Ted Cruz: ‘I have never seen a Hispanic panhandler’

By Arturo Garcia
Sunday, August 5, 2012 12:30 EDT
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Fresh off his Republican primary win this past week, Texas senatorial candidate Ted Cruz went on Fox News Sunday to state his case that President Barack Obama’s policies are hurting the traditionally conservative Latino community.

“I’ll tell you, in my life, I have never once seen an Hispanic panhandler,” Cruz told host Chris Wallace Sunday. “In our community, it would be viewed as shameful to be out on the street begging.”

Cruz’s remarks seem to play off of what the Encyclopedia of Homelessness called “the Latino paradox”: the belief that Hispanic immigrant communities, defined as being based more heavily around traditional family units, provide more informal ways for members to stay off the streets, even if they are in tighter economic straits compared to other populations.

However, this theory has come under question; a 2003 study for the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences found that Hispanic homeless are actually more likely to be “hidden” because they used sleeping spaces that were underrepresented in typical surveys.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the Hispanic unemployment rate was at 10.3 percent last month, a slight drop from June. That’s two full points higher than the national average, despite 163,000 non-farming jobs being created over the past month, which was more than had been predicted. Still, Cruz seized on that gap.

“Hispanic unemployment is higher than the national average,” Cruz said. “And when the federal government is killing small businesses and killing jobs it is hurting the future of the Hispanic community and we need to carry that message.”

Cruz’s 14-point primary victory over Texas lieutenant governor David Dewhurst virtually assures him a victory in the state general election in November, and already has people comparing him to another Latino Tea Party senator, Marco Rubio (R-FL), who told reporters he considers that link to be a compliment.

“My goal, my hope, is that we will continue to elect people to the Republican conference in the Senate who believe and will fight for the principles of free enterprise and limited government,” said Rubio. “I think we can really being to make a difference.”

Cruz’s Aug. 5 appearance was posted on YouTube Sunday by RightSightings, and can be seen below:

[h/t Talking Points Memo]

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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