Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate and Texas senator, says his father doesn’t believe in birther conspiracies about President Barack Obama despite comments he made on camera.
His father, conservative pastor Rafael Cruz, has frequently made headlines for controversial comments about the president, LGBT rights, the nation’s founding, Common Core education standards, and other topics. But Ted Cruz denies his father is a liability in his quest for the White House.
“I’ll tell you there has been an effort in the media and among some Democrats to try to paint a scary picture of my father,” Cruz told Fox News Radio host Alan Colmes on Thursday. “My father is an extraordinary man. He is a pastor, he is the most loving person I’ve ever known and listen, his personal narrative poses a real threat to many on the left because many on the left like to portray big government as the only solution for those who are struggling who want to achieve the American dream.”
“And the caricature they painted of him is simply false and I’ll give you an example,” he continued. “I’m not familiar with what you just mentioned there but I’ll tell you one of the most oft-cited examples that gets repeated in the fever swamps of the Internet is that my dad has said President Obama should go back to Kenya.”
Mother Jones reported in 2013 that Rafael Cruz had called Obama an “outright Marxist” who “seeks to destroy all concept of God,” and told the president to go “back to Kenya” in videos from Tea Party events. But Ted insists his father’s words were taken out of context.
“Well what actually happened if you go to the video, my father was giving a talk and what he actually said was President Obama should go back to Chicago and someone in the audience calls out ‘back to Kenya’ and my father laughed and repeated ‘back to Kenya’ and kept going and in the context to anyone watching it was obvious that it wasn’t him and immediately the Internet turns this into ‘Pastor Cruz says Obama’s from Kenya,’” Cruz explained.
“It was silliness and there’s a reason they want to paint him as scary because his personal narrative as starting with nothing and working hard to achieve the American dream runs counter to the story that many are trying to tell.”