Doubling down after derisive ‘New York values’ statement only makes it worse.
Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz should apologize for his “New York values” remarks made at a January debate, rather than try to explain them away, said LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham.
Appearing on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” Ingraham stressed the extent of Cruz’s blunder, arguing he should have known better than to make such a remark.
Cruz “knows New York and he has to know [that] it’s a very diverse place,” she said. “You have immigrants, you have the finance capital, media capital, communications capital — upstate was nailed by globalization [and] deindustrialization … So he knows it’s a complex place, it’s a rich stew of voters.” But if Cruz’s words were poorly thought out to begin with, New Yorkers’ fierce pride makes them all the worse.
“New Yorkers have a long memory,” Ingraham said. “It’s ‘don’t mess with Texas,’ but if you talk to New Yorkers, they’re like, ‘Don’t even think about messing with New York,’” she said.
Donald Trump has taken the ammunition Cruz so helpfully provided and used it to full effect. “Do you remember during the debate when he started lecturing me on New York values, like we’re no good?” Trump reminded an enthusiastic crowd in Bethpage, New York, on Thursday. “I’ve got this guy standing over there, looking at me, talking about New York values with scorn on his face — with hatred — with hatred of New York.”
But Cruz has only doubled down on his comments. “The people of New York know exactly what those values are,” he told reporters in the Bronx on Wednesday. “They’re the values of liberal Democrats like Andrew Cuomo, like Anthony Weiner, like Eliot Spitzer, like Charlie Rangel, all of whom Donald Trump has supported,” Cruz said.
But Cruz’s determination to stand by his remarks is only making things worse, according to Ingraham. “It’s not like Texas is all conservative,” she said. “So you wouldn’t go to Texas and say, ‘Austin, Texas, is liberal [and] all those musicians are horrible.’
“If I were advising [Cruz] I’d say, ‘Ted, obviously you shouldn’t have said it, we know what you meant, but New Yorkers are taking it a different way, so deal with it head on and don’t say, well I was talking about the liberals in New York,'” she said. “I’d play it maybe a little more contrite than he’s done it.”
Despite his gaffe, Ingraham praised Cruz’s willingness to campaign in the city. “I respect the fact that he’s there,” she said. “He’s not playing as a regional candidate, and Trump isn’t either,” Ingraham said.
“You cannot be a powerful movement candidate if you relegate yourself to a region,” said Ingraham. Unfortunately Cruz came dangerously close to doing just that with his New York values comment, and continues to run the risk of doing so absent an apology.
“He’s got to say he misspoke on that,” Ingraham said. “It’s not going to go away, at least in New York.”