Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz, discussed his new book "A Time for Action," talked about fleeing the oppressive government in Cuba, making his way in America and now supporting his son's candidacy for POTUS.
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Dan: . . .Dan and Amy. So Amy, Ted Cruz offered a media avail in Iowa yesterday to respond to some of the shots he's taking from Trump. Here's what Ted Cruz had to say about Donald Trump falling out of love with Ted Cruz: "Now, those are meaningful differences, those are substantive differences. I will continue to saying Donald's [inaudible] personally. I think he's bold, I think he's brash, I think he's energized. A lot of people to focus on this election, and that's a wonderful thing. But policy distinctions are what we should be talking about, and it's what the voters deserve." Dan: So Cruz basically said, "I'm not taking the bait, I'm not going to go into the name-calling, I'm not going to respond to him saying I'm a nasty person and no one likes me." That kind of the the playground taunts. I'm going to focus on our policy differences." And yesterday, even though we're still a week away, six days away, from the conquest Amy: 167 hours [inaudible]. Dan: Thank you for watching the clock. Cruz essentially made what I think is his final argument to voters at this media avail. Listen. "There is a volcanic frustration that those majorities don't honor the promises we made to the voters. Well, in this presidential election, the people of Iowa have a chance to make an assessment. Who can you trust? And I'll tell you what I'm advising, people. Here, which is don't listen to what any of us say. Don't listen to what I say, don't listen to what Donald Trump says, or anybody else. Instead, look at our records. If you want someone who will stand up against ObamaCare, ask who has stood up against ObamaCare. If you want someone who will stand up against amnesty, don't ask who gives the loudest speeches on amnesty, ask who led the fight to defeat the Rubio-Schumer Gang of Eight amnesty bill. If you want someone to defend life or marriage or religious liberty, ask who has a record of defending life and marriage and religious liberty. And the reason we're seeing Conservatives across the country, and especially here in Iowa, come together is that people are tired of Campaign Conservatives. Those candidates who discover Conservative [inaudible] when they announce their campaign for president. And they're looking for a consistent Conservative. Someone as the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. With me, you know what you're going to get. And I think that's why conservatives are coming together behind our candidate." Dan: I think that's why this Conservative is coming together behind Ted Cruz's candidate. The Consistent Conservative message that's Ted Cruz's final argument in Iowa. I think you're going to hear it the rest of the week. But let's get some more texture and insight into one Sen. Ted Cruz from the man who taught him everything he knows. That's his father, Ptr. Rafael Cruz, who's got a new book called 'A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America.' Ptr. Cruz, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it. Ptr. Rafael Cruz: Dan, it's so great to be with you. Is it cold in Chicago this morning? Dan: No, it's not bad, actually. It's kind of temperate. Is it cold in Texas? Ptr. Rafael Cruz: No, no, no. I'm in Iowa. Dan: Oh, yeah. Amy: He's an outspoken surrogate campaigning with the son. Dan: I know. We have said that there was a little test just to make sure he's where he's supposed to be. Ptr. Rafael Cruz: I sure am. Dan: All right. So Ptr. Cruz, why don't we start with your story before we get to Ted's? And your story starts in Cuba where you fled the Batista Regime on the Advent of the Castro Revolution? Tell us your story and then how it relates to the message you're trying to deliver in the book. Ptr. Rafael Cruz: Well, that is the way my book starts. It's talking about how I grew up in a very oppressive military dictatorship. As a matter of fact, the revolution started in the high schools, from the universities. So it started with student protest, initially. And then this young, charismatic leader rose up talking about hope and change. His name was Fidel Castro. Dan: Oh, I thought you were talking about 2008. Yes. Okay. Ptr. Rafael Cruz: And we all followed him, not knowing any better. And there is hope with my involvement I was captured, I was in prison, I was tortured. But by the grace of God, I was able to leave Cuba and come to the United States legally on a student visa. And I started at the University of Texas. I paid my way through school working first as a dishwasher, then as a cook. And then when he took over in 1959, I went back to Cuba that summer. And I was shocked. Because the same man that had been talking about hope and change was now talking about how the rich were evil, how they oppressed the poor, about the need to redistribute the wealth, confiscating private property, [abducting?] freedom of [inaudible], freedom of religion. So I left Cuba, [the solution?] never to return again for [inaudible] to be in the greatest country in the [inaudible]. I am so proud to be an American. This is the greatest country on the face of the earth. So I saw firsthand what Communism does to a country. And so when my son was growing up, he was 9 years old when I started working with an organization called The Religious Roundtable. I was at Judeo-Christian organization, but together with moral majority, [inaudible] millions of Christians, people of faith who helped elect Ronald Reagan whom I consider the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln. So when my son, Ted, was 9 years old, he got a dose of conservative politics from a Christian worldview every day for a year when he was growing up. So that's when he started reading, looking at Conservatives [inaudible]. Dan: By 9 years old, I assume Ted Cruz was already briefing Supreme Court Cases. Ptr. Rafael Cruz: Not quite. But I'll tell you again, I explained in detail in my book a time fraction. When [inaudible] turned 14, just entering high school, we introduced him to an