Dear Commons Community,
For the past week, there was been much buzz about Ted Cruz’s disparaging comments about New York values. Donald Trump rung Cruz’s bell during the Republican Party’s presidential debate on Thursday over these comments. But I want to thank Cruz for accomplishing something that no one else has been able to – unite New York State Governor Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Since both have been in office, they have worked at cross purposes and with antagonism to each other much to the dismay of most New Yorkers and especially Democrats. On Friday, the New York Daily News published an article written jointly by the two, responding to Cruz’s attack on New Yorkers and their values. Here is the article in its entirety.
Take that, Ted Cruz! Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio respond with real New York values
BY BILL DE BLASIO, ANDREW M. CUOMO
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, January 15, 2016, 8:27 PM
For the last week, Ted Cruz has settled on a campaign strategy that includes disparaging New York’s values. In a misguided attempt to profit from the politics of division, he has decided to write off and vilify a city of 8.5 million people and a state of 20 million.
For someone who has so much hostility toward our city and state, he spends an awful lot of time begging for money from our residents. According to the FEC, Cruz has raised close to half a million dollars from New York donors this election cycle alone. If he had any class or possessed true presidential timber, Ted Cruz would offer New Yorkers a real apology instead of sarcasm — not because we need it, but to prove he’s not a hypocrite. His rhetoric this week is unfit for anyone who hopes to lead the American people.
Politics must be about harnessing government to better people’s lives and move the country forward. We live in challenging times, and we need thoughtful leadership. Cruz’s latest strategy — disparaging New Yorkers and questioning our values — is anything but thoughtful. Instead, it is political cynicism at its worst.
Hate is never an acceptable political tool. And in New York, we reject those who seek to use it for personal gain. Instead, we welcome people of all backgrounds, and we embrace immigrants with open arms. We have forged one city, one state, and one family. Throughout our nation’s history, New York has been the gateway to opportunity and the driver of the American Dream — both for people born here, and those born on other shores who come here to achieve that magnificent Dream.
New York has also shown the nation what it means to truly come together in times of trouble, to overcome great tragedy, and to emerge even stronger than before. From the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers have joined hands with people from across the country and around the world to rebuild what had been destroyed, and to comfort those who experienced grave loss.
Emma Lazarus captured New York values best. Her poem, “The New Colossus” is inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty — in New York harbor. Ted Cruz has either forgotten or never heard Lazarus’ timeless lines, and we think he should:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Those are New York values. Acceptance. Compassion. Tolerance. Resilience. Equality. The principles that built the greatest nation on the earth, and that continue to help guide it today. New York welcomed people through Ellis Island. Ted Cruz would reject them. New York is strengthening the middle class. Ted Cruz wants to dismantle it. One World Trade Center stands today as a beacon of freedom around the world because of New York values.”
This is a well-stated response to Cruz. It would be a big plus if Cuomo and de Blasio could use their partnership and co-authorship of this article to unite and collaborate on important New York issues such as housing, education, and health care. Maybe Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, two Democratic candidates with New York ties, could assist in brokering a relationship between the two.