GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz is not backing down from his derisive comments about “New York values.”
Although originally targeted at New York rival Donald Trump, the Texas senator’s jabs at Gotham as socially liberal in a radio intervew and at the GOP presidential debate Thursday night in South Carolina have taken on a life of their own.
New York city lawmakers of all political stripes have bandied together to call out Cruz. Hillary Clinton even tweeted that “just this once” Trump was right with his graceful defense of the city in its response to 9/11.
The famously aggressive New York media have gone full bore against Cruz. The New York Daily News has had for two days mocked Cruz on the front-page, with today’s “Slime Doesn’t Pay, Ted” for Cruz fund-raising from New Yorkers while insulting them, following Friday’s vintage “Drop Dead, Ted” which featured the Statue of Liberty making an obscene gesture and included a sub-headline “Go back to Canada.”
But Cruz’s response has been to double-down: Saturday he released a video of Trump saying in 1999 that "Hey, I lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life so my views are a little bit different than if I lived in Iowa, perhaps, but [gays openly serving in the military] is not something that would disturb me."
Cruz said at the debate, "Listen, there are many, many wonderful, wonderful working men and women in the state of New York. But everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay-marriage, focus around money and the media."
And he issued an elaborate “apology” Friday on the conservative radio show of Sean Hannity that was a taunting list of Democratic politicians and liberal causes.
“Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio have all demanded an apology,” he said referring to the Democratic presidential frontrunner who is a former New York senator, the New York governor and the mayor of New York City. “I'm happy to apologize:
I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have 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 have been denied jobs because Governor Cuomo won't allow fracking. Even though there had 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.”
All of which generated a series of caustic Tweets from Trump: