a dozen voters turned up — and two of them were tossed out after screaming protests about the Texas senator’s hardline stance on immigration.
“He is anti-immigrant. He denies climate change. He’s a right-winged bigot and he’s not welcomed here,” said protester Rebel Diaz (no relation to the senator).
Cruz, meanwhile, doubled down on his assault on “New York values,” though he re-branded his message to make it easier for conservative New Yorkers to swallow by calling them “liberal Democratic values” and linking them to 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 about the Trump campaign’s charge that he broke federal election laws by colluding with Super PACs, Cruz offered a sarcastic answer.
“Donald can always be counted on to take the high road and to demonstrate class. If he wants to engage in insults he’s welcome to do so. He gets very angry when the voters reject him,” Cruz said.
He also unloaded on Mayor de Blasio for not supporting charter school expansion or the NYPD.
“One of the first things he did was try to shut down charter schools in Harlem because he is captive to the union bosses who control him. So one of his first actions was to try to throw young African-American and Hispanic kids out of the schools that were giving them hope,” Cruz said.
“Every time there is a confrontation between criminals and cops he sides with the criminals, looters and rioters instead of the police officers.”
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.
Before the event with the conservative state senator, his son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., slammed Cruz as a hypocrite at a press conference arranged by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“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,” Diaz said. “We in the Bronx know how offensive he’s been. We know the truth about our borough.”
Also Wednesday, cruz picked up an endorsement from New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, the PAC representing New York’s evangelical Christians.