Texas Sen. and presidential candidate Ted Cruz is doubling down on his hostile comments about "New York values" after facing criticism from local politicians. Zack Fink filed the following report.
Ted Cruz isn't backing down.
Asked if he would apologize for his disparaging comments about New York values in a presidential debate on Thursday night, Cruz said he was sorry while campaigning in South Carolina. Well, not quite.
"Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio have all demanded an apology. And I'm happy to apologize. I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who've been let down by liberal politicians in that state. I apologize to the hard-working men and women of the state of New York who've been denied jobs because Governor Cuomo won't allow fracking even though there have been many high-paying jobs just south in Pennsylvania. New Yorkers are denied the ability to provide for their families. I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-Second Amendment New Yorkers who were told by Governor Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that's not who New Yorkers are. I apologize to all the small businesses who've been driven out of New York City by crushing taxes and regulations. I apologize to all of the African-American children who Mayor De Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools that were providing a lifeline to the American dream. And I apologize to all the cops and the firefighters and 9/11 heroes who had no choice but to stand and turn their backs on Mayor de Blasio because Mayor de Blasio over and over again stands with the looters and criminals rather than the brave men and women of blue. But I do have, but I do have good news. To the good people of New York, I believe 2016 is going to be an election like 1980 and help is the on the way. People are waking up, and just like millions of New Yorkers, they are fed up with policies that don't fight for the working men and women of this country but instead further the elite liberal views that have taken this country down a path that is not working," Cruz said to reporters Friday.
Cruz made his initial comments during a clash with Donald Trump at Thursday night's GOP debate in South Carolina.
"Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal, pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage, focused around money and the media. Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan," Cruz said.
"New York is a great place. It's got great people. It's got loving people, wonderful people. When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York," Trump responded.
The fallout from Cruz's comments in Thursday's debate were swift Thursday, when GOP rival Donald Trump immediately defended New Yorkers, and it continued early in the day Friday. There was a punchy headline from the New York Daily News, and Governor Andrew Cuomo called into several media outlets, including NY1, to voice his disgust.
"If he had any class, he would apologize to the people of New York," Cuomo said. Not that I believe they need it or they want it. But if he had any class he would apologize."
Later in the morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has been feuding publicly with Cuomo, had the governor's back.
"I also find it very ironic that Ted Cruz does not hesitate to come to New York City to raise millions and millions of dollars. I find it very ironic that Ted Cruz went running to Goldman Sachs when he needed a big loan," the mayor said. "So he has no trouble taking money from New York City, but he's quick to insult our people and our values."
It wasn't just the mayor and the governor who put aside their differences.
Hillary Clinton, vying for the Democratic nomination for President, who has traded nasty barbs with Trump over the last several weeks tweeted, "Just this once, Trump's right: New Yorkers value hard work, diversity, tolerance, resilience and building better lives for our families."
And writing in the Daily News, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, once a rival of Clinton's, called Cruz's comments "shocking."
What's unusual about this presidential race is that we are less than a month away from the first primaries and there are still three prominent New Yorkers in the race. Not only Trump and Clinton, but also Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who was raised in Brooklyn.