The Corner

Culture

‘New York Values’ Revisited

Kevin Williamson dings Senator Ted Cruz (an old friend of mine) for criticizing Donald Trump’s “New York values” in 2016. No doubt Cruz was attempting to appeal to the anti-urban sentiment among conservatives that Kevin’s article takes as its target. But there is a bit of relevant context that rarely got reported during the campaign. Trump had given an interview in 1999 in which he repeatedly put his then-liberal stances on abortion and gay rights in the context of his hailing from New York. He even said that he might view these issues differently if he came from Iowa. A socially conservative rival to Trump whose strategy depended on winning Iowa could hardly be expected to pass up the opportunity the New Yorker had created.

Trump hasn’t governed the way Cruz warned he would, and the two are now, as Kevin notes, political allies. So this is all ancient history. Consider this post a footnote to it.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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