ANKENY, Iowa—With most recent polls showing him in a dead heat with billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump in the upcoming Iowa caucuses, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas) launched a 20-city barnstorming offensive here yesterday in a rally at Faith Baptist Bible College, just a short drive north from Des Moines.
Returning to the immigration theme that catapulted him and Mr. Trump to the top of the field of Republican presidential hopefuls, Mr. Cruz told an enthusiastic crowd that during his first day in office he would issue an Executive Order to return the Statue of Liberty to France—who presented it to the young American nation in 1886 as a gift to represent freedom and democracy—to send a message about the “new reality check” in American immigration policy.
“They will know then that the new American President means business when we deport the Statue of Liberty back to France,” he told the cheering crowd. “If it means dismantling her and shipping her in tiny little pieces, we’ll make sure she gets back over there.”
He outlined his three-prong immigration plan that would focus on restoring the rule of law to American immigration policy.
“The American people understand that we must reverse the Obama policies that invite criminals and terrorists to defy the law, allow manipulation of our generous immigration system, and reward illegal immigrants for their actions.”
The Canada-born Texan promised the crowd he would create a 21st century immigration policy that more aligns with American values, not “New York values.”
“No longer will we let the words of a liberal New York poet define our immigration policy,” he said, referring to the poem by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed on a bronze plaque in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
“There are no more huddle masses yearning to breathe freedom. Instead there are just jihadists coming here to enslave us under the yoke of Islamic fascism and criminals coming here wanting to turn us into a third-world banana republic.”
At the end of his speech, he urged the crowd to turn out in large number at the caucuses and vote for him so they could send Mr. Trump a message.
“When you go to the caucuses, take everybody that you know, all your friends, neighbors, coworkers, anybody you run into on the street. Let’s show that New Yorker that Iowa values are Texas values.”
Givhan N. Cites reports on dynamics of 2016 presidential campaigns.