Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz is promising to “pull the boot of Washington off of California“ and bring jobs and economic growth to the state.
“You're suffering under knuckleheaded liberal Democratic politicians,“ he told a crowd in San Diego Monday night, after an afternoon appearance in Orange County.
(Related: PolitiFact California's Chris Nichols takes a look at Cruz's PolitiFact record.)
The Texas senator's appearance Monday was a reminder that regardless of what happens in New York's April 19 elections, the presidential nomination on the Republican side — if not for both parties — won't be decided for another two months.
Cruz weaved California references into his stump speech, saying the state's residents are hurting.
“Y'all are paying the price for having the highest taxes in the country, for having the worst regulatory regime in the country, for causing small businesses to flee this country,“ he says. “But let me tell you this: in 2017, we're gonna pull the boot of Washington off of California and you're gonna see jobs and economic growth back in California!“
Many analysts believe California will decide the Republican presidential nomination for the first time in 50 years.
A Field Poll late last week showed Cruz trailing businessman Donald Trump by seven points — but leading him in some parts of the state. California awards most of its GOP delegates by congressional district.
Cruz has cast himself as more electable than Trump, in part because of organizational advantages in the complicated and tedious process of collecting delegates heading into the summer national convention.
- Ben Adler | Capital Public Radio. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jerry Brown Says Ted Cruz Has "Lame Ideas"
California Governor Jerry Brown is taking a swipe at Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz as the Texas senator campaigns in the Golden State.
“I tell you – I have not given a lot of thought to Sen. Cruz, but I marvel at the fact that he got out of Harvard and had so many lame ideas,” Brown said when asked about Cruz by reporters Monday at a bill signing in the governor's office.
The crowd of supporters laughed and applauded.
The Cruz campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but the candidate appeared to acknowledge Brown's jab in his campaign speech Monday night in San Diego.
“And by the way, I gotta say, I'm told today that Governor Moonbeam was attacking me,“ Cruz said, referring to a longtime nickname of Gov. Brown's. “To which I say, thank you very much, sir!“
Also Monday, the Cruz campaign announced endorsements from more than 50 current or former California Republican elected officials, including Reps. Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher.
- Ben Adler | Capital Public Radio
Brown Demurs On Superdelegate Vote
California Gov. Jerry Brown is a superdelegate in the Democratic presidential primary. That means he’s one of the hundreds of party leaders who – along with pledged delegates based on primary and caucus results – can choose to vote for either Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Brown has had warm words for Clinton in recent years, but said Monday he’s not announcing his choice yet.
“I’m exercising the full range of my responsibilities and prerogatives,“ the governor told reporters. “So, we’ll see, we’ll see what happens. I’m not in any hurry. Once you make decisions, y’know, you give up the ability to make a decision.“
In 1992, Brown did not endorse Bill Clinton in his presidential run, after competing against him in the primary.
- Ben Bradford | Capital Public Radio