Ted Cruz had an illuminating encounter on the campaign trail Monday. Perhaps not so illuminating for him, as he’s likely used to engaging brainwashed individuals, but rather for those watching the videotaped incident on YouTube.
An ardent Trump supporter confronted Cruz, and badgered him for nearly eight minutes with misinformation, and ad hominem attacks. Rather than ignore the man, Cruz engaged him in a polite discussion, using facts and reason. Unfortunately, the logic barrier was too dense, and the man remained firmly pro-Trump.
I’d like to pick the top four exchanges that are really indicative of Trump’s base of support.
What Do You Like About Trump?
After the man demanded that Cruz drop out, and let Trump take the rest of the states, Cruz asked him a question:
“Let me ask you something, sir. What do you like about Donald?”
The man replied:
Then the following exchange occurred:
CRUZ: “Give me one.”
CRUZ: “Give me one. You can pick anything.”
MAN: “The wall.”
CRUZ: “Ok, the wall.”
MAN: “Immigration. That’s the main thing.”
After an exchange in which the man brought up the tabloid story about Cruz’s alleged mistresses, and yelled out “lyin Ted,” Cruz talked about Trump’s million dollar judgement for hiring illegal workers:
CRUZ: “Out of all of the candidates, name one who had a million dollar judgement against them for hiring illegal aliens.”
MAN: “Name one that is self-funded.”
CRUZ: “…You know what he’s doing right now in Florida? He brings in hundreds of foreign workers instead of hiring Americans. Sir, with all respect, Donald Trump is deceiving you. He is playing you for a chump.”
The man said he likes Trump’s immigration policy, and “the wall.” Cruz brought up the judgement against Trump for hiring illegals, as well as his practice of hiring foreign workers over American workers. Do these check out? Yes.
Regarding the hiring of illegals, Politifact reports:
“Sometime between 1979 and 1980, Trump hired a contractor to demolish an old building in midtown Manhattan to make way for Trump Tower. The contractor signed on workers from a local union and, to meet Trump’s tight deadline, also brought on 200 undocumented laborers from Poland dubbed the ‘Polish Brigade.’
In 1983, union members sued a union boss, Trump, and his contractor for cheating the union out of pension and welfare funds by hiring the Polish Brigade. Trump owed the union pension fund $1 million, the plaintiffs said.”
Trump denies knowing the workers were illegal, but after losing the court case, and attempting to appeal, he eventually settled for an undisclosed sum of money in 1999.
So, perhaps Trump truly didn’t know about the illegal status of the foreign workers. However, the judgement was made, and he hired the man who brought in the illegal workers. There’s a real argument to be had there, but Trump’s followers would rather just scream “lyin Ted,” and repeat an unsubstantiated tabloid story about Cruz’s alleged harem.
Regarding the foreign workers, CNN reports:
“The U.S. Department of Labor has confirmed to CNN that between 2013 and fall 2015, Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club posted 250 seasonal job openings and filled just 4 of those jobs with American workers. The club requested the rest of the staff be temporarily imported through the Federal government’s H-2B visa process. Basically, Mar-a-Lago brings in its seasonal staff from overseas.”
“People don’t want a short-term job…We want to hire as many Americans as we can, but they don’t want part-time, very short part-time, jobs.”
I guess the 477,000 unemployed Floridians couldn’t be reached for comment.
The man literally asked Ted Cruz (TED CRUZ!) about the Second Amendment:
“I believe in Trump. What are you gonna do about the Second Amendment?”
“Great question. I have defended the Second Amendment in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Do you know that Donald Trump supported Bill Clinton’s national ban on some of the most popular firearms in America. And that is a fact. You can go read his book, where he said he agreed with Clinton. In fact, he said ‘I hate guns.’ That’s a quote.”
Do this argument check out? Yes.
During his time as solicitor general of Texas, Cruz authored an amicus brief for the Supreme Court regarding the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. The case argued against D.C.’s insanely restrictive gun laws.
