Ted "Cruzes" into Kannapolis
Mar 08, 2016 08:09PM
By Jason Huddle
Presidential candidates haven’t historically considered Cabarrus County a stopping point on their national tours. However, the top two republican front-runners have now visited the area twice in the past two days, and a third appearance planned on Sunday.
It was a stark contrast to the political rally of Senator Ted Cruz’s opponent held at the Cabarrus Arena a little more than 24 hours prior. There were no protesters, silent or otherwise, either outside or inside Central Baptist Church in Kannapolis. No one started screaming with intent to disrupt Mr. Cruz as he spoke for about 90 minutes on a warm Tuesday evening. Although Cruz and Trump agree in principle, their approaches are different and easy to see when compared back to back.
Trump is the angry, combative anti-establishment candidate. “I understand Trump
supporters,” Cruz told the Kannapolis crowd tonight. “They’re angry at politicians who go to Washington and do exactly the opposite of what they promised. Donald is a loud, profane voice. But you don’t solve the problem by voting for someone who has been a part of the corruption in Washington for 40 years!”
By comparison, Cruz has a softer approach. He is unwavering in his stances on immigration and Obamacare and he is unapologetic about his desire to abolish the IRS. It was these topics that garnered the most cheers from the crowd. He urged republicans to come together in order to defeat Donald Trump. “If we don’t,” he warned. “Hillary (Clinton) wins.”
Rather than call his supporters to recite a pledge to vote for him, Cruz took another shot at Trump by reminding the crowd that this is a job interview. “I’m not asking anyone to pledge their support for me. I’m here to pledge my support of you.”
Before Cruz took the stage, several local politicians and celebrities took the stage. NC Representative for the 82nd district, Larry Pittman spoke briefly. He indicated he had never publicly endorsed a candidate previously but he was compelled to endorse Cruz. “Ted Cruz understands our rights come from God, not the government,” he said to the crowd, which was received heartily.
Local businessmen, David and Jason
Benham, who also gained national attention when HGTV pulled their new TV show because of their stance on gay rights, also spoke. David said that Cruz was the only politician who reached out to them when they were fired. “America is great because it is good and when America ceases to be good, it will also cease to be great,” David also told the capacity crowd. “Ted Cruz understands that!”
Cruz rallied the crowd of mostly evangelicals and urged them to come together next Tuesday for the NC primaries to give them his vote and defeat Trump. He claimed to be in a statistical tie with Trump within this state. Cruz also plans to stop back through Concord on Sunday where he will be speaking at the ZMax Dragway.
Article and photos by: Jason Huddle