Ted Cruz Blasts “New York Values”: We All Know What that Means

By  | 

During the 6th (oh god, why?) Republican debate last night, there was a powerful moment when Canadian-ish Ted Cruz and sentient troll doll Donald Trump had a show-down about “New York values.” Cruz previously stated that Trump “embodies New York values” and then elaborated during the debate. Trump parried with arguably with his best moment to date; watch the entire exchange below:

Trump gave a compelling response to a clear attempt from Cruz to stereotype and insult America’s largest city–but New Yorkers still aren’t happy with Cruz’s generalizations and insinuations. The New York Daily News, which is well known for its biting covers, responded to his comment this morning with a somewhat cheap shot at Cruz’s Canadian birth:

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also released a statement, pointing out the hypocrisy of Cruz’s statement, given that his father is an immigrant, and stating

He doesn’t know what New York values are because New York is in many ways the epitome of what formed this nation and what keeps it strong. The Statue of Liberty is in our harbor.

Others took to Twitter to emphasize their frustrations with Cruz’s comments. 

He even got some crap from Republican Congressman Peter King (although this was before Cruz explained what he meant by “New York values” last night). King stated:

Memo to Ted Cruz: New York Values are the heroes of 9/11; the cops who fight terror; and the people you ask for campaign donations. Go back under a rock

As a diehard “West Wing” fan, my first thought was this scene, when the implication behind a “New York sense of humor” was made as clear as day during the show’s pilot episode: it means Jewish.

Cruz’s comment was clearly an attempt to play on an us vs. them rhetoric that has existed ever since New York’s initiation as the cultural mecca of the U.S. It was a calculated political statement to be sure–Cruz knew that he probably wasn’t going to win New York anyways–probably not in a primary, and almost certainly not in a general–so why not pander to the Americans who see New York as a hotbed of immorality and run-amuck liberalism? It was dog whistle politics at its finest: “New York values” is a code word for immoral the same way that “San Francisco values” is a codeword for LGBTQ, or “urban” is a codeword for “Black people.”

Cruz’s risk came back to bite him in the ass, at least in the press, but I don’t know that it will hurt him in the long run. The idea that New York isn’t “real America,” is, to some conservatives, a valid concept. Erick Erickson, conservative pundit extraordinaire, made that loud and clear during the debate:

Let’s put it this way–it’s no secret what Cruz was talking about when he said “New York values”–New Yorkers got it, and so did everyone else on that stage. It wasn’t new, and it wasn’t surprising, but we’ll have to see if it makes a difference in Cruz’s fight to defeat Trump.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.



Send this to friend