When Ted Cruz sneered at what he called Donald Trump’s “New York values,” some New Yorkers took it very personally. And some responded about the way you’d expect New Yorkers to react.
The ever-combative Daily News hit the streets with a big front-page illustration of the Statue of Liberty. The headline: “DROP DEAD, TED.”
The Texas senator used “New York values” as a term of abuse during Thursday night’s Republican debate. He explained it as meaning liberal on social and moral issues and interested in money and media.
“Like that’s a bad thing?” Willie Perry, a real estate salesman and registered Republican, said as he headed to work in the city. “Actually it’s a good thing. I think that’s ludicrous. What did he mean by that?”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, liberal Democrats, demanded an apology, penning a rare joint op-ed in the Daily News.
After a campaign event Friday in South Carolina, Cruz was asked if he planned to apologize.
“I’m happy to apologize,” Cruz said. “I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state.”
He then ripped Cuomo for blocking natural gas drilling and accused de Blasio of failing to support the police during anti-cop protests in 2014. He said the mayor “stands with the looters and criminals rather than the brave men and women in blue.”
During Thursday night’s GOP debate, moderator Maria Bartiromo asked Cruz to explain his comments.
“You know, I think most people know exactly what New York values are,” Cruz said.
“I am from New York. I don’t,” Bartiromo said.
So the GOP conservative explained: “Listen, there are many, many wonderful, wonderful working men and women in the state of New York. But everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal … [and] focus around money and the media.”
Trump responded by citing the city’s response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
“When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York,” he said to applause from the crowd in North Charleston, S.C. He added: “I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made.”
One in 38 Americans lives in New York City, but the state’s record of going for the Democrat in the winner-take-all electoral college system means Republicans rarely have to worry about insulting the populace.
Bashing the big city has long been a winning strategy in more conservative parts of the country, namely the Midwest and the South. (Likewise, New Yorkers have long been famous for looking down their noses at — well, everyone).
Not a lot of New Yorkers have given money to Cruz’s bid for the White House. His campaign took in only about $487,000 from New York contributors through Sept. 30.
De Blasio said Cruz “has no trouble taking money from New York City, but he’s quick to insult our people and our values.”