Ted Cruz is wrong about New York values

Ted Cruz clarifies his position on 'New York values'
Ted Cruz clarifies his position on 'New York values'


    Ted Cruz clarifies his position on 'New York values'


Ted Cruz clarifies his position on 'New York values' 01:36

Story highlights

  • Dean Obeidallah says the candidate doubled down on his derisive talk about "New York values"
  • New York values are superior to the values Cruz touts, Obeidallah says

Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM's weekly program "The Dean Obeidallah Show," a columnist for The Daily Beast and editor of the politics blog The Dean's Report. Follow him on Twitter: @TheDeansreport. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.

(CNN)You would have thought Ted Cruz got the message when he he trashed "New York values" back in January. The New York media took a baseball bat to Cruz's head (figuratively, that is). One of the best responses was the New York Daily News' cover story featuring the Statute of Liberty giving Cruz the middle finger with headline, "Drop dead, Ted."

But there was Cruz again on Thursday slamming New York values. This time the Texas senator told CNN's Dana Bash that New York values are "the liberal values of Democratic politicians who have been hammering the people of New York for decades."
And he added, everyone "outside of New York knows exactly what I meant by" New York values.
    The Daily News responded to Cruz's latest round with another great cover telling Cruz to take the "F.U. train." Although the News actually went too easy, they should've spelled out what "F. U." stood for.
    So why would Cruz, who is trailing Donald Trump badly in advance of Tuesday's New York GOP primary, come after New York values again? Simple, he thinks it plays well with conservatives he's trying to woo outside of the city, in either upstate New York or in other states, who view the Big Apple as a present day Sodom and Gomorrah. Cruz is simply using New York City as a prop for mockery to the delight of far-right conservatives.
    If there ever was a person who deserved a "New York salute" (the middle finger) from all 8 million New Yorkers, it's Cruz. And at CNN's Town Hall this Wednesday night featuring Cruz, I hope we might hear a chorus of Bronx cheers if Cruz dares slam New York values again (or at the very least see Cruz get pressed on exactly what he despises about New York values.)
    Putting aside Cruz's political motivations, he's all wrong about "New York values."
    They have nothing to do with "Democratic politicians" as Cruz claims. Rather, New York values are about being accepting of others regardless of their background.
    We are not just tolerant of other ethnicities, races, religions and sexual orientations, we celebrate them. We don't decry multiculturalism, we cherish it.
    In fact, our subway system is a metaphor for New York values. You can see a woman wearing a hijab sitting next to a Hasidic man across from a transgender person, as people speaking Spanish walk past a couple speaking an African language seated next to a man quietly reading a Chinese newspaper. And the best part is that we are all traveling together in the same direction.
    Cruz's values are the antithesis of that. Cruz divides Americans based on ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation in his quest for power.
    For example, Cruz believes gay Americans should have fewer rights because of their sexual orientation. Even after last year's Supreme Court decision recognizing gay marriage, Cruz declared he wanted a constitutional amendment to ensure that gays and lesbians could not get married like heterosexual couples.
    And even more disturbing, Cruz stated that LGBT activists who were simply seeking equal rights were waging a "jihad" against people of faith. To Cruz, these LGBT activists are akin to terrorists.
    Cruz also wants to divide us by faith. Just last month Cruz demanded that the police engage in wholesale surveillance of "Muslim neighborhoods." In essence, Cruz is advocating that Muslim Americans should have fewer constitutional rights simply because of their religion.
    In response, New York's police commissioner Bill Bratton, a man who embraces New York values, pushed back swiftly to Cruz's proposal stating: "He doesn't know what the hell he's talking about."
    And where Cruz wants to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants, ripping families apart, New York values are about welcoming those who came to America in search of a better life. We actually believe in the words inscribed on the Statute of Liberty welcoming those "yearning to breathe free."
    Ted Cruz can ridicule New York values all he wants. But the reality is that New York values represent the best of America. Cruz's values represent the opposite.