Rafael Cruz, father of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, speaks during the Faith and Freedom Coalition's "Road to Majority" conference in Washington, Friday, June 20, 2014.
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty

Ted Cruz’s dad: ‘Average black’ doesn’t know the minimum wage is bad


In another rant that could become a headache for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican’s father said he believes that “the average black” doesn’t realize the minimum wage is bad.

Pastor Rafael Cruz, who has a history of controversial statements, also said that African-Americans “need to be educated” about Democrats, while speaking at the Western Williamson Republican Club’s August meeting on Aug. 21.

“I said, as a matter of fact: ‘Did you know that civil rights legislation was passed by Republicans? It was passed by a Republican Senate under the threat of a filibuster by the Democrats,’ ” the elder Cruz said. “ ‘Oh, I didn’t know that.’ And then I said: ‘Did you know that every member of the Ku Klux Klan were Democrats from the South?’ ‘Oh I didn’t know that.’ You know, they need to be educated.”

He continued to describe a book, “Please Stop Helping Us: How Liberals Make It Harder For Blacks To Succeed,” written by Jason Riley, a black member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.

“Jason Riley said in an interview: ‘Did you know before we had minimum wage laws black unemployment and white unemployment were the same? If we increase the minimum wage, black unemployment will skyrocket.’ See, he understands it, but the average black does not,” he added.

Cruz’s comments were highlighted by BuzzFeed on Tuesday.

The elder Cruz could become a problematic figure for the Texas senator should he decide to make a presidential run in 2016. His history of outspoken comments includes claims that Obama is trying to “destroy all concept of God” and that the president would “side with the Muslims.” In May he said Obama’s legacy will “take [former President Jimmy] Carter’s place as the worst president ever in the United States of America, the man who destroyed the greatness of America,” though many blamed his own son for the political impasse that shut down the government for 16 days last fall.  

Three states – Arkansas, Georgia, and Wyoming – currently have minimum wage rates below the federal level. Obama earlier this year signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers by 2015, from the current $7.25 to at least $10.10 per hour. 

As Democrats continue to try to raise state minimum wages, Republicans blame them for using equal pay measures as a distraction ahead of this year’s midterm elections.