Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) absence from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting is hopefully not a sign that the presidential candidate is “backing away from the Hispanic community,” USHCC president and CEO Javier Palomarez says.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Palomarez sounded a note of displeasure that the newly announced presidential hopeful did not attend his group’s summit, Fox News Latino reports.
“Ted Cruz chose not to come,” the outlet quotes Palomarez. “I hope it is not indicative that he’s backing away from the Hispanic community in order to get through the [GOP] primary.”
Palomarez added that Cruz and all candidates will need Hispanic support to win the presidency.
“If you’re trying to get to the White House without openly trying to engage the Hispanic community,” Palomarez said, “you’re not going to get there.”
According to Fox News Latino’s report, Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), other likely GOP presidential candidates, also did not attend, however they have attended such USHCC summits in the past and missed the event this year due to scheduling conflicts.
As the report notes, Cruz is a supporter of small business and Cruz’s father is Cuban. Further, as part of his candidacy roll out, Cruz released a Spanish language Youtube ad.
Palomarez added, according to Fox News Latino, that he speaks with both parties about issues Latinos care about, meeting recently with both Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“The Hispanic community, bar none, is important to the U.S. economy,” Palomarez said according to the report. “Immigration reform is an economic imperative for the well-being of this nation.”
Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.