In an casual remark, inserted in the middle of a story, New York Times reporter Matt Flegenheimer conflated Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz with the segregationist former Alabama Democratic Governor, George Wallace.
Mr. Cruz has sharpened his already uncompromising language, eager to retain his own hold on popular anger against the political class, and to demonstrate conservative purity amid attacks from Senator Marco Rubio over immigration and national security policies.
He has coined a new phrase, “undocumented Democrats,” to describe those in the country illegally, and beefed up sections of his stump speech focused on immigration. He expressed amusement that Mr. Rubio had at last described his views on immigration “not only on Spanish-language television but on English-language television,” echoing some far-right commentators who have suggested that Mr. Rubio is more willing to present himself as a pragmatist on the issue when speaking Spanish.
And in a turn that called to mind, for some, Gov. George Wallace’s famous 1963 refrain in praise of segregation during the civil rights movement, Mr. Cruz pledged to oppose legal status for undocumented immigrants “today, tomorrow, forever.”
George Wallace (a Democrat) was the symbol of segregation, and he carried that message to the 1972 Democratic convention. In a 1963 speech, he declared:
“It is very appropriate that from this cradle of the Confederacy, this very heart of the great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us time and again down through history. Let us rise to the call for freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
The only people in the 2016 presidential race who had any connection to Wallace the Democrat whatsoever are the Clintons, also Democrats. As Governor of Arkansas in 1983, Bill Clinton was photographed having a beer with Wallace and then Vice President George HW Bush at an outdoor event. When Wallace died in 1998, President Clinton released the following statement:
“Hillary and I offer our condolences to the family and friends of George Wallace. I remember working with him at the Governors’ conference in 1983. Governor Wallace was wheelchair-bound and often in great pain, but he rolled into the committee room to provide the crucial vote that enabled the governors to help save federal support for disabled Americans unable to work.”
The New York Times is expected to endorse the Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential election.