Ted Cruz traded blows with Donald Trump over the question of “New York values” at the Republican presidential debate in South Carolina on Jan. 14.
During the debate, the moderator asked Cruz to explain what he had meant by “New York values,” which he’d attributed to Trump earlier in the week.
“I think most people know exactly what New York values are,” Cruz said. “There are many, many wonderful, wonderful working men and women in the state of New York, but everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal, are pro-abortion, are pro-gay marriage, focus around money and the media.”
Trump was quick to refute the charge, then praised New York for the valor it had demonstrated on September 11, 2001.
“Conservatives actually do come out of Manhattan, including William F. Buckley and others,” Trump said. “New York is a great place. It’s got great people. … When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York.”
The day after the debate, Cruz offered an “apology,” but not for his remarks about New York.
“Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio have all demanded an apology, and I’m happy to apologize,” Cruz said. “I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who’ve been let down by liberal politicians in that state.”
Cruz then proceeded to blast New York governor Andrew Cuomo for his decision to not allowing fracking in the state, thus denying New Yorkers who needed oil jobs. He also criticized and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio for shutting down a charter school program.
“I apologize to all the pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-Second Amendment New Yorkers told by Gov. Cuomo that they have no place in New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are,” Cruz said.
Two weeks before the Iowa Caucus, Cruz and Trump are head-to-head in the polls, but Cruz will need to win Iowa to win the nomination. In New Hampshire, Trump has a commanding lead.