- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz defended fellow presidential candidate Donald Trump Wednesday ahead of his sit-down later in the day with the business mogul, saying the rest of the 2016 field simply is scared of his “bold, brash voice.”

“One of the reasons you’re seeing so many 2016 candidates go out of their way to smack Donald Trump is they don’t like a politician that speaks directly about the challenges of illegal immigration,” the Texas Republican told reporters after an unrelated press event near the Capitol. “They don’t like a politician who speaks directly about sanctuary cities, about the law enforcement and safety and security issues that are raised.”

Mr. Cruz is one of the few Republican candidates who has defended Mr. Trump in the wake of his inflammatory comments about illegal immigration.

Mr. Trump said Mexico is sending rapists and drug runners into the United States, prompting Macy’s, NBC and restauranteurs to cut business ties with Mr. Trump.

But Mr. Cruz, one of the loudest critics President Obama’s amnesty program for certain illegal immigrants, has embraced the mogul as a frank-talking man who stands up for his principles.

“Many of the politicians who are running out of their way to smack Donald Trump have for years or even decades been vocal advocates of amnesty,” Mr. Cruz said. “I for one, am grateful that Donald Trump is highlighting these issues. They are critical issues. They are issues I’ve been fighting for a lot of years — to enforce the law, to stop illegal immigration.”

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson admitted Tuesday that the administration goofed in releasing an illegal immigrant to sanctuary city San Francisco ahead of a shocking killing this month, but said there is little the government can do to pressure sanctuary communities to change their minds.

The incident reignited debate over the number of illegal immigrants who’ve been released despite having violent records.

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Mr. Cruz said. “People are fed up with it.”

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