At the time of D.C. v. Heller, hand guns were banned in the District of Columbia.
Cruz authored the brief, gathered a coalition of 31 other attorneys general, and argued it before the Supreme Court.
“The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision shot down the Washington, D.C., handgun ban and ruled for the first time in the history of this country that the amendment ensures an individual person’s right to have a gun for self-defense. The National Rifle Association recognized Cruz’s role with a resolution.”
Ted Cruz was a major player in a landmark victory for Second Amendment rights, and this cocky Trump supporter asks “What are you gonna do about the Second Amendment?” Clearly, the man has no idea what D.C. v. Heller is, and I’d be willing to bet he has no knowledge of Cruz’s repeated defense of the Second Amendment as a senator.
Now, did Trump support an assault weapons ban, and did he say he hates guns? Yes and mostly yes.
In his 2000 book The America We Deserve, Trump wrote:
“I generally oppose gun control but I support the ban on assault weapons.”
During a 1999 interview with Chris Matthews, Trump said:
“I hate the concept of guns, I’m not in favor of it, except for one thing: the bad guys are going to have them. So…”
He didn’t use the exact phrase “I hate guns,” but he did say “I hate the concept of guns. I’m not it favor of it.”
Cruz had an exchange with the Trump supporter about Trump’s violent rhetoric.
CRUZ: “If I were Donald Trump, I wouldn’t have come over and talked to you…You know what I would have done? I would have told the folks over there, ‘Go over and punch those guys in the face.’ That’s what Donald does to protesters.”
MAN: “You’re lyin, like you always do.”
CRUZ: “Ok, stop. What word [that] I said was a lie?”
MAN: “About Donald Telling people to punch people.”
Cruz told the man to google it. Is it true? Yes.
Here’s a montage of Trump using violent rhetoric, including when he told attendees at a speech to punch protesters:
Carpet Bomb Women and Children
The final exchange I’d like to highlight is the most important:
MAN: “You want to carpet bomb women and children, huh?”
CRUZ: “Now that’s actually interesting. You say carpet bomb women and children–”
MAN: “Those are your words. Carpet bomb. I added the women and children cause that’s what you’re going to be doing when you carpet bomb.”
CRUZ: “Its interesting that you added ‘women and children,’ because your candidate, Donald Trump, came out and said he would order our military to kill the women and children–the wives and children–of terrorists, which is a war crime. When he was asked in the debate, ‘What about when soldiers don’t want to commit a war crime, and murder women and children?’…he said ‘I will tell them to do it, and they will obey me.’
…What I said is we’re going to carpet bomb ISIS. We’re gonna target the terrorists, take out their infrastructure, take out their command and control, take out their oil refineries. No one would target women and children except for a bully like Donald Trump.”
As Cruz proceeded, the man interrupted, held up his sign, and yelled “Vote Trump!”
Is what Cruz said true? Yes. Cruz has never advocated targeting women and children, but Trump has:
Donald Trump walked back his comments shortly thereafter when he was informed he couldn’t demand that the military break the law for him.
This is what we’re dealing with. Donald Trump has brainwashed an entire subsection of Americans into believing whatever he says.
The man arguing with Ted Cruz actually believed that it was Cruz who would target women and children. He was allegedly against that. Yet, when his assertion was laid bare, and Cruz pointed out that it was actually Trump who said that, the man simply yelled “Vote Trump!”
This man didn’t know anything about Cruz’s record on the Second Amendment, he didn’t know that Trump had advocated violence, he said he loved Trump’s immigration stance, but was clueless about Trump’s hiring of foreign workers–not to mention the fact that Trump’s actual immigration plan is touchback amnesty.
This isn’t just misinformation, this man has been willingly starved of truth. Trump’s most ardent followers have allowed themselves to be blinded by their god’s own thumbs. They are completely unable and unwilling to absorb reality.
I admire Ted Cruz for keeping his cool, and trying to reason with someone who’s unreachable. I would have lost it.
Here’s the entire back and forth: