Republican TexanTed Cruz, who had the support of the Tea Party, becomes the third Latino in the U.S. Senate today.

Republican TexanTed Cruz, who had the support of the Tea Party, becomes the third Latino in the U.S. Senate today. (Photo/Getty Images)

Ted Cruz: We lost because of 47 percent, not immigration

With Republicans engaging in post-election licking of wounds and a reassessment of the state of their party, new Texas Senator Ted Cruz, stands as one of the few Latino bright spots in the GOP.

He spoke at the “Red, White and Blue” gala about what went wrong for Republicans and had a lot to say about Mitt Romney’s now-infamous 47 percent statement.

While he defended Romney and admitted that everyone says wrong things from time to time, he zeroed in particularly on the story and narrative that “47 percent” conveys.

“It wasn’t that comment — everyone if you put a camera in their face all day long will say something poorly,” he said, according to The Daily Caller. “I think Mitt Romney is a good man, a man of character a man who ran hard, disciplined campaign. But Republicans nationally, the story they conveyed was that the 47 percent are stuck in a static world, ‘we don’t have to worry about you,’” Cruz continued. “Well that comment makes me sad. I cannot think of an idea more antithetical to the American principles of this country’s founding.”

RELATED: Romney says he won because of gifts he gave to Latinos, blacks and women

Cruz defended core conservative principles adding, “We embrace, in that comment and in the narrative we made in this country, the Democratic notion that there is a fixed and static top. The rich are the rich, the poor are the poor, and all that matters is redistributing from one to the other.”

According to Cruz, Romney lost because the GOP did not confront the Democrats’ narratives, specifically those blaming former President George W. Bush for the recession, and the Republican “War on Women,” which he described as “an utterly ridiculous notion.” The idea that Republicans want to take away contraception is “absolute and complete nonsense,” he said.

Kimberly Inez McGuire, senior policy analyst for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, disagrees with Cruz’s take.

“It’s clear that over the past couple of years we’ve seen increasing attacks on women’s health including on birth control,” she says. “It hasn’t come from only one party, but the proof is in the legislation.”

Inez McGuire points to the Blunt amendment, introduced by Republican Senator Roy Blunt and killed in March by the Senate, which would have allowed an employer with “moral objections” to opt out of birth control coverage. “If that’s not an attack on birth control, I don’t know what that is,” she says.

Cruz also said the GOP must do a better job conveying to Latinos that it cares about them on a real level.

“There is no doubt that Republicans have got to do a better job with Hispanics,” Cruz added, but said immigration is not the be-all, end-all of Latino outreach.  “Nobody,” he continued, “is going to vote for you if they believe you don’t like them.”

RELATED: Latino Republicans to GOP: Shut up and listen for a change

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