NEW YORK, April 15 (UPI) — Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was virtually ignored while addressing party dignitaries at a dinner in New York City on Thursday, the latest in a string of hostile encounters in the Empire State after Cruz disparaged “New York values.”
The New York City GOP gala was held Thursday night in Manhattan and all three Republican presidential candidates were in attendance to speak to the 800 guests at the $1,000-per-plate party fundraiser.
Video showed Cruz speaking and an almost entirely disinterested crowd milling around their dinner tables, chatting, taking selfies and generally ignoring Cruz speaking at the lectern.
The speech was also broadcast on some cable news networks, showing Cruz and the disinterested crowd. Making matters worse, a disrupted audio feed from the podium made the chattering crowd sound all that much louder on television.
It was not the first time Cruz has met with a cold shoulder in New York.
Cruz was practically booed out of the South Bronx when he campaigned there last week, beset by protesters haranguing him over his harsh stance on immigration. A group of high school students threatened to walk out after their charter school invited Cruz to speak, prompting the school to cancel the invitation.
Cruz made the disparaging “values” comment in a debate in Iowa in January, at the time trying to link New York real estate developer Donald Trump to the state’s liberal political tradition. Trump vehemently defended “New York values,” pointing to the city’s response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Cruz has since said he did not mean to insult average New Yorkers, but instead the Democratic politicians who control much of the state government and New York City.
Drawing from his campaign stump speech, which normally receives large applause from supporters, Cruz only received smatterings of applause during his Manhattan address, NBC News reported.
At least one factor besides Cruz’s previous comments was working against him Thursday night. Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich both spoke first. Media reports indicated the crowd listened intently to Trump, but as the evening wore on, attendees got restless. After they had waded through protesters outside and waited in line for lengthy Secret Service screenings — then availed themselves of an open bar and sat through two other speeches — dinner finally arrived right as Cruz was speaking.
Twitter video of the speech clearly shows the din of people eating and chatting — and ignoring the junior senator from Texas speaking at the podium.