WASHINGTON — Ted Cruz has a Latino name. He has a Latino background. And he’s one of the few Latinos to have ever run for the presidential nomination of a major party.
But is he Latino enough?
The Hispanic community in his home state of Texas gave him some but not overwhelming support when he was elected to the Senate in 2012. And mostly Democratic Latinos nationwide are more wary than ever after Cruz’s relentless criticism of immigration reform and the new health care law.
His father is a Cuban exile, and the Republican senator from Texas touts his father fleeing Cuba during the revolution every chance he gets, which usually gets a rousing response from an anti-Castro audience.
In his presidential announcement speech March 23, Cruz spoke of his father’s journey, an immigrant’s journey.
“Imagine for a second the hope that was in his heart as he rode that ferry boat across to Key West, and got on a Greyhound bus to head to Austin, Texas, to begin working, washing dishes, making 50 cents an hour, coming to the one land on Earth that has welcomed so many millions,” he said. “When my dad came to America in 1957, he could not have imagined what lay in store for him.”