Cruz refers to controversial law as advice to conservative group
December 5th, 2013
03:12 PM ET
9 months ago

Cruz refers to controversial law as advice to conservative group

Washington (CNN) – Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's advice for a conservative group facing criticism and hardship: "Stand your ground."

The choice of words appeared to be a reference to a string of negative press the American Legislative Exchange Council – a group made up of conservative legislators and corporate members – received for backing laws similar to the controversial "Stand your ground" self-defense law that made national headlines in 2012 and 2013.

"I will tell you this, my advice to ALEC is very, very simple: Stand your ground," Cruz said to applause and a cheer of "hear, hear" from the audience at ALEC's winter meeting in Washington.

ALEC Spokesman Bill Meierling said he thought Cruz was referring to the controversial law and the criticism the group had received for backing similar proposals.

"I believe that he used that as a rhetorical device because it is a phrase that everyone in this room recognizes because of the challenges of the past two years," said Bill Meierling, ALEC's senior director of communication. "Every single person also knows that we no longer have any model policy on that issue, or any firearms issues for that matter."

"Stand Your Ground" is a self-defense law that was adopted by Florida in 2005. ALEC, a group that works with state legislatures and corporate sponsors to back legislation, took a similar policy and made it one of their "model bills," meaning the group approved of its passage in other states. After Florida's passage, around 10 other states passed similar legislation.

The law – which allows people to use deadly force to defend themselves anywhere they feel a reasonable fear of death or serious injury – was at the center of the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman, a Florida neighborhood watch volunteer, shot Martin on February 26, 2012 and claimed self-defense. Martin's family said Zimmerman profiled Martin.

The case grabbed national headlines with much of the trial being aired live. In July 2013, Zimmerman was found not guilty for the Martin murder.

But ALEC's support of laws like "Stand Your Ground" became a contentious issue for the group and led many corporate sponsors and legislators to withdraw their support. In a story published earlier this week, the Guardian newspaper chronicled funding lapses the group is currently experiencing because corporate members and legislators fled in the face for "Stand Your Ground."

Meierling, the group’s senior director of communications, acknowledged the issues "Stand Your Ground" created in an interview with CNN.

"Did the challengers of 2012 effect or impact our membership," he posited. "Absolutely."

Following the "Stand Your Ground" controversy, Meierling said corporate sponsors like McDonalds, Kraft, WalMart dropped their support for the organization. The spokesman also said those departures – and the difficult times of 2012 – allowed ALEC to look in the mirror and decide who they want to be.

In response, Meierling said ALEC has moved away from supporting legislation that does not address "limited government, free markets and federalism" which including ending its support to policies like "Stand Your Ground" and 400 other laws.

Cruz's speech – which he delivered by pacing the stage extemporaneously – went over well with the audience of 900 legislators, corporate sponsors and other interested parties. Multiple times during his remarks the audience roared with applause and as legislators left the hall, many spoke highly of the Texas lawmaker.

On top of standing their ground, Cruz encouraged the group to empower the American people.

"Every one of you knows the answers to the challenges we have in this country are not going to come from Washington, D.C.," he said. "They are going to come from the American people."

Cruz knocked the Obama administration repeatedly, faulting the President, Obamacare, foreign policy and gun policy.

He also took on the idea that the Republican Party is only the party of big business, an attack that Democrats usually use against other GOP lawmakers. Instead, Cruz said, big business "does great with big government."

"If you were flying a private jet five years ago, you are still flying a private jet," he said. "But who are the losers in the Obama economy? They are young people, they are Hispanics, they are African Americans, they are single moms. They are the ones who are losing their jobs."

Outside the hotel where Cruz was speaking, a number of liberal and labor groups got together to protest ALEC. Holding signs like "A Legislator for Every Corporation," the protestors chanted "Hey, hey, ho, ho, corporate greed has got to go."

Three floors down from the street, however, the protestors’ chants could only be heard as they were retold by legislators.


Filed under: Ted Cruz
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Yeah, whatever. There is absolutely nothing ... and I mean nothing ... worthy of respect in this man's character or demeanor.

    December 5, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Keep talkin Rapheal Cruz. The Guns Over People tea potty desperation grows and grows.

    December 5, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. The Real Tom Paine

    So, Cruz says that big business does well with big government: and who supports ALEC? Big business. The idea of economic populism coming from the party that has done everything imagineable to crush small-town Main Street shows just how much of an identity crisis the GOP suffers from.

    December 5, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. Michael

    let them spend their money on 'sensitivity' training; it's good for the economy. It won't do anything for this collection of slobbering half-wits, spending a couple of hours with a trainer isn't going to change someone who gets their info from that gas-bag limbaugh.

    December 5, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    That should sew it up. Cruz definitely will be the republican candidate for president in 2016. He is brain dead, married to Goldman Sachs, and is everything the Kochs and reptiles in the GOP want to destroy our country.

    December 5, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Stand your ground?
    Still trying to make up for your little ding a ling you messiah wannabe Canadian terrorist?
    Who cares what you have to say. Go back to Canada or Cuba!

    December 5, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    The case grabbed national headlines with much of the trial being aired live. In July 2013, Zimmerman was found not guilty for the Martin murder.
    ------------------
    How about a brief mention about the case currently under way in suburban Detroit. The one where a young, unarmed black woman knocked on a door in the middle of the night, and wound with her head being blown off by a shotgun at close range. She was petite and stood 5'4". Needless to say, the white who admitted shooting her claimed he feared for his life, but that the gun had discharged accidentally. He has yet to be charged with anything.

    December 5, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Boy! He sure knows how to stir up racial animus. #1 trait of a TEAhadists.

    December 5, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Hey wingnuts, he is such an embarrassment, are you sure you don't want Cruz deported too?

