Senator Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy

There is an abundance of conservative political commentators in the media, particularly on the radio. We are all familiar with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter. Of these, by far, the most popular is Rush Limbaugh, who is trying to appeal to the Latino community by translating his name into Spanish as “El Rushbo.”

“El Rushbo” opened his March 23 radio show by saying: “Some guy who has only been a senator for a short time, some guy without any real executive experience, some guy whose biggest qualification is he went to Harvard Law School, some with a foreign name and mixed ethnic background, some guy who has questions about his birth certificate, have you heard this guy’s running for president?”.

This was a nice lead on the part of Rush to make his listeners think that he was referring to Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy in 2007. But, no, he was actually referring to Ted Cruz’s presidential candidacy in 2015.

Cruz was elected in 2012 in the Republican line as the first United States senator from Texas of Latino origin. He was born in Calgary, Canada, to a father, who, interestingly enough, had fought up to 1957 for the 26th of July Movement, a Cuban guerrilla group led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, among others.

In 2011 real-estate billionaire Donald Trump started a relentless campaign to have President Obama release a certified copy of his original long-form birth certificate, which Obama finally did after having been subjected to a two-month harassment. “El Donaldo,” as Trump’s name may be translated into Spanish, said that he was “honored” and “proud” of having forced Obama into having done this.

Now Trump is back at it. “El Donaldo,” who is considering a presidential run of its own, in March 23 attempted to deflate Cruz’s prospects by saying about him: “He was born in Canada. If you know and when we all studied our history lessons, you’re supposed to be born in this country.”

A poll among GOP primary voters published 12 days earlier in The Wall Street Journal indicated that 38 percent couldn’t see supporting Cruz whereas 40 percent could see supporting him, figures that compare favorably with those of “El Donaldo,” which are 74 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

On April 8 Bloomberg Politics reported that Cruz had raised an unprecedented $ 31 million in less than a week for his presidential campaign. The money comes from four super-political action committees (PACs) operating under the umbrella name of Keep the Promise. An article on the same date in The New York Times added that the funds would allow Cruz “to compete financially with establishment-backed candidates like Jeb Bush.” In fact, the document filed by the super-PACs with the Federal Election Commission says: “Keep the Promise can provide the appropriate air cover in the battle against Senator’s Cruz’s opponents in the Washington establishment… We plan to support the effort of millions of courageous conservatives who believe 2016 is our last opportunity to keep the promise of America for future generations.”

A look at the senator’s campaign website “Cruz for President” doesn’t offer much information on immigration issues. It basically only says that Cruz authored “legislation to streamline and simplify our legal immigration system by consolidating segmented visas, creating real and transparent caps, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and treating all immigrants equally by eliminating the per-country caps.”

But this brief description on the website seems benign toward the immigrants when seen side-by-side with the position on immigration of the Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney, which was self-deportation. In other words, Romney encouraged immigrants to go back to their countries of origin by their own will before being forcefully deported by the U.S. government if he were elected.

Lastly, on Dec. 17 Cruz suggested that the U.S. should stay the course regarding the stranglehold of the embargo policy against Cuba, which, he said, has left this island “gasping for air.”

Cruz added that right when Cuba is “feeling the maximum pain,” Obama is trying to throw it “an economic lifeline” that will help the continuation of “the brutal repression and dictatorship of the Castro brothers.”  

About the author: Miguel Balbuena is a writer in the academic, scientific, journalistic and literary fields (in the fiction and non-fiction genres).

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