Ted Cruz Opens His Mouth At The Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce And Idiocy Falls Out

Ted Cruz was heavily criticized for not attending the annual summit meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in March. So he spoke before the organization on Wednesday to clarify where he stands on issues the group cares about. Unfortunately for Cruz, he stunned them with his dumbness.

First of all, he tried to tell the group that Obama’s immigration policies are a scare tactic — an attempt to terrify, uh … Hispanics. He said:

“I think they are treating immigration as a political cudgel, where they want to use it to scare the Hispanic community. Their objective is to have the Hispanic community vote monolithically Democrat as, unfortunately, they have succeeded in scaring the African-American community to do that.”

Say what? Policies that would benefit countless families in the Hispanic community are a scare tactic? And African-Americans have been similarly terrified? This only makes sense if Cruz adds that both communities vote Democratic out of fear of Cruz and his ilk in the Republican Party. Now that’s an effective scare tactic!

The senator tried to make the case that the Hispanic community is fundamentally conservative. Here’s one reason he gave:

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Hispanic panhandler. And the reason is: In our community it would be shameful to be begging on the street.”

Sure, if you say you’ve never seen one, they don’t exist. And whether or not they exist shows whether or not the community is conservative. That ought to send a bunch of liberal pundits out looking for Hispanic panhandlers to interview.

But he has another reason:

“I think the Hispanic community is a fundamentally conservative community. If you look at the values that resonate in our community, they’re faith, family, patriotism, hard work.”

Because, what?  You have to be fundamentally conservative to hold those values? In the household where he grew up, that may have been true. His Cuban émigré, preacher father is fundamentally conservative, as many Cuban exiles from that generation are. However, the Hispanic community — including younger Cuban-Americans — is much vaster, complex, and diverse. And Americans may have embraced Cuban exiles, but many in the larger Hispanic community have had a far different experience.

At least Cruz’s next point didn’t focus on the Hispanic audience, so perhaps it didn’t have them squirming in their seats. Cruz decided to show the audience how adept he is at making pretzels. He tried to link the economic policies of Presidents Obama and Carter:

“Historically, the economy has grown 3.3 percent a year since World War II. There are only two four-year periods where growth averaged less than 1 percent: 1978 to 1982, coming out of the Jimmy Carter administration, and 2008 to 2012. Same failed economic policies.”

Except, he’s comparing apples and oranges, as is abundantly clear in a breakdown of the facts by the Washington Post. The first period Cruz is talking about culminates in the second year of Ronald Reagan’s first term, a fact he dismisses because the economy was “coming out of the Carter administration.” But the second period culminates in the first year of Obama’s first term, which means the economy was ‘coming out of’ the Bush administration.

Plus, Cruz’s statement that there’ve been “only two four-year periods where growth averaged less than 1 percent” since WWII is just flat-out wrong. There have been more. The Washington Post called his bullshit “pure rhetoric and zero substance.”

Does the senator really think an audience of businessmen can’t see through him? Does he disrespect their intelligence that much?

There is more, including Cruz’s statement that President Obama has “inflamed racial tensions” — but there’s only so much dumb-muckery that a human brain can be expected to take at once.

Chamber President Javier Palomarez said that Cruz’s appearance on Wednesday was to “set the record straight.” He certainly accomplished that — much to Democrats’ delight.


Feature photo adapted from Gage Skidmore on Flickr.