    December 5, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Abe Rodriguez

    Cruz is what tea naggers and the GOP call "anchor baby " so he and his father could get into America.the only time he mentions his mother, is that she an American citizen, and that makes him American one also. His father was a Cuban citizen, does that not make teddy a Cuban . Like Fidel Castro.

    December 5, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    "If you were flying a private jet five years ago, you are still flying a private jet," he said. "But who are the losers in the Obama economy? They are young people, they are Hispanics, they are African Americans, they are single moms. They are the ones who are losing their jobs."

    Over the last generation, the GOP has done everything in their power to keep young people, Hispanics, African Americans and single moms from being successful. All the things necessary to help people to rise up the economic ladder have been dismantled, all because a few people decide that poverty and working crushing hours for low pay and no benefits is somehow ennobling. Cruz has no idea how much ALEC has made us into a Wal-Mart economy, and he is so blinded by his own intellectual arrogance to step back and see ALEC for what it is: the antithesis of everything that drew his father to the US in the forst place.

    December 5, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    In one sentence, this brainless GOP garbage needs to be deported to CANADA.

    December 5, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Oh dear. The idiot paces, and strikes again with his "witticisms". "Don't blink" is another one. Odd how he didn't
    include in his list of "losers" in this economy the Texas children without health care, Texas families who
    cannot afford three meals a day, low paid workers who need food stamps to supplement the pittance they are
    paid. And still he blames President Obama.

    But, you don't hear any solutions or compromises out of this tea party jerk.

    December 5, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. The REAL Truth...

    Yeah, Americans love an underdog.. thinking that Cruz (who cannot even run for POTUS since he's not an nbc) will bring forth a resurgence of right wing Nationalism, not even realizing that they are the very same folks that killed it to begin with.

    December 5, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Give Cruz a bag of Skittles, and turn him loose in South Chicago at midnight.

    December 5, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Peppy

    Bammy just admitted he did live with his ILLEGAL dui uncle. Yet another bold face lie from the inept one.

    December 5, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He puts me in the mind of the stepford candidate: perfect hair, hand wave, make-up, clothes, and completely hollow and disconnected inside. His only goal: to take over the world.
    This mofo is scarier than the possibility of Mittens becoming President ever was.
    @ Lynda Minnesota
    My friend, I'm not being rude, I'm just being 'moderated" into oblivion!
    Please tell Rudy! Lol!

    December 5, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. Silence DoGood

    A conservative talking without a filter is the best liberal progressive advertisement in the world.
    moveon.org – save your money – just post videos of conservatives talking about anything that pops into their heads.

    Cruz: "Every one of you knows the answers to the challenges we have in this country are not going to come from Washington, D.C.," – um dude – you are one of those in Wash DC and we have heard a lot from you. So you are saying solutions are not going to come from folks like you???

    December 5, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    GOP/Teatrolls outreach is clearly on a roll. I suppose the analogy is somewhat apt though. The whole thing "stand your ground" law was invented pretty much because white racists wanted an excuse to shoot minorities, who they believe are inherently frightening and know very well they'd have a good chance of finding white jurors who believe the same thing. In the context Cruz is using it, well, GOP/Teatrolls also believe the growing minority population is inherently frightening politically, because they've spent the past 60+ years completely alienating minority voters. So yeah, "stand your ground" against the existential threat to your person and "stand your ground" against the existential threat to your party....and it all in comes down to white race resentment in both contexts. I'm glad Cruz admitted it.

    December 5, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Bill

    Keep flapping your jaw Teddy. Again, a one-termer in the Senate, then he's gone.

    December 5, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Ol' Yeller

    So, you admit business does do well under a Democratically controlled government? That's a first (it's true, and always has been, but they never admit it).
    Oh cruz, I'm sure you will have the " young people, ...Hispanics, ....African Americans, ....single moms. (They are the ones who are losing their jobs)" all flocking to vote for you and your te abag gers. I'm sure your stance on gay marriage, immigration, women's health issues and their rights, your personal and vindicative attacks against the first African American President , your veiled racism, and your efforts to restrict the minority vote will just have them flocking to the voting booth for you.
    I mean after a speech like that where you, "... knocked the Obama administration repeatedly, faulting the President, Obamacare, foreign policy and gun policy".
    Yea. Look out.
    Stampede.

    December 5, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Ted Cruz has s serious brith certificate problem.

    John McCain had similar problems back in 2008 because he was born in Panama. It was argued then that McCain was "born on U.S. soil" because he was born in a U.S. military hospital, which was located on a U.S. military base in Panama. It was argued at the time, that had McCain been born in a Panamanian hospital, then he would not have been a "natural born citizen", although he was automaticaly eligible for U.S. citizenship by simply applying for it. That was then.

    Fast foward to today. Ted Cruz has already mounted a campaign declaring himself a "natural born citizen" because his mother was an American, despite the fact that he was born in a Canadian hospital. Being born in a Canadian hospital slso means that there are *no U.S. records* of his birth. Cruz was automatically eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship, but that is a step that he has admittedly never undertaken. He claims that he's automatically an American. Maybe so, maybe not. I think not. McCain wasn't automatically a citizen back in 2008, so why should Cruz automatically be a citizen in 2013?

    December 5, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. Ol' Yeller

    That's a pretty familiear little stance he has in the photo, wouldn't you say?

    December 5, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Hey Cruz!!! wrote:

    Since WHEN has a republican EVER been a conservative?
    --------------------–
    "True Republicans" are out there. John McCain calls them "wacko birds/"

    December 5, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz, the GOP tea idiot better stay out of sight before the American people hang him from a lamppost for his goverment shutdown and his loss of24 billion dallars of OUR money!!!!!!!!!

    December 5, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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