Local officials in New York City did not take kindly to comments Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made about the Bronx on Saturday.
In a speech at the the conservative group Americans For Prosperity’s Defending The American Dream Summit in Dallas, Texas, the senator blasted Democrats and President Barack Obama for a long list of their policies. He implied the Bronx is a dangerous area when mocking Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) for his positions on border security.
“Now, I understand that Manhattan is very concerned with their security with the Bronx, but it’s a little bit different on 2,000 miles of the Rio Grande,” Cruz said.
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. sent statements to Business Insider criticised Cruz’s comments as stereotypical.
Diaz said Cruz needs to “grow up.”
“Ted Cruz’s willingness to traffic in the outdated stereotypes of past decades is disgusting, and is totally devoid of truth,” said Diaz. “The Bronx has seen unprecedented positive growth in recent years, and Senator Cruz’s infantile attempt to score cheap political points by slandering our borough is revolting, and unworthy of the title of United States Senator. Grow up, Senator Cruz.”
Mark-Viverito described Cruz as an extremist.
“It’s sad that Ted Cruz would use tired and wrong stereotypes about the Bronx to try advance his extreme political agenda. The truth is the Bronx is growing and prospering and doesn’t need to be insulted by Tea Party extremists like Ted Cruz,” Mark-Viverito said.
Diaz, Mark-Viverito, and other local New York City politicos also weighed in on Twitter.
Mahen Gunaratna, an aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Diaz’s spokesman, John DeSio, pointed out Cruz’s home state has its own issues with crime.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer described Cruz’s comment as “ignorant.”
And Diaz and Mark-Viverito described Cruz’s view of the Bronx as inaccurate.
Business Insider reached out to a spokesperson for Cruz about the criticism from officials in New York. We did not receive an immediate response.
This post was updated to correct Stringer’s title at 11:05 a.m.
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