Ted Cruz may not have been in Wichita on Friday night, but his supporters heard several speeches in favor of his campaign for presidency.
Rafael Cruz, the Texas senator’s father, spoke to more than 400 people at a rally in east Wichita about his son’s upbringing and work in the U.S. Senate.
He talked about his son’s passion growing up for political philosophy and the Constitution.
“That fire is as alive today as it was over 30 years ago,” he told a conservative, pro-Cruz crowd at the Wichita Marriott.
Rafael Cruz, a Cuban exile, put the 2016 presidential election in existential terms, saying “this country will be destroyed” if Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is elected.
“I lost my freedom once. I’m not willing to lose it again,” he said.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who represents western and northern Kansas, called Cruz a thorn in the side of “establishment” politicians in both parties in Congress.
“What Ted Cruz tells us behind closed doors is the same thing you see him say on the trail,” Huelskamp said. “There are no secret tapes for Ted Cruz. That’s what scares Washington so much.”
Huelskamp criticized Republican frontrunner Donald Trump and touted Cruz’s work in the Senate against the Affordable Care Act and “amnesty” regarding illegal immigration.
“Let me tell you who was there at the battle: It was Ted Cruz,” Huelskamp said. “In every major conservative battle for the last 10, 20 or 30 years…Donald Trump was never on our side.”
Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine and former Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun also stumped for Ted Cruz.