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Texas-talking Ted Cruz welcomed like a Miami son by Miami-Dade GOP

Ted Cruz had a Miami homecoming Friday, even though the firebrand U.S. Senator is from Texas.

The son of a Cuban exile, Cruz was welcomed as a long-lost son by the Miami-Dade Republican Party at its Lincoln Day Dinner, an annual fundraiser he helped sell out and amp up by giving a note-less conservative stem-winder that criticized President Obama for everything from domestic spying to his “feckless and naïve foreign policy.”

But it was Cruz’s Cuban roots that made him like a Miami son.

“Like many people in this room, my dad was born in Cuba, in Matanzas,” Cruz said as he opened up, drawing applause from the 500 or so attendees.

“And like many people in this room, he experienced oppression in Cuba. He was thrown in prison in tortured by Batista. And his sister was thrown in prison and tortured by Castro,” Cruz said.

When Cruz asked “everyone in this room who is an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, please stand up,” nearly everyone did. Miami-Dade is the only major urban county in the country where a majority of the GOP, 72 percent, is Hispanic, nearly all Cuban.

One of the few signs Cruz isn’t from Miami or Florida: He came onstage to the “Yellow Rose of Texas.” He also boasted about the San Antonio spurs NBA win over the Miami Heat, earning a few good natured boos.

A major difference between Cruz and the crowd: his Texas-conservative positions on immigration-reform are little tougher than those of many Miami-Dade Republicans, including his fellow U.S. Senator, Marco Rubio.

Rubio was a sponsor of the so-called “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration reform bill, which Cruz called “amnesty” because it seeks to provide a pathway to citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the United States.

“Amnesty – No. 1 – is profoundly unfair to the millions of legal immigrants to the millions of men and women and children who waited in line years, sometimes decades,” Cruz said. “But No. 2: Amnesty inevitably encourages more illegal immigration.”

Rubio, out of town for the fundraiser, has said that the “system we have now is de facto amnesty.”

Cruz didn’t directly criticize Rubio and gave him a shout-out during his speech.

Earlier, in brief remarks to reporters, Cruz laid blame for the failure of comprehensive immigration reform at the feet of Democrats, whom he accused of having an all-or-nothing approach to the issue because they insist on a path to citizenship.

That stance conflicts sharply with what immigration reform supporters, such as Miami’s Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia, contend – that a version of the Senate bill would pass the House today if House Speaker John Boenher allowed an up-or-down vote.

Another Miami congressman intimately involved in immigration policy, Republican Mario Diaz-Balart, is still holding out hope that Boehner will schedule a vote.

But the speaker won’t yet, indicating that he wants a majority of the Republican caucus to say it’s ok. Time is running out, however, in this Congress.

A common tie between all the lawmakers: They’re Cuban-Americans. Along with Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey, all the Senate’s Hispanic members are Cuban-Americans.

“It’s a point of pride,” said Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera:

Added Nelson Diaz, the county’s GOP chair: “Cubans occupy three percent of the United States Senate – it’s extraordinary,” “Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are sons of this community.”

The Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, described the two men as two far right, saying in a written statement that Rubio “Marco Rubio gladly joined Ted Cruz in shutting down our government, hurting thousands of Florida workers, children, seniors, and veterans.”

But to the Miami-Dade Republicans, outnumbered in a Democratic-leaning county, they don’t hear enough from the likes of Rubio and Cruz.

Cruz earned loud support for bashing Common Core, the interstate educational standards effort that conservatives increasingly oppose as “Obama Core.” The county GOP opposed it in September, a slap at Miami resident and former Gov. Jeb Bush, a possible presidential candidate along with Rubio and Cruz.

The applause grew louder still when Cruz said “Mr. Maduro in Venezuela, free Leopoldo Lopez.”

And they rose to their feet when he nearly yelled: “And Mr. Castro, free the people of Cuba!”

He then kept the crowd by quoting his father, Rafael Cruz: “I lost my freedom once in Cuba. I’ll die before I let it happen again.”

