CJ Pearson, the 13-year-old who gained internet fame after criticising President Obama in his YouTube videos, ditched Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s campaign because he wasn’t focusing enough on youth issues.
Pearson was the leader of “Teens for Ted,” a youth group that backed the candidate and is officially connected with the campaign.
Recently, Pearson was alleged to have fabricated a screenshot of Obama’s Twitter account blocking his. A White House official soon tweeted that the president never blocked anyone from viewing his tweets, the Washington Post reported.
“I wanted my freedom back,” Pearson told INSIDER. “I think it’s funny, there are so many things you can’t do when you’re a part of a presidential campaign that you know other people can…There was a no-negativity rule and I’m a really snarky person, so when I can’t use that, it’s just really stressful.”
The 8th-grader from Georgia did not get to speak with Cruz about his decision, but said senior campaign staff spoke with him and they weren’t upset with his choice.
He’s now going to focus on his own political venture that will look to bring attention to student loan debt and youth unemployment, he said.
“CJ has a bright future ahead of him and will be an important voice for the Republican Party,”Cruz campaign spokesman Rick Tyler told INSIDER. “We are sorry to see him go but wish him well on his new venture.”
As the leader of Cruz’s youth group, Pearson said many people asked him what the Texas senator was doing for young people. Pearson said he couldn’t come up with much of an answer, although he added that no one in the 2016 race was leading on youth issues.
Cruz is still his choice among the 2016 candidates.
“I think Ted Cruz is definitely my guy,” he said. “And I think he is definitely what America needs to make our country whole again and to make our country great again.”
Video editing by Adam Banicki.
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