Ted Cruz, the Cuban-American United States Senate candidate from Texas, addressed the Republican National Convention on its first day. The Houston Chronicle suggests that he connected with the audience in the hall.
A love story with freedom
Cruz started his speech with an inspirational note, talking about a love story with freedom. He made historical references to the Founding Fathers, the heroes of the Texas Revolution, the greatest generation who put down German and Japanese tyranny, the freedom marchers who struggled for civil rights after the Second World War, and Ronald Reagan, sweeping across two hundred years of history in a few paragraphs.
Cruz talks about his family
Cruz went on in his speech to talk about his family, particularly his father, who was nearly tortured to death for his opposition to the Batista regime in Cuba. He talked about his father's coming to America and his early economic struggle in the often told and retold immigrant story, to educate himself and to start a small business.
Cruz lays into President Obama
Cruz concluded his speech with an assault on Barack Obama and what he termed his divisive policies. He talked about the national debt and unemployment, which he was careful to mention is particularly acute in the Hispanic community. He suggested that President Obama's policies have exacerbated those problems and that by inference the Republican Party has the solution to them.
Reaction to the speech
Reaction to the speech was primarily positive, though there were some dissenters. The Houston Chronicle account, while noting that Cruz is an experienced orator dating from his Princeton Days, stated that he had fired up the enthusiasm of the crowd.
Mona Charon, writing for the National Review, noted a little sarcastically that she had "lost track" of the number of "rising stars" in the Republican Party. However she went on to note that Cruz was one of the brightest.
KHOU TV, on the other hand, quoted Gilberto Hinojosa, the new chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, as suggesting that Cruz is not authentically Hispanic. "He's half-Cuban, and he made point of saying he's half-Cuban and his mom was German-American, was born in Canada." Hinojosa also suggested that Cruz is a "birther" -- i.e., someone who does not believe that President Obama was born in the United States -- and is supported by birthers. Cruz's mother is actually Irish-Italian. It should also be noted that President Obama self identifies as African American, even though his mother was white.
Hispanics in Texas tend to support the Democratic Party.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.