Cruz Spox: ‘I Can’t Make Sense’ of Trump Saying Evangelicals Done’t Come from Cuba

‘It just doesn’t make sense’

KEILAR: “All right. So I do want to ask you about something that Donald Trump said. This was at an event in Iowa last night and seemed to suggest Ted Cruz’s Cuban heritage meant that he wasn’t really in step with Iowa evangelicals. I mean, it was pretty poignant what he said. And he actually held up a Bible and just sort of said, you know, take note of this. He said that, to the best of his knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba. What’s your response to that?”

TYLER: “Well, I’m a little confused. But I’m not sure what it means. Does it mean if you’re a Cuban you can’t be an evangelical or if you’re an evangelical, you can’t be Cuban? I can’t make any sense of it.”

KEILAR: “OK. So no reaction to that?”

TYLER: “Well, I had a reaction. It just doesn’t make sense. He’s Cuban, and he is an evangelical. They put it out. It is — his mother is from an Irish family which is typically Catholic, and Cubans are typically Catholic. But he’s an evangelical. His father was saved by a Baptist minister, and he became a Baptist and grew up in a Baptist church. So that’s how he became evangelical.”

KEILAR: “Do you worry, though, that he can — maybe Donald Trump can carve away at some of Ted Cruz’ support there? What is he going to do or continue to do to try to prove his creds in this sort of area?”

TYLER: Well, look, in Iowa we’ve had Steve Days (ph), Bob Vanderkloot (ph), Steve King endorse us. That’s sort of a trifecta in Iowa for evangelical support. We just met with 300 faith leaders, who I know, many of them, personally, and they’ve been meeting for three cycles now, and they’ve never really all came together to get behind one candidate this early. And they’ve done that this time, and they’ve chosen Ted Cruz. And the polling shows that we’re very strong with evangelical voters. And the map is just so favorable because Iowa is an evangelical state. South Carolina is an evangelical state. And then you have March 1, the SEC primary from Georgia all the way over to Oklahoma. These states are all 50, 60, evangelical. There is 111 that are more than 50 percent. We’re fortunate and looking forward to the map.”

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