Jack Knudsen / Breitbart News
TAMPA, Florida — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview here this past weekend at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit (SAS) that “openly racist” commentary from Democrats like a blogger paid by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) and even from even first lady Jill Biden are exacerbating a shift among Hispanic voters already underway from the Democrats to the Republicans.
During the interview, Cruz referenced how Jill Biden called Hispanics “breakfast tacos” in a recent speech in San Antonio and how Gonzalez—the vulnerable Democrat congressman in a South Texas district primed to flip to the GOP for the first time in over a century—paid a blogger who called Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX) “Miss Frijoles,” among other racist attacks.
“Democrats are openly racist,” Cruz said. “Their attitude toward minorities is they want Hispanics, they want African Americans, they want all of us to just stay on the plantation, shut up, and obey them. We saw Jill Biden come down to San Antonio and compare Hispanics—say ‘you are as diverse as breakfast tacos,’ which I got to say, as the son of a Cuban immigrant, is pretty damn offensive. Like, lady, we’re not tacos. By the way, every bit as hysterical, she tried to reference bodegas up in New York and she called them ‘bogedas’ which was a classic, rich, out-of-touch liberal trying to pretend ‘you minority people: shut up and vote for the Democrats,’ like you’re supposed to. The amazing thing about the taco line is that wasn’t a gaffe. That wasn’t like Joe Biden on a foreign trip just saying something stupid into the camera, which he does all the time. That was written into the teleprompters. The White House staff signed off on it. This Biden White House thought it was good to call Hispanics a bunch of tacos, so of course Vicente Gonzalez pays someone to call Mayra Flores ‘Miss Frijoles’ because their view—by the way, we also had a Democratic congressman get on the House floor last week and lambast Clarence Thomas because he is black and he’s married to a white woman.”
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), left, and Rep. Mayra Flores (R-TX). (Photo: Bill Clark/Getty Images)
Cruz continued by noting that the “racism” Democrats espouse is “grotesque,” but he argued they get away with it because, with rare exceptions—he pointed to Breitbart News and Fox News as two outlets willing to regularly call them out—most media outlets ignore it.
“It is grotesque, the racism of Democrats and that they casually throw out these kinds of insults,” Cruz said. “You know what they count on? They count on that the corporate media will never report it and will keep it quiet. You guys will cover it. Fox will cover it. But in the corporate media it doesn’t exist and they will keep it silent forever.”
Those comments about the racial insensitivity of radical leftists came in a broader interview about a shift ongoing in the Hispanic community away from Democrats towards Republicans. Flores, who won a special election in South Texas just a few weeks ago, flipped a congressional seat away from the Democrats that had not gone Republican since Ulysses Grant was President of the United States way back in 1871—just six years after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. This Flores win came after significant gains that former President Donald Trump made in the Hispanic community in the 2020 election and wins from Hispanic GOP candidates and gains among the Hispanic community more broadly for Republicans in November 2020 and again in November 2021 in the Virginia gubernatorial election.
“I think it’s happening. I think it’s going to intensify,” Cruz told Breitbart News of the trend. “The reasons are a couple things. Number one, the Hispanic community is seeing what a train wreck the socialist agenda is. They’re seeing that everyday life is harder under Joe Biden. They’re paying more at the grocery store for food. They’re paying a lot more for gasoline. They’re seeing crime skyrocketing across the country. They’re seeing illegal immigration completely out of control—open borders. And, I think they’re fed up. They’re ticked off, just like the rest of Americans. And I got to say particularly in South Texas. South Texas is overwhelmingly Hispanic and it’s been Democrat for over a hundred years. It has been a bastion of the Democrat Party.”
Not only does Flores have a shot at holding her seat in November—a much taller task than the special election because of redistricting shifting the district more Democrat—but Republicans also have two more Hispanic women candidates in two other South Texas Democrat-held seats in Cassy Garcia and Monica de la Cruz, who similarly have shots at flipping those seats. Cruz predicted a red wave in Hispanic South Texas during this interview with Breitbart News.
“My prediction is I think South Texas is going to turn red this November,” Cruz said. “We saw the first inklings of that with a special election just a few weeks back. It was in a district in Texas that is right along the gulf coast. It runs from south of Corpus Christi all the way down to Brownsville, which is the southern tip of Texas. It’s right on the Mexican border. It is the second most Hispanic district in the United States of America and when we had the special election they elected a Republican—and not just a Republican, a Hispanic woman. The last time that district had a Republican member of Congress was 1871. That’s a big, big deal. There are two other districts next to it, both of which are represented right now by Democrats. I think we have a great shot at flipping all three of those districts and electing three Republicans—all Hispanic women who are conservatives—and one of the big drivers particularly in South Texas is they see firsthand the misery and suffering caused by Biden’s open borders policies. They see their hospitals overflowing, they see their schools overflowing, they see prisons overflowing, they see children being violently and sexually assaulted by drug cartels, and they’re fed up. You can’t go and see what’s happening on the border and defend it, and I think in South Texas the Hispanic community knows that firsthand.”