organization called The Free Enterprise Institute. So now, he just turned 13, and he's reading, [inaudible] freedom and the federalist papers and the anti-federalist papers. [inaudible] organization creates a group of five kids, they call them the constitutional corroborators. Ted was one of those five. And they hired a [inaudible] expert, they taught them how to memorize the U.S. Constitution. For the next four years, my son, Ted, gave approximately 80 speeches across the state of Texas on free market economics and the constitution. Before my son, Ted, left high school, he was passionate about the constitution, he was passionate about the declaration, about free market, about limited government, about the rule of law and that passion became like fire in his bones. And I'll tell you, Dan, that reason I know my son, Ted Cruz, would not compromise his principles in Washington is that fire [inaudible] life today as it was over 30 years ago. Amy: Now, there's no doubt that your son is the smartest person running for president in the cycle. And how did your time in Cuba and what happened to you shape his political values and his ideology? Ptr. Rafael Cruz: Well, I saw Communism firsthand and Socialism, Communism, Marxism it's all the same, with different labels. It doesn't work. It doesn't work because it destroys individual responsibility. It just makes people lose the dream and just be conform with where the [inaudible] life. When Ted was growing up, I don't know how many times I told him, "You know, Ted, when I lost my freedom in Cuba, I had a place to come. If we lose our freedoms here, where are we going to go?" And you know, Amy, there's no place to go. Dan: And so I guess, with respect to Ted Cruz, how have you viewed the presidential campaign? Again, maybe even take a step back. I know you introduced Ted Cruz to all these great thinkers at an early age and then he chartered his course. Did you ever expect that he would be a senator from Texas and he would be a leading contender for the presidency of the United States? Ptr. Rafael Cruz: Well, Dan, that is the greatness of America. Where else can someone come in with practically no money, not even being able to speak the language, and within one generation, see his son as a U.S. senator and potentially, as the next president of the United States of America? Only in America that can happen. But let's not think about that. I'll tell you what: it's hard to contain the tears from my eyes. This is the greatness of America. America is worth saving. That's why we're all fighting to restore sanity, to restore the constitution, to restore the rule of law we cannot give up on America. And if I want [inaudible] around the one man that has the vision, that has the courage, that has the record, and has the backbone to fight against [inaudible] because of corruption in both parties, then I think if Iowans coalesce, Ted Cruz will be the next president of the United States of America and we will see America's greatest days ahead. Amy: Ptr. Rafael Cruz, how have you handled the mugslinging, the nasty comments sledded against your son? Ptr. Rafael Cruz: Well, that goes with the territory. Jesus even said, He said: "They'd persecuted me, they would persecute you." As a matter of fact, both Ted and I view that mugslinging as: "Well, we must be doing something right when they're coming after us." If you're not making an impact, nobody cares, nobody even responds. It is sad that people have come down to attacking the individual character or the integrity of an individual instead of looking at the policy issues. The substantive difference that there are. Who is best led to lead this country? We're about to engage in electing the next president of the United States the leader of this country. The leader of the free world. We'd better make sure we elect the man that is ruled not by emotions, but by looking at the facts that has the substantive background in the constitution, in the rule of law, in what it takes to govern, and that has a servant's spirit. Dan: We're talking to Ptr. Rafael Cruz, Ted Cruz's father. He's also the author of the new book 'A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America.' And I want to get your take on that subtitle Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America. You've got some specific recommendations for Christians including pastors as to what should be done so that religious freedom and some of the other policy proposals that Ted Cruz is advancing as a candidate are consummated. Ptr. Rafael Cruz: Yes. One of the challenges we've had is that too many people of faith have stayed home and not gotten involved with the political process. And there are few [inaudible] being, "Well, politics is a dirty business. I don't want any part of it." Well, how can we change politics being a dirty business if people of principle are not running for office, if people of principle don't vote? So in my book, A Time for Action, I outlined five action steps. Number 1, make sure that everyone understands that voting is our civic responsibility. So many Christians are not even registered to vote. I don't care if [inaudible] every pastor, every church make sure everyone in your congregation is registered to vote, and then make sure everyone caucus and they caucus for righteousness. They don't vote for addition, they vote conviction. Vote for candidate that stands on the principles that have made America great. And they are those Judeo-Christian principles, those principles that are embedded in our constitution. Number 2, we need to make sure that we share messages even from the Pope that are important to America and that [inaudible] the foundations are being destroyed I'm talking about what the biblical concepts are to restore those foundations. Number 3, we need to encourage Amy: Oh. Dan: Uh-oh. Donald Trump's jamming the signal. What happened to Ptr. Cruz? Amy: He knew. Dan: Number 3 was the key. That was the key one, it's number 3. Amy: I'm waiting! Dan: Oh, we lost Ptr. Rafael Cruz, obviously. Amy: But we could read his book. Dan: His book is 'A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America.' Even though Donald Trump cut our line, we appreciate Ptr. Rafael Cruz joining us.