On Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gave a rousing speech at the Values Voter Summit covering a wide array of topics, from education and Common Core to religious freedom and economics. Cruz had the crowd on its feet through much of the 20-minute speech, which began with a heavy dose of humor leveled at the current administration. Predictably, liberals and the media took some of his comments out of context while completely ignoring the bulk of his speech.
“If you vote for Hillary [Clinton] you are voting for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” Cruz said, referring to President Obama’s nuclear deal with the hard-line Iranian regime. “If you vote for me, under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. And If the ayatollah doesn’t understand that, we may have to help introduce him to his 72 virgins.”
Much of the so-called “mainstream media” immediately latched onto the comment, claiming that Cruz threatened to kill the Iranian leader on his first day in office. Writing at the Daily Beast, Justin Jones said Cruz “threatened to kill Iran’s leader if he didn’t give up plans for a nuclear program.”
Another site claimed that Cruz “threatened to murder Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.” Social media sites like Twitter were flooded with wild claims that stemmed from media reports like those mentioned above.
“Extremist running for office in #1 state sponsor of terrorism threatens to murder leader of besieged country,” one person tweeted, citing the Daily Beast article. “Ted Cruz threatens to kill leader of Iran, calls for Obama to be incarcerated,” another person said on Twitter, using the same Daily Beast article.
Cruz also had poked fun at the president over his meeting with Chinese President Xi. “Media all across the world are reporting on this historic meeting of the world’s most powerful communist – and the president of China,” he said. “If they can project a rainbow on the White House, maybe they can put bars on the windows,” he joked, causing the Daily Beast and others to fret that Cruz would send Obama to jail if elected.
“Cruz says on his first day as president he would arrest Obama,” one person tweeted. “That would get him the civil war he’s always wanted.” A headline at FreakOutNation screamed: “Ted Cruz: On My First Day As President I Will Jail ‘Communist’ Obama And Kill Iran’s Ayatollah.” The link was tweeted by a number of people on the social media site.
It’s true that Cruz listed off the top things he would do on his first day in office. One of the agenda items mentioned was the Iranian nuclear deal, which Cruz said he would tear up. But it’s a bit of a stretch to claim that Cruz threatened to murder the ayatollah on his first day in office.
Supporters loved his speech, but the hatred dripped from detractors. Commenting at YouTube, one person called the Texas Republican an “evil, unpatriotic, ugly little man.”
“Would not mind seeing this bastard die,” another YouTube viewer said. “He is like Hitler, a hate generating machine,” the user ironically added. Another left-wing detractor called Cruz an “unlettered, anti-American, non-human rabid demon-dog.” The user also said Cruz belongs in a cage, adding that he would, “be put in one.”
As of September 22, Cruz placed sixth in the RealClearPolitics average with 6.5 percent of the polls. Donald Trump is still far ahead of the pack with 24 percent. Video of his speech can be seen above.