Excerpts from the DNC Press Call To Hold Ted Cruz Accountable As He Campaigns in California

Today, Representative Scott Peters of San Diego and DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda hosted a press call to highlight how Ted Cruz is entirely out touch with the American people, especially in San Diego where Senator Cruz is campaigning today. On every issue, from the economy, to border security, to national security, Tea Party Senator Ted Cruz would drag America backwards. Under the leadership of President Obama, we have experienced six years of consecutive private sector job growth, 14 million new jobs, unemployment at or below five percent. Not only would Cruz turn his back on that progress, he wants to deport DREAMers and their families as soon as he enters the White House, has doubled down on his extreme positions on abortion, reiterating that there should be no exceptions for rape or incest, and doesn’t believe that climate change is real. His singular accomplishment is having shut down the government, which cost our economy $24 billion, and based on how he’s campaigning, a Tea Party Ted Cruz presidency would be even more disastrous for our country. Americans can’t afford to give someone like that the keys to the White House.

Below find excerpts from the call as prepared for delivery:

Representative Scott Peters:

“There’s so much at stake in these elections, and we have to hold candidates running for President accountable. Ted Cruz coming to San Diego is a reminder of just how much any of the Republicans running for President would drag our country backwards.  The fact of the matter is his priorities are completely out-of-touch with the people of my district, out of touch with the people of California, and far to the right of the vast majority of Americans.

The best example of that is the government shutdown, the only thing Cruz has accomplished in Congress, that cost our economy $24 billion in economic activity.

In San Diego we understand exactly who was hurt by that political Tea Party stunt that Ted Cruz forced on our country. Real people and families count on many of the services the federal government provides. We have scientists and researchers that depend on basic science research grants that had to suspend their work often – they’re funded in many cases through the National Institute of Health. Every lab is a small business that employs people, and more important, is a way that our country invests in curing diseases and bringing good health care to folks through innovation. That was threatened. The defense contractor companies didn’t know if their contracts that they had been awarded would actually be funded — instead of thinking about expansions, they were talking about layoffs. If the shutdown had continued any longer, an estimated 30,000 would’ve faced losing their jobs. Nationwide there were 800,000 federal employees who saw their paychecks jeopardized or delayed, with some 169,000 of those in California. And while Tea Party Ted Cruz wants to portray the entire government as the problem, the fact is our service members saw their pay threatened. The shutdown threatened new claims or applications for Social Security, threatened loans for small businesses, home loans, and the maintenance of our military bases. There’s nothing good about that, but that’s what the Tea Party and Ted Cruz represent, obstruction instead of solutions and political posturing over leadership.

Ted Cruz has also run a campaign that makes our country less safe. His lack of understanding of what it takes to secure our borders and fix our country’s broken immigration system is bad enough.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I also have to highlight the dangerous rhetoric that we’ve seen throughout this campaign. We have military bases in San Diego and we know what military families go through with every deployment. We take our national security and our servicemen and women very seriously. But when Cruz goes around talking about religious litmus tests for refugees, or promising to carpet bomb Syria until the sand glows — that has  real impact on people who are trying to defend the country. And Cruz’s recent call for police patrols of Muslim neighborhoods in the United States only makes our communities less safe and gives fodder to terrorist organizations who are looking to recruit. We need leaders with the judgment and temperament to serve as President and Commander in Chief, and Ted Cruz doesn’t have either.

Like the rest of the Republican field, Cruz has also been terrible on women’s rights. He opposes equal pay for women, voted against the Violence Against Women Act, and after Donald Trump said that women should be punished for having abortions, Cruz doubled down on his extreme position on abortion, telling Fox News that a woman should have to carry the child of a rapist. 

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I practiced environmental law for 15 years, and was a former California Costal Commissioner. San Diego and California: we know we can’t afford to have a climate change denier in the White House. We’ve figured out that you don’t have to choose between a prosperous economy and clean environment. Californians know what we’ve had to deal with through drought, rising seas, more intense wildfires here in San Diego, but Senator Cruz will be in San Diego today pretending there’s no issue, refusing to believe the overwhelming majority of scientists who have repeatedly warned of the threat from climate change. In Cruz’s own words, he believes “there has been no warming whatsoever.” What data is he looking at? That is burying your head in the sand.

And so, to wrap things up, I’d just like to reiterate that Cruz’s values and beliefs do not align at all with the people of California. In California, we are everything that Cruz is not: we are tolerant, we are inclusive, and we believe in an economy that works for everyone — an economy that thrives off Americans' innovative spirit, ingenuity, and a positive look towards the future.” 

DNC Communications Director, Luis Miranda

“Ted Cruz doesn’t actually have a chance at defeating Donald Trump on the delegate count without forcing a floor fight at the convention, which doesn’t bode well for Republicans. So Cruz’s campaign is proving to be just as divisive for the Republican Party as his tenure in the Senate has been for our country.  

That’s why there just isn’t a whole lot of excitement for Ted Cruz being the Republican nominee. Over the past week the endorsements he has secured have been tepid ones, with even his fellow Senators holding their noses, coming out less in support of Cruz and more as a way to try to derail Trump. Lindsey Graham said it best when he said that the Texas Senator was his “15th choice” and that the choice between him and Donald Trump was like picking between “being shot or poisoned.” Just this past week, Republican Senator Jim Risch of Idaho became the latest member of the Lose With Cruz movement in one of the most awkward “endorsements” ever, basically questioning himself on national television asking if he had just endorsed.

Cruz just isn’t respected. Which only makes the fact he is wrong on the issues that much worse.

…I think it’s worth highlighting that immigration enforcement has improved dramatically since President Obama took office. In his first six years, immigration enforcement was made more efficient by shifting a focus away from families and toward those with criminal records. It’s far from where it needs to be given that Republicans continue to block comprehensive reform to fix the broken immigration system, but deportations of criminals rose 80 percent between when the President took office and the end of 2014. And by making it possible for DREAMers to study, work in, and contribute to their communities, the President instituted not only accountability but a system that integrates bright and hardworking young people into their communities and enables them to contribute to the country they grew up in.

What Republicans are doing by blocking comprehensive immigration reform is simply propagating a broken system, promoting the illegality they claim to stand against. It’s convenient for them as a political tool, but it’s wrong.

So the fact of the matter is that we need to continue moving our country forward and building on the progress that President Obama has made in his 7 years in office. Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republican presidential candidates would only drag our country back to the disastrous policies that were in place back when President Bush was leaving office – when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, foreclosure signs dotted streets in San Diego and across America, and people had to go bankrupt to pay for their health care.”