Rafael Cruz, Father of Ted, Wows Iowa Conservatives

Cuban immigrant spoke from his heart, espousing conservative values.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks during the family leadership summit in Ames, Iowa, Saturday Aug. 10, 2013. His father, Rafael Cruz, also spoke at the summit and brought the crowd to its feet.

"Obamacare is going to destroy the elderly by denying care by even perhaps denying treatment of people who are in catastrophic sickness," he said, repeating a perception first promulgated among conservatives by Sarah Palin, who coined the term 'death panels.'

In reality, the law is designed to provide millions of uninsured Americans with access to health care, but also contains provisions aimed at reining in Medicare spending.

Speaking with reporters following his son's speech, an upbeat and proud Cruz answered all questions about his son's potential future political ambitions with what seemed like a truthful, if well-rehearsed, "it's in God's hands."

But there's no doubt, given his on-stage performance and experience working the campaign trail for his son's Senate campaign, that Rafael Cruz would relish the chance to travel the country and continue to spread his version of the political gospel.

"I enjoy talking to people and really getting the heartbeat of the people so it was good," he said of his son's last campaign. "His win was a win of the grass roots – the people who really wanted to be represented as opposed to having someone from the establishment say I'm entitled. [So far] I think he has done stellar work."


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