Updated: July 12, 2018
By BOB PALMER
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex, came to Jefferson July 5 to discover if Marion County was on his side. The overflow crowd at Joseph’s Riverport Barbecue, however, wanted to know if Cruz, who appears to be in the fight of his political life, was on their side.
Cruz told a packed house Thursday Republicans have made substantial progress on their top four priorities following the 2016 election: taxes, jobs, Obamacare, and judges.
Headway on the top four 2016 campaign promises will help make more Republican voters in the future, Cruz said.
“We passed the largest tax cut in a generation,” Cruz told an appreciative audience. “We doubled the child tax credit. We doubled the individual deduction.”
Cruz said every branch of the Trump Administration has reduced regulations.
A booming economy with the lowest unemployment rate in decades are the result of these moves, Cruz claimed.
The freshman senator now faces Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke (TX-16) in the November general election where polls show him an average of 8.2 points ahead of O’Rourke in a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic senator since Lloyd Bentsen. In 2012, Cruz won by a margin of 16 points.
When questioned about why don’t Republicans “support Trump the way they should,” Cruz touted his alliance building skills. “I am trying to bring 50 senators together to support President Trump,” Cruz said. “I am also encouraging the administration to go in the right direction.”
Cruz did not hesitate to voice his support for erecting the border wall advocated by Pres. Trump when he was asked, “Are you going to work with Trump to build the wall?” Cruz replied, “Absolutely yes.” However, in addition to the physical wall, the senator also wanted enhanced technology and more boots on the ground. He also advocated using money seized from drug lords to pay for the wall.
“We also must stop catch and release,” Cruz said. He noted the policy only encouraged more illegal immigrants to attempt to cross the border.
Cruz did say he supported keeping children with their parents, but they should remain in custody until a speedy hearing can determine if they should be granted asylum or returned to their home country. He noted most of the children attempting to cross the border, however, were not with their parents.
Cruz also blasted Democrats for supporting “Pro Choice.”
“I haven’t looked at the details, yet,” Cruz said.
After some Caddo Lake residents informed the senator of the bill’s sponsor, Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Cruz attempted to ease local concerns by calling Gohmert “a very good man” and a “principled man” declaring he “certainly wants to respect property rights.” He vowed to have his staff reach out to Gohmert’s staff on the bill.
The Jimplecute reached out the Cruz campaign Friday to follow-up on his remarks. His spokesman replied Tuesday saying, “Sen. Cruz has long led efforts to protect the rights of private landowners and rein in federal overreach. With that in mind, Sen. Cruz is in the process of reviewing Congressman Gohmert’s legislation to integrate Caddo Lake into a larger National Heritage Area and is taking into consideration community input on the matter. As Sen. Cruz has said, he believes Congressman Gohmert is a principled man who respects private property rights and advocates for policies that protect these rights, and he will continue to study the issue.”
● Read Gohmert Press Release: FAQs on The Caddo Lake National Heritage Act of 2018
“Q: Does the designation of a National Heritage Area curtail private property
rights? A: No. The enabling legislation within the Caddo Lake National Heritage Area
Act of 2018 contains the strictest private property protection language in any such
enabling bill. Further, A GAO report in which a survey of every existing National
Heritage Area was conducted, not a “single example of a heritage area directly
affecting—positively or negatively—private property values or use” was found.”
►Watch Marion County residents ask Cruz about Caddo Lake’s Last Stand:
Taking the opportunity to change the subject after the Caddo Lake inquiries, the founder of the Collins Academy, Dick Collins, asked Cruz, “Who is going to be the Supreme Court nominee? Is it going to be Mike Lee?”
The event occurred five days before President Trump announced his selection of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh for the high court. Thursday, Cruz praised the Trump Administration in its choice of judicial appointments and announced his support for U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to fill the spot on the Supreme Court bench being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Cruz hailed Lee as a “faithful Constitutionalist.”
Cruz slammed O’Rouke’s statement that he was “open to abolishing ICE” as “that’s nuts.” “That is an extreme and radical position. That’s not a reasonable policy position,” Cruz said. The senator continued to attack his Democratic opponent by alerting his audience that O’Rouke wanted to kill the tax cuts, revive Obama care, supports sanctuary cities, opposes a border wall.
A second salient moment in the exchange was in regard to illegal immigration when a questioner asked how can the US can provide housing and food for illegal immigrants while her sister with Down’s syndrome was not allowed to continue attending her school because the district could not afford to hire a special education teacher for her. However the district was able to hire three ESL teachers that year.
Cruz quickly reiterated he did not support long term housing for illegal immigrants. He continued to explain his plan of sending a corps of judges the southern border to expedite asylum hearings while families were allowed to stay together.
The questioner interrupted Cruz by asserting, “So wouldn’t the better option be just to fund the wall, build the wall, stop the immigration completely and if they want to come in, it’s called the port of entry?” The crowd erupted in applause and Cruz jovially responded, “You are preaching to the choir.”
To which the young woman said, “I’m just making sure you are on our team.”
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