On Thursday night, a talk radio personality and Fox News analyst said that Ted Cruz’s attack on “New York values” was a veiled slur against Jewish people. Two Fox News hosts vehemently disagreed, and Cruz’s record shows no animosity to those of the Hebrew faith or demographic.
Radio personality Geraldo Rivera predicted that Ted Cruz’s reference to “New York Values” during a debate in January would doom his candidacy in the Empire State. There is some evidence to support this, with Cruz running third in the polls, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani declaring his vote for Trump, and John Kasich’s campaign running a wide-ranging ad buy focused on the comments. Rivera only went too far when he declared that these statements were anti-Semitic.
I think that he’s going to get routed in New York, and deservedly so. Aside from the stinking, anti-Semitic implications that I see in that “New York values” money and media coded message that he put out there…
At this point, Fox host Bill O’Reilly cut Rivera off, saying, “Come on.” Rivera also listed some Cruz votes which will likely look bad to New Yorkers, and O’Reilly agreed on those points, but the Fox host responded vehemently to Rivera’s claim that Cruz’s comments were anti-Semitic. “If he says ‘New York values’ to a bunch of evangelicals, that’s not anti-Semitic, he’s pointing to DeBlasio, to Cuomo, to the progressive crew.”
Rivera shot back, however, asking, “Why didn’t he say that? He could have easily said, not ‘New York values,’ but Democratic, liberal, free-spending, welfare. There’s a million ways he could have said it that he did not. He chose that very cunningly.”
The biggest problem with Rivera’s comment is that Cruz did say these things, loud and clear, in an “apology” after the debate.
“I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state.” He apologized for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking, which provided “many high-paying jobs just south in Pennsylvania.” Cruz added, “I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-Second Amendment New Yorkers who were told by Governor Cuomo that they have no place in New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” Finally, he apologized to small businesses “driven out of New York City by crushing taxes and regulations.”
Rivera overlooked this “apology” in asking why Cruz did not specify that his comments were geared toward liberal values. O’Reilly countered by asking, “Why didn’t Trump say that David Duke was a bad guy?”
Therein lies the utter irony in Rivera’s statement. Donald Trump’s campaign has attracted a small group of true racist supporters, and The Donald refused to disavow Klu Klux Klan (KKK) leader David Duke in a well-publicized interview (he has disavowed both Duke and the KKK numerous times before and since). Trump’s record is mostly in support of Jews and Israel, but his campaign has attracted outspoken racists.
More on point, Cruz has always been a steadfast supporter of Israel and the Jewish community. Just on Thursday, Cruz visited a Jewish bakery in Brooklyn, rolling out the unleavened bread and joining in singing the Passover song “Dayenu.” Politico reports that the Texas senator has been wooing the Orthodox Jewish community since well before he started running for president.
When Bill O’Reilly declared, “This anti-Semitic business is bull,” and Fox host Eric Bolling added, “there’s nothing anti-Semitic about what he said,” they were less offering an opinion and more stating the obvious facts. For Rivera to declare that Cruz is an anti-Semite, using coded language, is just plain absurd.
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