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Trump to Cruz: New York Is America, Too

Something must have frozen over this morning—I wake up, read the papers, and have to admit that Donald Trump is proposing a healthy and inclusive vision of what it means to be an American.

In last night’s Republican Presidential candidates’ debate on the Fox Business Network, moderator Maria Bartiromo asked Senator Ted Cruz to elaborate on his contention that Donald Trump “embodies New York values.” Here is the transcript from Washington Post of Cruz’s response and Trump’s crushing counterattack:



… let me follow up and switch gears.

Senator Cruz, you suggested Mr. Trump, quote, “embodies New York values.” Could you explain what you mean by that?

CRUZ: You know, I think most people know exactly what New York values are.


BARTIROMO: I am from New York. I don’t.

CRUZ: What — what — you’re from New York? So you might not.


But I promise you, in the state of South Carolina, they do.


And 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 or pro-abortion or pro- gay-marriage, focus around money and the media.

And — and I would note indeed, the reason I said that is I was asked — my friend Donald has taken to it as (ph) advance playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”, and I was asked what I thought of that.

And I said, “well, if he wanted to play a song, maybe he could play, ‘New York, New York’?” And — and — you know, the concept of New York values is not that complicated to figure out.

Not too many years ago, Donald did a long interview with Tim Russert. And in that interview, he explained his views on a whole host of issues that were very, very different from the views he’s describing now.

And his explanation — he said, “look, I’m from New York, that’s what we believe in New York. Those aren’t Iowa values, but this is what we believe in New York.” And so that was his explanation.

And — and I guess I can — can frame it another way. Not a lot of conservatives come out of Manhattan. I’m just saying.


BARTIROMO: Are you sure about that?

CAVUTO: Maria…

TRUMP: So conservatives actually do come out of Manhattan, including William F. Buckley and others, just so you understand.


And just so — if I could, because he insulted a lot of people. I’ve had more calls on that statement that Ted made — New York is a great place. It’s got great people, it’s got loving people, wonderful people.

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. You had two one hundred…


… you had two 110-story buildings come crashing down. I saw them come down. Thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup, probably in the history of doing this, and in construction. I was down there, and I’ve never seen anything like it.

And the people in New York fought and fought and fought, and we saw more death, and even the smell of death — nobody understood it. And it was with us for months, the smell, the air.

TRUMP: And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan, and everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers. And I have to tell you, that was a very insulting statement that Ted made [Sixth GOP Presidential candidates’ debate, North Charleston, South Carolina, transcribed by Washington Post, 2016.01.14].

Good grief—can no one land a punch on Donald Trump without knocking himself to the floor?

The idea that New Yorkers are somehow un-American or unfit for the Presidency is insulting and absurd. We’ve elected six Presidents from New York, including Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (who outperformed their New York predecessors Van Buren, Fillmore, Arthur, and Cleveland). New York City has been the largest city in the United States since our first Census, not because we ship criminals there and build a wall around it, but because it’s a helluva town with opportunity and culture and mass transit and hot dogs. New York is America, as much as any other city and any other state in the Union.

The supreme irony here is that Ted Cruz, the Canadian-born son of a Cuban national who could be excluded from eligibility for the Presidency on a rigorous reading of the Constitution and framers’ intent, is trying to marginalize one segment of the American population based on where they are from, while Donald Trump, the loudmouth jerk who has extended his joke campaign into its eighth big month with fascist xenophobia and thuggery, wins big applause and debate points by reminding us that we are all New Yorkers and Americans.

Ted Cruz come soff sounding like an old Pace Picante Sauce commercial, and Donald Trump comes out sounding like Lee Greenwood.

The moment may not last: as Slate observes, Trump may have won the room with that debate point, but plenty of voters will still lean toward Cruz on their suspicion (envy, rubishness) toward the Big City (even though four out of five Americans live in town). But I will happily cite Trump’s inclusive defense of his hometown the next time South Dakota legislators try invoking New York, San Francisco, or Chicago as some diabolical outsider culture. New York or Newell, San Francisco or Sioux Falls—they’re all part of America, and they’re all wonderful towns.


  1. Loren 2016-01-15 09:23

    Is there something in the Republican playbook that mandates the creation of fear and division while constantly attacking the opposition, and offering no actual policies of their own? Been going on for quite some time now.