It was another sign that Cruz, far from his home in Texas, was right at home in Miami.

Comments

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James in South Dade

No reference to David Rivera?

Can't take anymore

So much for Hispanic political solidarity. Cruz (is he Canadian, Cuban, American or Texan?) slams the hopes of Central American and Mexican undocumented migrants while arriving Cubans continue to enjoy absolutely no restrictions and are welcomed as soon as they touch land here with Food Stamps, housing assistance, a "green card" so they can be legally employed right away and access to free medical care. Glad he got such a rousing welcome from this pompous bunch of ingrates.

ed jenkins

This guest speaker that the county has invited has not said anything that is profound since all floridians are aware of the dangers of communist dictatorships. However democrat primary voters including this one are disgusted that party leaders have allowed a most horrible person the scumbag crist to continue to receive party leader preferred status after he supported communist dictators in Cuba, something highly offensive to the voters of florida. It is not too late to replace this most hated former governor with someone that can win the election, if not democrat primary voters have already decided to support the nancy lady.

Bill Thompson

This horrible man is better off staying lost and should go back to Canada, his country of birth. He led the GOP controlled U.S. House of Representatives down a dead-end ally in the fight to repeal the ACA with no exit and no strategy for winning, then threw them under the bus. He got them to shut down the government when they knew that the senate and the white house were never going to allow the ACA to be repealed. He's just another egomaniac politician looking to feather his own nest who has no clue how to be a legislator.

Highly paid Republican consultant

I believe Mr Thompson is making a valid point that Ted Cruz as Senator was the driving force behind the House's decision to try to shut down the government.

D. I am surprised you missed that. You are usually so well written and astute?

Bill Thompson

The readers urge the dummy, dimwitted commentator identified as D to take a remedial reading class, since he must not have been paying attention the first time he took it. The readers also urge the dullard, dopey commentator identified as D to attempt to keep up with political events taking place in Washington, D.C. so that he may be informed before making himself look like the dolt and dumbbell that he is.

Bill Thompson

The readers have one additional message for the dimwitted, dopey, dumb, demented commentator known as D-- that he should also take a remedial writing class because he was obviously absent the year it was taught in school. The word "leach" is a transitive verb, not a noun and it means to remove a chemical or metal from a substance by the action of a liquid passing through the substance. The readers urge the dullard D to learn the meaning of the words he uses before he uses them.

harry Houdini

You ALL should go to an official "swearing in" ceremony of LEGAL immigrants who not only waited their turn in line but studied the official language of the United States of America, read about our inspiring history and came to the ceremony waving American Flags and PROUDLY reciting our PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. I will guarantee that none of those new Americans will ever raise their old native flag on top of OLD GLORY.

Attend the next citizen swearing in ceremony and see for yourself if you REALLY want to see the true value of LEGAL immigration in this country.

ed jenkins

The readers appreciate the wise comments of this reincarnated Houdini.

The readers are disturbed that some horrible people have used their hometown paper that is read by children and families as a venue for fighting with vile language. It appears that this "D" and bill thompson have problems with each other from past history in their lives which should be handled away from this paper and the readers would appreciate the owners of this paper preventing these most horrible people from continuing to desecrate this paper.

Elizabeth Lopez PhD

It is apparent to me, after many years of private practice, that Mr. D has some serious passive-aggressive issues that could be helped with professional help and I urge him to seek out a mental health professional for assistance. This is an issue that has probably followed him all his life and, as a result, has left him an angry and bitter man.

Highly paid Republican consultant

The learned Dr. Lopez has diagnosed D.

But when will she get around to ed jenkins?

After that she can do me!

D

Shut the hell up you loser who goes by highly paid consultant/operative or whatever, elizabeth lopez and a few other names, nobody is buying your crap. You are all the same person. What kind of a moron would think people would believe them posting on some newspaper website as a party insider. You are a democrat loser just like that welfare collecting leach and loser thompson.

Highly paid Republican consultant

D. I have always been supportive of your astute postings.

Is that any way to be treating a friend?

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