In a speech Friday, Rafael Cruz, Religious Right activist and father of Sen. Ted Cruz, cited a fake quote from The Audacity of Hope to suggest that President Obama is a Muslim.
In audio obtained by ColoradoPols.com, the elder Cruz told the Adams County Republican Party, “Barack Obama said: If the winds shift, I will side with the Muslims.” When an audience member shouted, “He is Muslim!,” Cruz seemed to agree and replied: “McCain couldn’t say that, because it’s not politically correct. It is time to stop being politically correct!”
The quote of Obama saying he will “side with the Muslims” has been making the rounds on right-wing chain emails. The myth-busting website Snopes.com found that the line is a “rewording of a passage” from his book regarding “the importance of not allowing inflamed public opinion to result in innocent members of immigrant groups being stripped of their rights” and “contains no specific mention of ‘Muslims.’”
In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.
Cruz also repeated the thoroughly debunked claim that Obamacare will require people to have “end-of-life counseling” every five years, which he refers to as “suicide counseling.” PolitiFact called the charge an “outright distortion” of a provision that would have allowed Medicare to “cover the cost of end-of-life counseling sessions,” which are optional, and to “cover one session every five years.” The sessions would not have been mandatory and would not have “encourage[d] patients to end their lives.”
But even that provision isn’t currently law: It was dropped from the final bill thanks to far-right conspiracy theories.
Cruz went on to call the majority of Republican Senators “RINOs” for not supporting his son on a cloture vote for a government funding bill.