  2. Barbara 2016-01-15 10:05

    It’s in the playbook because it allows them to win elections. It’s not just Republicans. Candidates for office in South Dakota from both parties are scrutinized for time spent outside the state as if that detracts from their value to public service, rather than providing broader experiences that could enhance it. Even on this blog, comments from interested readers are sometimes responded to dismissively at times as “someone – from somewhere else.” And as Cory notes, legislators have often invoked this line in defense of bills that bring national attention\embarrassment to our state. We are all in this together. We are the United States. Even though Trump championed a value he doesn’t show signs of respecting anywhere else, it was a good response. Thanks for this Cory.

  3. larry kurtz 2016-01-15 11:42

    It’s impossible to know which man on that platform is the sickest psychopath. I’ve never endured a more pathetic group of Republican candidates in my forty years following politics than the unkindness of Palinian ravens running for president.

  4. SuperSweet 2016-01-15 12:03

    Don’t dump Trump! He is the best thing to happen for both parties.

  5. larry kurtz 2016-01-15 12:25

    Quote just now on WBUR called the Trump smack down of Cruz a “you’re no Jack Kennedy” moment.

  6. W R Old Guy 2016-01-15 13:10

    I lived in upstate NY for several years. The people of most of the state have more moderate to conservative values by their perception than the “city” people.

    Former Mayor Ed Koch effectively sank his gubernatorial bid while campaigning in Syracuse and remarked about having to buy suits “off the rack” out here in the rural areas.
    There are good people in all of NY. The problem is that they elect a lot of idiots just like the rest of the country.

  7. bearcreekbat 2016-01-15 13:29

    Barbara makes some excellent points – I think in particular of one DFP poster who likes to preface her comments with “[name] who is from [somewhere other than SD]” as if that somehow marginalizes their opinions. That is an unfortunate habit as we really are all in this together and regardless of where each of us is from, each of our opinions deserve to be considered on the merits.

  8. Porter Lansing 2016-01-15 14:27

    Well said, Barbara. It may be true that Cruz is lumped in with Cubans but he’s a Texan. In Colorado that has a special meaning that you in SoDak don’t relate to. I have friends in Texas and I have family in Texas but they don’t act like Texans. lol Just kidding. It’s wrong to generalize but if you’re ever given a choice between living in Manhattan and living in Houston … take New York.

  9. Spike 2016-01-15 17:17


    Do you know Joe Lowe? That is exactly what happened to him. He was a much better candidate than Ms. Wismer. He was. BUT since he was not born here, just chose to live in our great state, the Pierre n Sioux Falls contingents of the SDDP decided Ms. Wismer should have her turn.

    The results speak for themselves. But Joe has taken the high road, is still involved and is helping SDDP. We really blew a good opportunity to make the repubs sweat a little and make some noise west river.

    Cruz reminds me of McCarthy. I read Trump went bankrupt 4 times. Don’t know if that’s true…but I can guarantee our SD view of bankruptcy ain’t ol Donnies… $$$$

  10. mike from iowa 2016-01-15 17:49

    4 bankruptcies and after he got removed from his casinos one went bankrupt again.

  11. Roger Elgersma 2016-01-15 18:56

    When South Dakota had no buffaloes for decades, the Bronx zoo donated the first pair of buffalo to South Dakota to restart our herd. So looking at people helping our own mistakes is better than slamming eachother over little differences. I had a friend here who grew up in New York and he was conservative and said you would be surprised how many rednecks there are in New York. As my Dad says, everywhere you go there is a mix of all kinds of people and personalities.

  12. leslie 2016-01-16 09:22

    Fwiw: after trump’s 751st debacle “seeing” muslims cheering the towers’ collapsing, clearly he dressed up his conflation into the above story of patriotism. ever the cheap-shot opportunist, one carnival barker merely lay in wait of another ofhis ilk. It hsppenef to Be Cruz That Walked Into His Black-widow’s lair, but It Could Just Have Adily Been Christie. I Fear Cuz And Bush Yet Christie Is Just As Dangerous And Smarter Evn Than Cruz Based On More Experience.

  13. leslie 2016-01-16 09:24

    It would have been nice to have been able to more fully edit my preview posted above.

  14. Les 2016-01-16 11:42

    Exactly Supersweet. Brought to you by the Clintons, though they may have a runaway bull in their china shop.

    Bear@”if that somehow marginalizes their opinions.” Don’t forget, bear, we are a United States with individual states rights as delegated by law. An outside opinion deserves no more than an ear at best. Move to SD and become rightful heir to our state rights and beneifits and your opinion carries some weight.

    As South Dakotans I fully believe we can look at other states and debate as to why we should or should not follow their lead as in funding education and getting taxes off the backs of the poor so their incomes can provide personal sustenance and economics to our local business’s.

