The father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told supporters during the run-up to his son’s election that it was imperative the Tea Party retake the Senate, encouraging them to ship Obama “back to Kenya.”
Rafael Cruz, a Cuban immigrant and pastor, made the comment while speaking to the North Texas Tea Party on his son’s behalf in September 2012. Mother Jones’ David Corn surfaced video of Cruz’s remarks on Thursday.
“We have our work cut out for us. We need to send Barack Obama to Chicago, I’d like to send him back to Kenya,” Cruz said to applause.
Asked about Cruz’s Kenya comment and remarks from other events, a spokesperson for Sen. Cruz told Mother Jones that “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,” adding “Pastor Cruz does not speak for the senator.”
The elder Cruz has acted as a sort of surrogate for his son in the defund Obamacare effort, energizing conservative crowds by slamming “RINOS” who refused to back Sen. Cruz’s plan to derail the health care law and warning the law would “destroy the elderly.” At a recent event in Colorado, he also suggested that Obama is a practicing Muslim.
Read Mother Jones’ report on Rafael Cruz here, and watch video of Cruz’s remarks below at the 19:25 mark:
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.