He got some blow-back.
Critics panned Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz when he visited a Brighton Beach matzoh factory on April 7, because he voted against a $60 billion disaster relief bill in 2013 that aided the storm-ravaged neighborhood’s recovery. Cruz schmoozed with supporters — some of whom donned red, velvet yarmulkes embroidered with “I’m with Teddy” in Hebrew — at the Chabad Neshama Model Matzoh Bakery, a cultural education center that sits in the shadow of Trump Village Estates, the co-op towers built by the father of Cruz’s primary opponent, Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. Critics said Cruz’s visit was all bread and circuses.
“Ted Cruz had the audacity to hold a campaign event in a neighborhood that was under water and devastated during Sandy,” said Chris McCreight, who is running for Democratic committeeman in Coney Island’s 46th Assembly District. “People died, homes were ruined, and lives were turned upside down — and he turned his back on us when we needed help the most.”
And a local councilman shamed Cruz on social media.
“Senator, as someone who represents areas in southern BK ravaged by Sandy, your vote against Sandy relief for NY won’t be forgotten,” Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) tweeted.
The 2012 storm destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses in the borough, many of which are still waiting for repairs. And it killed 43 people in New York City, including seven in Brooklyn — in neighborhoods less than a mile away from where Cruz spent his afternoon courting voters.
In January 2013, the United States Senate passed a bill to fund more than $60 billion for areas impacted by the storm. But Cruz voted “nay,” claiming the money would be spent in ways unrelated to recovery.
The visit came 12 days before the New York primary and weeks after the evangelical-courting Southern Baptist’s controversial condemnation of so-called “New York values,” a phrase some pundits claim was coded anti-Semitism.
— with Max Jaeger