    As to the differences between Houston and New York, both are large populations, proud of who they are and will likely stay that way.

    Remember what Colorado once was, til every Adam and Eve, Tom, Dick and Henry moved in and started fighting for what he loved.(jh)

  15. bearcreekbat 2016-01-16 12:10

    Les, I think we are in agreement – we should give any opinion, whether from inside our state or outside – “an ear at best.” By giving all opinions an ear we might learn a better way to accomplish whatever policy goals we have.

    And the folks with the most factual knowledge about issues (often SD residents with experience with local circumstances) typically are able to offer the best solutions. Nevertheless, I think we both agree that it would be foolish to ignore or trivialize suggestions from outsiders merely because they are not from here.

  16. Roger Cornelius 2016-01-16 12:32

    One of my favorite local columnist is Jim Kent of the Rapid City Journal who often times is critical of South Dakota and its politics.
    As a former New York resident that now loves South Dakota Jim is often the target of “go back where you came from” commenters when he gets under their skin of some tea party critics.
    This is similar to you must live here in order to express an opinion and like Joe Lowe, Jim is a resident of South Dakota.
    This is America where people have the freedom to choose wherever they live and exercise their First Amendment rights.

  17. mike from iowa 2016-01-16 12:49

    And other times you are too close to the stink and can’t see it or smell it. Then outside opinions cut through the bulls— and get to the heart of the problem.

    Then again,outside opinions-like inside opinions are worth what they cost-nothing.

  18. Les 2016-01-16 13:59

    What about Johnson, Lar?

    Obviously, from everything that is tolerated on both sides of the coin and outside the circumference, bear, the 1st amendment still reigns. Wouldn’t you agree that is the most important thing? Not that I consider it right, but politics is very accepting of the spin machine and if you are going to win, you better use it.

    Kent is a big boy, Roger. He has the freedom to subject himself to criticism or not.

    I appreciate your country logic when it shows ,mifi. Good one.

  19. mike from iowa 2016-01-16 15:12

    Didn’t this whole New York non-sense get started because wingnuts couldn’t or wouldn’t criticize Obama’s economic policies at the debate? Seems to me this was a usual diversion from answering the question that was asked.

  20. Kurt Evans 2016-01-16 15:28

    Good post, Cory. In case anyone is looking for a more policy-based reason we should oppose Ted Cruz, here’s a Rand Paul fundraising email that pretty much rips him to shreds:

    Dear Kurt,

    In the battle to protect Americans’ right to privacy from government snooping in Washington, D.C., there’s only one candidate for President who has always stood up to the spy state apologists.

    That’s Senator Rand Paul.

    The rest have all fallen short time and again — including Senator Ted Cruz.

    As a U.S. Senate candidate, Ted Cruz pledged to oppose reauthorization of the so-called “PATRIOT Act.”

    But once elected, Senator Cruz flip-flopped and voted for it.

    Then, making things even worse, he voted to expand government spying with the passage of the so-called “USA Freedom Act.”

    In defending his support for the so-called “USA Freedom Act,” Senator Cruz stated, “the old program covered 20 to 30 percent of phone numbers . . . The new program covers nearly 100%.”

    That’s right, Senator Cruz stated he voted for this scheme because it means MORE spying and MORE collection of innocent Americans’ data!

    Sold as a “reform” of NSA spying practices, Senator Cruz admitted one reason why the so-called “USA Freedom Act” is anything but. In fact, it still allows government to access Americans’ phone records without a warrant.

    Kurt, when it comes to protecting the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, Rand Paul is the only candidate who has stood strong against the Big Government bipartisan consensus in Washington, D.C.

    Conservatives rightly stand against gun registration because they know registration by government snoops is just the first step toward confiscation.

    Likewise, our Founders included the Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution because they understood freedom will not long survive if government bureaucrats get away with spying on every aspect of our lives.

    Quite frankly, the lives of law-abiding American citizens are none of the government’s business.

    Just as bad, these spying schemes don’t even work. As the FBI admitted, NSA data collection has prevented exactly ZERO terrorist attacks!

    Yet, Rand is the ONLY candidate who “gets it.”

    Rand is the ONLY candidate we can trust to deliver on his promise to restore the Constitution if elected President.

    He’s the ONLY candidate who we can trust to stand up to the Washington machine.

    If you Stand With Rand, please agree to your most generous contribution of $50, $25 or even $10 right away.

    Your support could not be more critical.

