Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, who has a long history in the fringes of the militia movement and once addressed a neo-Nazi event, now peddles various conspiracy theories while telling elected officials that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that they fear assassination. So, naturally, Rafael Cruz, the father and campaign surrogate of Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz,joined Pratt on his radio program last weekend to promote his recent book and his son’s presidential candidacy.
The younger Cruz has close ties to Gun Owners of America, including raising money for it, speaking to its members , boasting of its endorsement at a Republican debate, and appointing its chairman to head his campaign’s “Second Amendment Coalition.”
Rafael Cruz told Pratt that he was “so grateful” for GOA’s work, before launching into a discussion of how President Obama’s attempts to “take our guns away” and the “tremendous religious persecution” of Christians and Jews in America is all part of a plan to impose a murderous communist dictatorship.
Pratt, discussing the Batista and Castro regimes in Cruz’s native Cuba, mused that “arguably it could have made a difference” in Cuba “had people been able to defend themselves and had there been the militia tradition that we still sort of have in the United States.”
Cruz responded that the issue of gun rights is “critical” right now in the U.S., especially given the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
“That means if we get one more liberal justice with the same mind, we could all lose our right to keep and bear arms,” he said. “And I’ll tell you what, look at history, every dictator that has taken away the guns from the population have then used those guns to kill the population by the millions. Stalin did it, Hitler did it, Mao did it, Pol Pot did it, Castro did it, they’ve all done it. And Obama has been trying for the last seven years to take our guns away!”
Later in the interview, Cruz alleged that there is “tremendous religious persecution in America,” specifically against Christians and Jews, which he says is all part of an effort to destroy God and impose communism.
“You know, Larry, if we look at America,” he said, “there is tremendous religious persecution in America, more specifically, persecution against Christians and Jews in America. Well, we’ve got to realize that that is not the objective, that is only the means. You see, communism, socialism, Marxism — we can’t get caught up in semantics, it’s all the same — it requires for government to become your god. And in order for government to become your god, the must destroy the concept of God, and that’s what’s behind this attack on religion.”
The mutual admiration between Pratt and the Cruz family was evident during the hour-long interview.
“Thank you for standing in the gap, my brother,” Cruz told Pratt. “I know that you have been very instrumental in protecting that fundamental right for us.”
“Well, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Sen. Ted Cruz on more than one occasion,” Pratt replied.
This prompted Cruz to proudly bring up his son’s efforts to stop gun legislation in the wake of the Newtown school massacre. In particular, he said he was proud of the “leadership” his son his son showed in the infamous condescending lecture he delivered to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at a committee hearing, which prompted Feinstein to tell Cruz, “I am not a sixth grader.”
Cruz told listeners to Google the exchange “if they want to get a laugh,” assuring them that they would “get a laugh for sure.”
“You know, she does have a point,” Pratt responded. “If he even implied that she was a sixth grader, it would have been insulting to a sixth grader, so I’m glad he’s not guilty of that.”
The two then erupted in laughter.