WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday blamed President Barack Obama for the racial tensions and unrest unrolling across the U.S., including the current turmoil in Baltimore, Maryland.
“President Obama, when he was elected, he could have been a unifying leader,” Cruz lamented in a question and answer session hosted by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Instead, the presidential candidate argued, Obama “has made decisions that I think have inflamed racial tensions, that have divided us rather than bringing us tougher.”
As evidence of Obama’s poor record on the matter, Cruz pointed to vice president Joe Biden’s comments during the 2012 campaign, in which Biden claimed Republicans would put African-Americans “back in chains.” Pressed by reporters at the Chamber of Commerce event to name a specific case where the president inflamed racial tensions, Cruz cited the 2011 “beer summit,” in which Obama invited black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to have a beer at the White House with white police Sgt. James Crowley, who had arrested Gates at his home.
Obama “has not used his role as president to bring us together,” Cruz said. “He has exacerbated racial misunderstandings.”
The conservative firebrand also accused Obama of “building a straw man of the opposition to vilify and caricature” the Republican Party.