    In liberty,
    Doug Stafford
    Chief Political Strategist

  21. larry kurtz 2016-01-16 15:34


  22. mike from iowa 2016-01-16 15:40

    Phil Robertson of Duck Die Nasty endorsed Raphael. Does anyone know if Cruz has a daughter old enough to interest a lech like Robertson?

  23. larry kurtz 2016-01-16 17:46

    Hey, Kurt Evans: it’s been postulated that cannabis led farmer Cain to slay hunter/gatherer Abel over 14,000 years ago. What do you make of that

  24. Don Coyote 2016-01-16 18:32

    Yet Governor Andrew Cuomo, that “inclusive” New Yorker, feels that Conservatives who believe in the 2nd Amendment, traditional marriage and the sanctity of life should leave the state.

    “Who are they? Right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay — if that’s who they are, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”


  25. larry kurtz 2016-01-16 18:43

    Don is a guy who would say anything to hide his party’s culture of corruption in Pierre.

  26. larry kurtz 2016-01-16 18:45

    Don is a guy who would capitalize conservative even when it’s broken English.

  27. larry kurtz 2016-01-16 18:45

    Today’s oxymoron: traditional marriage.

  28. larry kurtz 2016-01-16 18:47

    Don: your people have a website. Go, and take Kurt and Michael Clark with you.

  29. larry kurtz 2016-01-16 20:09

    you miserable bastards.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-17 07:14

    Don, I don’t have to defend Cuomo any more than I have to defend Cruz to maintain the point I make above. Your distraction is as specious as Cruz’s smarmy fake apology.

  31. larry kurtz 2016-01-17 07:32

    Video lootery, lousy wages, payday loan sharks, ecological devastation, STIs, racism, suicides, teen binge drinking, despair: these are the Daugaard years.

    So much for the sanctity of human life.

  32. leslie 2016-01-17 12:22

    Hypocrite Trump does not support or advocate for health care needs of the heroic ground zero responders. He dloesnt have a Genuine Bone In His Body, obviously a Metaphorical Little Dick. Thenation

  33. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-17 13:53

    A Joe Lowe connection! Interesting point, Spike! We all have our tribal instincts. We all can fall victim to the urge to marginalize others as outsiders when it suits us.

  34. jerry 2016-01-17 14:29

    In South Dakota, republicans have convinced the voters that Democrats are after their guns and want to tax them and then spend on them for infrastructure, teacher pay and general well being. Voters hate that because they make that into a whisper campaign. Kurt has the letter from Rand Paul’s dude to confirm the gun conspiracy. How could the feds swoop in on any given day to confiscate your guns? How could they go out into the middle of Mellette or Jones County and make that move without the county sheriffs, neighbors and dogs and cats knowing about it. Does anyone actually think that no one would make a move to stop that if it were not the country sheriff doing it? Republicans live on conspiracy, without conspiracy and fear, they got nothing.

  35. Kurt Evans 2016-01-18 00:58

    Larry Kurtz writes:

    Hey, Kurt Evans: it’s been postulated that cannabis led farmer Cain to slay hunter/gatherer Abel over 14,000 years ago. What do you make of that

    The Bible suggests Cain and Abel were both farmers, Larry, with Abel raising livestock and Cain raising crops. It doesn’t rule out the possibility that Cain’s offering to God consisted partly or entirely of cannabis plants, but John says explicitly in the New Testament that Cain killed Abel because “his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous” (First John 3:12). Informed young-earth creationists generally believe that was less than 6000 years ago, around 3900 BC.

    Jerry writes:

    Kurt has the letter from Rand Paul’s dude to confirm the gun conspiracy. How could the feds swoop in on any given day to confiscate your guns? How could they go out into the middle of Mellette or Jones County and make that move without the county sheriffs, neighbors and dogs and cats knowing about it. Does anyone actually think that no one would make a move to stop that if it were not the country sheriff doing it?

    That fundraising email describes gun registration as the “first step” toward confiscation, Jerry. It doesn’t imply the kind of conspiracy you suggest it does.

  36. Curtis Price 2016-01-18 09:57

    Boy did you all miss the boat.

    He meant Jewish.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-18 13:20

    Really, Curtis? I like Jezebel‘s thesis for the blowback potential… but even that article (the originator of this hypothesis?) spreads it around to Jewish, black, and gay. Evidently some conservatives opposed to Cruz went down that route last month based on some foreign policy statements. I hesitate to go that far. I can see the above critique as a simpler explanation: Cruz is trying to win in the first two rural contest by portraying urban folks as un-American liberals. I’ll need to see more to beat Cruz with the anti-Semitic stick.

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