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Ted Cruz responds to father's 'ill-advised joke'

Ted Cruz responds to father's 'ill-advised joke'
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POSTED: Saturday, November 2, 2013 - 10:38am

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - 12:13pm

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz reacted to criticism of controversial remarks his father made at an April 2012 event, when the latter urged voters to send President Barack Obama "back to Chicago, back to Kenya."

"It was an ill-advised joke," the first-term Republican senator from Texas told CNN affiliate WFAA in Dallas-Fort Worth, "and sadly, those who are trying to play the politics of personal destruction are trying to smear him and use that to attack me. That's a shame."

Cruz suggested that criticism was motivated as much by politics as by genuine outrage. He seemed to downplay the contentious comments, and he defended his father's character.

"I love my father," Cruz said Friday. "He is a pastor. He is a man of deep integrity. And he made a joke."

Cruz's father, Rafael Cruz, is an influential figure in his own right and is known for his outspoken conservative positions. He has attracted a following among tea party activists and social conservatives, and he has campaigned alongside his son on many occasions.

The controversial remarks were captured in a video first posted on the left-leaning news website Mother Jones on Thursday. The website posted that video, along with several other videos of Rafael Cruz addressing conservative groups, and the comments quickly circulated online, drawing criticism from liberals.

Sen. Cruz's statement to WFAA marks his strongest reaction so far to his father's critics.

A spokeswoman for the senator previously declined to offer comment about the elder Cruz's statements, instead referring CNN to a statement that Cruz Communications Director Sean Rushton gave to Mother Jones.

"These selective quotes, taken out of context, mischaracterize the substance of Pastor Cruz's message. Like many Americans, he feels America is on the wrong track," Rushton said in the statement, adding, "Pastor Cruz does not speak for the Senator."

Rafael Cruz's remarks are reminiscent of the so-called birther movement, led by influential figures such as Donald Trump, who have suggested that Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore ineligible to be president.

Obama responded to those critics in 2011 by releasing his long-form birth certificate, which shows that he was born in Hawaii. 

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Dave and all others who say otherwise have missed a fundamental issue concerning the POTUS and his family...THEY ARE CHRISTIANS, THE PRESIDENT PRAYS DAILY, HE DOES NOT PRACTICE ANY OTHER RELIGION.

Perhaps an elderly ESL pastor who has escaped at dictatorial regime can be given just a bit of slack, regardless of political affiliation.

I am amazed at the ability of Fox News to create myth. Regardless of anyone's opinion once a birth certificate has been notarized by a county clerk IT IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT! If you are too ignorant to accept that you really are too ignorant to vote.
Furthermore if your stepfather writes Muslim on your school registration form, it means nothing. I see no indication that the president has any religious beliefs. Why don't right wingers tell the truth? They don't like him because he's black.

A bad "joke" is no excuse for a pastor who sets a personal/ moral example for his congregation & the image he brings to public speaking engagements. It is reprehensible that Cruz defends his father with an obviously bogus excuse thereby making himself the focus of having poor judgement.
Obama was accused of having a pastor of questionable judgement & Obama cut the cord with him. I understand Cruz senior is his father however, it is more honorable to admit a mistake than to offer a lame excuse.

birthers have cement for brains, the truth doesn't mean a single thing to a right-wing birther, the POTUS is an American citizen from birth, wing-nuts only care about and parrot those things they hear from their "saints" on faux noise, from beck, hannity, rushbo, hate radio, independent thinking and rational rhetoric is not in their playbook, and, take it to the bank, anyone who is not in lockstep with East Texas right-of-right conservative religious dogma doesn't have a voice...suz, shut up!!

teddy may think this is a "joke", he may try to spin it as such, but hate runs deep in the cruz family and in the hearts and minds of too many people, especially those in the right-of-right ultra-conservative evangelical tea swilling clown circus that seek to dishonor this president, pursue an agenda that includes control over women, even deeper divides between the rich and poor, and a nation without a government...you get what you wish/pay/vote for folks...son like father, disgraceful!!

Somewhat hard to believe that anyone still believes the last line.

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