The battle for California was Thursday night as Sen. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, addressed a crowd nearly 60 miles from a Donald Trump rally in Southern California.
Cruz received multiple standing ovations from the approximately 200-person crowd as he advocated for his son’s bid for the presidency at the San Bernardino GOP Central Committee meeting. He declared that Sen. Cruz could beat Democratic Party frontrunner in a landslide.
“We had a larger crowd than usual,” central committee member John Berry told Breitbart News. “Rafael Cruz was just amazing.” Berry repeated one of his favorite statements from Cruz: “We have to be biblically correct, not politically correct.”
Cruz referred to his son’s choice of former candidate Carly Fiorina as his VP, as “a California-Texas ticket,” according to The San Bernardino Sun. He went on to differentiate Sen. Cruz from GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, calling on a need for a statesman, not a dealmaker.
The senior Cruz also spoke of his early years growing up in Cuba and a “charismatic leader talking about ‘hope and change,’” in reference to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Along the campaign trail, Cruz has spoken of his father’s journey to America.
Sen. Cruz recently signed a jokester’s copy of the Communist Manifesto with the words “millions have suffered because of this.” He told the young man that he is “the son of a Cuban immigrant whose family has seen firsthand just exactly what communism has written.” The senior Cruz has also shared details of his immigration story on a recent edition of Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM.
“He really struck the conservative messages that brought us back to Ronald Reagan,” said Berry. He further described the crowd at the meeting as 70 percent Cruz supporters and 30 percent Trump supporters.
Just 60 miles away, a group of anti-Trump protesters stormed the outside of a Trump rally in Costa Mesa, California. Thousands of Trump supporters turned away at the door sang patriotic songs, and the crowd of approximately 8,500 inside were enthusiastic and peaceful. It was a stark contrast from the violence that erupted from the leftist crowd outside.
The Cruz event was also a very peaceful and enthusiastic event, according to those in attendance.
“What I find is more establishment conservatives, people who are already intent with the political process are pretty much Cruz supporters. People who feel disenfranchised and have not participated in the political process over the years tend to be more Trump supporters,” Berry suggested to Breitbart News.
Berry concluded, “More traditional conservatives are more aligned with Cruz.”
Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are each speaking at this weekend’s California Republican Party convention in San Francisco. Carly Fiorina will also have a turn at the podium as the keynote speaker of the Saturday dinner event.
California offers up 172 Republican delegates in the state’s June 7 primary election. Scores of mail-in ballots will come in before that date, drawing out the election for weeks ahead of the actual primary day.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana.