Sen. Ted Cruz was out on the snowy eve of the New Hampshire debate courting voters on issues of immigration and regulating the pharmaceutical industry while looking to win over libertarians left behind now that Sen. Rand Paul has left the race.
New Hampshire State Representative Eric Eastman — a former Rand Paul supporter — endorsed Cruz at the Lancaster Elementary School rally in Salem on Friday. The Dallas Morning News reported of the hundreds gathered that they came undecided, but Cruz appeared early on to find favor with the crowd.
When Cruz delved into the issues of immigration and amnesty, the New Hampshire audience began chanting, “Mar-co, Mar-co,” in what the Morning News referred to as mocking spirit toward Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
According to the report, Cruz also addressed the state’s prolific drug abuse problem. Cruz called for increased oversight in the pharmaceutical industry that he lumped in with what he deemed the “Washington cartel.” He specifically called out the problem of overprescribing drugs. However, when questioned whether a moratorium on direct-to-consumer drug advertisements should be put in place, he refused the idea, citing free speech.
Cruz also addressed how the media is not emphasizing Cruz’s win among “conservatives, Reagan Democrats, evangelicals, and young people.” Cruz would later comment that winning in Iowa reflected both a winning formula and integrity, according to the Morning News report. He touted his position to halt federal ethanol mandates despite the concern that it could cost Iowa votes.
The Morning News went on to report that Cruz fired back against disparaging comments from fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump:
If you stand up to cronyism and corporate welfare, they say you’re unlikeable. You are really mean, don’t you know how to get along with people? By the way, getting along with people is code word for giving your children and grandchildren trillions in debt.
Photos and commentary of the packed Cruz event flowed to Twitter:
Pulling up to Cruz event hour early in Salem & there are already too many people for the parking lot. A good eight inches of snow today too.
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) February 5, 2016
— NINA KAPUR (@nina_kapur1) February 5, 2016
— Douglas B. (@dbrin62) February 5, 2016
A N.H. state representative who had supported @RandPaul is saying the pledge of allegiance and about to speak at Cruz's town hall in Salem.
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) February 5, 2016
One out of state New Jersey resident posited, “supposed Fidel Castro was attacking ISIS, would you allied yourself with him?” The man went on to lecture Cruz on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Cruz responded to the man, despite continued interruptions, saying, “My view on foreign policy is that the central focus of our foreign policy should be defending the vital national security interest of this country.” He went on to say “we’ve seen a path that doesn’t work.” As the man continued to interrupt, Cruz moved on to other audience questions.
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