by Isabel Matos
REPUBLICAN PARTY OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY
2014 LINCOLN DAY DINNER – KEYNOTE – SENATOR TED CRUZ
It was reported that Marco Rubio had turned down the opportunity to deliver the keynote speech at Friday night’s event. He instead made a taped appearance at the beginning, while Ted won over the 500-plus Republicans he left behind. Cruz’s speech focused on criticizing Obama, which he framed as follows:
How we can turn this nation around:
1. Champion Growth and Opportunity
2. Defend the Constitution
3. Restore America’s Leadership
- He criticized NSA spying, asked all to turn their phones on to make sure Obama listened to every word he said.
- He called his foreign policy “feckless and naïve.”
- “Like many people in this room, my dad was born in Cuba, in Matanzas, 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 asked “everyone in this room who is an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, please stand up,” nearly everyone (500 plus attendees) 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.
- He was introduced and came on stage with “The Yellow Rose of Texas” playing.
- He boasted about the San Antonio spurs NBA win over the Miami Heat, earning a few good-natured boos.
Ted Cruz gave a shout out to Rubio but did not mention him by name when talking about “amnesty” which provides a pathway to citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States. He said:
“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. But — No. 2 — Amnesty inevitably encourages more illegal immigration.” Cruz laid the 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. Governor Rick Scott, who recently passed giving illegals instate tuition, was not present.