The three Latina GOP candidates—Flores, de la Cruz, and Garcia—call themselves, as Breitbart News has reported, the “triple threat.” All three are hardcore conservatives and not pandering to the establishment when it comes to immigration policy, something Cruz is hopeful and excited about going into November and into next year.
“It is fantastic. All three of them I know well. I endorsed all three of them,” Cruz said. “I campaigned for all three of them. Cassy Garcia was actually on my staff for seven years—she was my South Texas director and my deputy state director, so I’ve worked side-by-side with Cassy for many years. All three of them are rock stars. It’s exciting—but one of the points—my dad goes down to South Texas a lot. You know my dad. He’s a pastor and he’s passionate. He does Spanish language radio. He makes a point in South Texas that I think is really consequential. He says, ‘Look, there was a long time, there were a hundred years where Texas was a one-party state. We were a Democrat state—that’s all Texas elected was Democrats for about a hundred years. At that time, there was a political battle but it was in the Democrat primary and it was between conservative Democrats and liberal Democrats. The whole political fight in Texas was in that primary.’ The point my dad makes is he says, ‘Look, Hispanics in Texas were always conservative Democrats. They were never the liberal Democrats. In those primaries, Hispanics voted for the conservative Democrats.’ What’s happened is today’s Democratic Party has thrown all the conservative Democrats out. There aren’t any left. So you still have some voters that remember that kind of old history, but you look to today’s woke left—and by the way the same speech where Jill Biden called all Hispanics tacos, that was also called a LatinX conference. I will tell you right now, anybody using the word LatinX ain’t Latino. I guarantee you they are a woke white liberal that views Hispanics as tacos. You look at literally the language—Latino and Latina—we put masculine and feminine on just about every word. Just about every noun has masculine and feminine. This bizarre gender ideology of the far left where they don’t think women exist and they don’t think Latinos exist, I think a lot of the Hispanic community [think], ‘you people are crazy.’”
But even beyond the early parts of this trend showing in South Texas and in South Florida in recent years, Cruz senses this to be a national trend among Hispanic voters. He points to the candidacy of Yesli Vega in Virginia’s seventh congressional district. Vega, with Cruz’s help, just won the GOP nomination for Congress there and will face Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) in November. A Hispanic woman with a law enforcement background and a personal history of pain inflicted by MS-13, Cruz sees a strong future for Vega in Congress—and thinks this shows the trend reaches much further into the country than the southernmost tips of Texas and Florida.
“I think it is very much a national trend. You look at the district in Virginia, Yesli Vega,” Cruz said. “That was a vigorously contested primary. There were a number of strong Republicans running. I endorsed Yesli Vega early and I went and campaigned with her. I went and did rallies with her in the district the day before primary election day. Yesli’s story—she is the daughter of immigrants from El Salvador. Her brother was shot and nearly killed by MS-13 so she knows firsthand the real price of illegal immigration, the real ugly downside of it having seen that kind of gang violence. She is married to a soldier and the two of them were stationed for a period of time in Korea. She herself is a police officer. She is a mom of two teenage kids. She is an amazing dynamic speaker and I went and campaigned with her. We had fantastic rallies. She won a decisive victory in the primary. I think in November she is going to defeat a Democrat incumbent. We’re going to get to January of next year and we could easily have four new Republicans, all of whom are Hispanic women. I can’t wait for Nancy Pelosi or AOC to start arguing to them ‘Hey, illegal immigration isn’t a problem’ and have them be able to call out what garbage that is. That’s happening in Virginia. It’s happening in Texas. It’s happening in Florida. It’s happening across the country. And I’ll say in Florida there is another factor that’s at play, which is in Florida you have obviously a significant Cuban-American population. You also have a significant Venezuelan population. Both Cuba and Venezuela, they’ve seen firsthand the disasters of Communism and socialism. Many of the Cuban-Americans and Venezuelan-Americans living in Florida, they fled the disasters of Communism and socialism. So when they see Democrats calling themselves socialists and enacting socialist policies, they know firsthand. Growing up, my dad had fled Cuba and so I was raised knowing where this leads and the misery and poverty it leads to. That’s a real blessing to Florida to have so many Floridians who have seen this story before and they don’t like how it ends so they want to change it here.”
