Updated 03:28 AM EDT, Wed, Oct 28, 2020

Ted Cruz Keeping Distance From Latinos? Campaign Criticized as 'Ridiculous'

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Sen. Ted Cruz has failed to attend a major Latino summit gathering held on Wednesday and Thursday at Washington, D.C.

Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said on Thursday that it was Cruz's choice "not to come," Fox News Latino wrote. There are some speculations that Cruz, who announced his presidential run on Monday, was avoiding his Hispanic roots.

Palomarez continued, "I hope it is not indicative that he's backing away from the Hispanic community in order to get through the [GOP] primary. If you're trying to get to the White House without openly trying to engage the Hispanic community, you're not going to get there."

Rick Tyler, the national spokesman for the Cruz campaign, claimed that the politician wasn't staying away from the Latinos, adding that he frequently speaks with admiration of his immigrant father, Rafael Cruz, who was from Cuba, the news outlet wrote. According to the spokesman, Cruz often talks about being an immigrant's son in his speeches.

"He talks about his position on immigration. He supports legal immigration, but he also suggested we need to control our borders to be fair to [legal] American workers, including Hispanic workers," Tyler said, as quoted by Fox News Latino.

Tyler also said that Palomarez's statement was "ridiculous" and that Cruz's absence from the annual gathering was due to "a scheduling conflict," Fox News Latino noted. The spokesman explained that the team is keeping commitments "limited" for the presidential campaign.

Cruz was the first major candidate to announce he is running for president, two weeks ahead of an expected announcement by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). According to a report from CNN, Cruz's candidacy for president was stated through a 30-second video message posted on Twitter. He also made the statement during a speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia on the same day.

RealClearPolitics polling averages state that Cruz places at eighth in the national polls.

Other presidential candidates, such as Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., also did not attend the legislative summit due to scheduling conflicts. Palomarez, however, insisted that "they had good relationships with the chamber." The two have attended "at events other times of the year" and "past Hispanic Chamber summits," Fox News Latino reports.

Political analysts have previously stated that Cruz's stand against platforms such as Obamacare and immigration policies that "would give breaks to undocumented immigrants" could cause him to lose in the general election, the news outlet noted. But Tyler claimed that many Latinos support Cruz's views on securing borders and controlling immigration.

CNN noted that Cruz will "sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act," a law which he was against at from the start.

"Sen. Cruz is trying to get a rational legal immigration system," Tyler said, as reported by Fox News Latino. "You can't do that unless you first have the will to control the border."

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