Fresh off a double-digit victory in Wisconsin, Ted Cruz landed in Donald Trump's home state Wednesday to declare that the tide in the Republican primary had turned and that the billionaire front-runner knows it.
“He gets very angry when the voters reject him,” Cruz, referring to Trump's reaction to the Wisconsin results, said at a campaign stop in the Bronx. “He has now lost in four states in a row. He likes to yell and scream and insult with a purpose. His statement last night was consistent with that but he has no real solutions.”
Trump's defeat in the Badger State was so stinging that his campaign released a terse statement calling Cruz a “Trojan horse” who is “being used by the party bosses to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump.”
“Donald can always be counted on to take the high road and to demonstrate class,” Cruz told reporters. “If he wants to engage in insults, he's welcome to do so.”
After his victory in Wisconsin, Cruz said he would begin to close the delegate gap with Trump in states like Colorado and North Dakota. Still, Trump leads in overall hunt for delegates, with 743 pledged delegates to Cruz's 517. A candidate will need 1,237 delegates to win in the first round of voting at the party's convention in Cleveland this July or it will move to a contested convention.
‘New York Values’
Tuesday marked the first day of a two-week sprint in New York, which holds its primary on April 19. Throughout the campaign, Cruz has used Trump's home state as a code word for liberal values. After meeting with several Hispanic and black clergy members in the Bronx on Wednesday, Cruz launched into a full-throated defense of his use of “New York values” to describe Trump.
“They're the values that led, for example, Mayor Bill de Blasio, liberal Democrat getting elected mayor, one of the first things he did was try to shutdown charter schools in Harlem. Because he is captive to the union bosses who control him,” Cruz said. “It's the values of the liberal, Democratic politicians that have been hammering the people of New York for a long time.”
The event put the Texas lawmaker square in a heavily Democratic and working-class community where Democrats greatly outnumber Republicans, and the appearance was disrupted by two South Bronx brothers from a rap duo known as Rebel Diaz that said the community has “no place” for Cruz because of his climate change denial and stance against immigration.
At a combination Dominican-Chinese eatery in the Bronx, reporters outnumbered patrons. Later, at a media scrum, Cruz found himself being drowned out by the noise of an elevated subway train.
“I think it will be a challenge for him to win New York, but I strongly support him,” said Catherine Reno, a 30-year-old lawyer from New York who showed up an hour before the event started to meet Cruz. “If he can keep talking about substance and policy he's got a better chance of winning over the undecided voters or people who may have been supporting Trump.”