Cruz also said that beyond Hispanic GOP candidates like the ones in South Texas and Florida and in Virginia, among other places, he thinks this trend carries over with the Hispanic community voting Republican across the board in many elections. He credited Trump for having a huge hand in getting this trend rolling, and says that Democrats abandoning working class Americans—and Republicans standing up for the working class—has led to a tectonic shift in U.S. politics over the past couple decades.
A man holds up a “Latinos for Trump” sign at a protest after Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election in Austin, Texas on November 7, 2020. – Democrat Joe Biden has won the White House, US media said November 7, defeating Donald Trump and ending a presidency that convulsed American politics, shocked the world and left the United States more divided than at any time in decades.
“I do see this trend continuing and I think it is nationwide,” Cruz said. “I think Donald Trump played a big part in it. We saw particularly in 2020 that Trump’s numbers with Hispanics went up significantly. I think a big part of it has to do with the socioeconomic shift of politics. You think about it, 20 years ago conventional wisdom was that the Republicans were the party of the rich and the Democrats were the party of the poor and the working class. That’s turned on its head. Today’s Democratic Party is the party of rich, coastal billionaires. That’s who they listen to. That’s whose agenda they follow. They focus on the gazillionaires and they’ve abandoned the working people. You look at the heart of the Republican Party and it’s blue collar workers. The heart of the Republican Party—if you’re a Hispanic guy in South Texas and you work in the oil field and you drive a pickup truck and you go bird hunting on the weekends, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris want to take away your job, want to destroy your livelihood, want to eliminate your ability to provide for your kids, want to take away your rights of free speech and religious liberty, and we’re seeing those voters moving away from that agenda.”
A major issue Cruz said he views as powerful in fighting on this front is school choice.
“I’ll tell you another issue I think is really powerful is school choice,” Cruz said. “I think school choice is the civil rights issue of this century. The Democrats are so hateful and they’re so bought and paid for by the teachers union bosses that they’re willing to consign entire generations of low-income kids, many of whom are African-American or Hispanic, they’re willing to just abandon them in schools that are failing them. I believe and am very passionate about school choice. I’ve been the leading advocate of school choice in the Senate for a decade. I believe that Republicans—we ought to be campaigning in every neighborhood in every state saying that every child in Texas and every child in America deserves access to an excellent education regardless of your race and regardless of your ethnicity, your wealth, your zip code—it doesn’t matter. If a kid gets access to a great education, the rest of that child’s future is transformed, and if they don’t get access to an excellent education the rest of their future is likely to be much, much worse. That’s a powerful issue in the Hispanic community.”
He said that crime is a major issue, too, and hammered New York Democrats for being weak on crime, as this interview took place the day after Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), the GOP nominee for governor in New York, was attacked by a man wielding a weapon at a campaign stop in the state.
“I think crime is a major issue in this race. If you look at the national polling, the number one issue is inflation and gas prices in particular and the number two issue in the country is crime, and illegal immigration is the number three issue—and crime and illegal immigration are closely intertwined,” Cruz said. “You look at these blue state governors, you look at these leftwing mayors, these George Soros-funded prosecutors and DAs who are letting violent criminals go and it is insane. We are seeing crime rates go up, murder rates go up, carjacking rates go up. It was horrific seeing what happened. Lee is a friend of mine. Lee is a really good guy. I campaigned for Lee really early on. When he first ran for Congress, I campaigned for him early on in Long Island. To see that guy—I mean, that was an attempted murder. Thankfully, Lee reacted quickly and grabbed the guy’s wrist and held it away. Then the guy was tackled and disabled, but it was really within hours they let him go. The attempted murderer got let go because New York has this cash-free bail where basically ‘Hey you’re a violent criminal, let’s put you back out on the street.’ So many of these crimes are being committed by violent criminals who have been let out on the street by these Democrat politicians and they do it over and over and over again. It’s quite striking that yesterday Lee Zeldin put out his first digital ad and the digital ad is on crime and cash-free bail and talking about the idiotic New York District Attorney where you had a robber come in and try to rob a bodega or as Jill Biden would call it a ‘bogeda.’ The clerk defended himself, killed the robber, and so the New York DA prosecuted the clerk who was the victim of the robbery, and it’s a sign of just the insanity. I do think in the Hispanic community and I think in the African-American community and I think in even white liberals—there’s an old joke that a conservative is a liberal who got mugged. This crime is getting bad and it is the policies of the Democrats that are driving it. I think there are a lot of New Yorkers who are fed up with this and there are a lot of Californians who see criminals just walking into stores and just robbing stores in broad daylight. You had to laugh at Starbucks closing stores all over the country because of the crime policies of leftwing DAs. Starbucks, one of the most leftwing companies in the country, they support all of these leftwing politicians—and now they’re getting by the idiotic policies those politicians are putting in place.”