LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Amid chants of ‘Raider! Power!’ and ‘Ted! Cruz!’ Texas' junior senator rallied South Plains Republicans Wednesday afternoon.
The Senator, on a bus tour of West Texas, visited Lubbock’s Four Bar K Ranch before heading up to Amarillo.
The crowd of approximately 600 voters were warmed up by State Representative Dustin Burrows, who told the crowd the Cruz/O’Rourke race was not a popularity contest.
Lubbock County Republican Chairman Steve Evans then told the crowd even with high early voting numbers that the race wasn’t over until every last vote was cast.
Dan Smith, the Lockney farmer whose own Ted Cruz rally was cancelled to hold the Lubbock event was given the honor to introduce Cruz. “He has supported our community. We are grateful for Senator Cruz for helping rural Texas.”
Cruz, who came out to thunderous applause, told the crowd “God bless Texas and God bless Lubbock,” as he walked to the center of the dancefloor riser.
The crowd could best be described as Cruz' true believers. They cheered loudly when he talked about the nominations of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, they cheered loudly for Cruz’s support of the second amendment and continued promises to abolish Obamacare.
On that subject came the afternoon’s one heckler - a woman holding a ‘real obamacare recipient’ was escorted from the hall amid chants of “Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye!”
Cruz defended the woman’s right to protest, saying she was exercising her first amendment right.
On border security, the Senator re-iterated he had the support of the National Border Patrol Council, the largest union for border patrol officers. His stance on immigration earned him chants of “Build That Wall!”
He then took a jab at his opponent, sharing the story of the internet meme saying anyone currently on the so-called ‘caravan’ from Central America can find refuge by looking for homes with Beto signs in the front yard. “Go on in, they don’t believe in walls,” he joked to thunderous applause.
Cruz wrapped up his speech with a call to vote, saying he had held 41 rallies in the past 6 weeks across Texas, and urged anyone who hadn’t voted to get to the poll as soon as possible. Before signing off he evoked the spirit of Texas with the story of the town of Gonzales raising the “Come and Take It!” flag “That is who we are. This is Texas, defending liberty is in our DNA.”
Crosbyton cotton farmer David Appling came to the rally having not voted yet. “I like to wait until election day,” he laughed. But that doesn’t mean he was undecided. “He has done good things for our state and country. He’s come around to our agriculture policies."
Appling added that having Cruz on the Senate Judiciary Committee is incredibly important to Texans. “Cruz understands what the constitution is, and how it effects our lives as a document. he knows it’s not swayed by the whim of the day.”
Smith too praised Cruz for being more politically aligned with the values of most South Plains residents. “He’s pro farmer, pro business and pro family. He encompasses the ideals of West Texas."
Cruz spoke with the media after posing for pictures with hundreds of fans, including a man dressed as Batman. KCBD asked him the same question posed to O’Rourke in his Monday rally - what do you say to rural undecided voters as the election gets closer?
“This election is all about turnout,” he said. “Texas is enjoying an incredible economic boom... What we’re doing works.”
He added that at each rally he’s had a lifelong Democrat come up to him and say they were with him. He invited anyone who hasn’t decided to come and join him. “We welcome you with open arms.”
And as his double-decker tour bus rolled north along the interstate toward Amarillo, he hoped those voters take up his offer.