Sen. Ted Cruz met by shouting protesters at Bronx restaurant

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Friday, April 15, 2016
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N.J. Burkett is live in the Bronx with the latest details.

BRONX, New York -- Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz was met by a group of shouting protesters when he showed up for a meet-and-greet at a New York City restaurant Wednesday.

Protesters shouted at Cruz as he arrived at a restaurant, telling him he should "get out of the Bronx." He replied only that he was "happy to be here."

As he met privately with diners, NYPD officers rushed into the restaurant to eject two protesters who began shouting at Cruz.

Cruz supporters who attended the event said they were excited about the momentum he picked up after his primary win in Wisconsin.

Speaking to journalists, Cruz was asked a question in Spanish, which he appeared to understand. He first began by answering the question in English, but was cut off by the reporter who asked him to respond in Spanish.

He said he has "the problem of the second-generation immigrant." In Spanish, Cruz told the reporter that he understands more Spanish than he speaks, noting that he spoke "Spanglish" at home when he was growing up.

He had been scheduled to visit the Bronx Lighthouse Preparatory Academy, but the school canceled it's bigger event with Cruz.

Some students had threatened to walk out of class if Cruz visited, claiming the senator from Texas is racist, homophobic, and misogynistic.

And while the focus of the Republican presidential campaign shifts eastward to New York, Cruz is pivoting west, where he is quietly trying to chip away at Donald Trump's lead in the race for convention delegates.

Cruz won six pledged delegates during a pair of obscure, congressional-level Colorado GOP assemblies on Saturday. He is also poised to make gains in several other western Republican contests, including a possible sweep of Colorado's remaining assemblies, due to conclude Saturday.

Cruz's success in the complex delegate game is helping him counter Trump's headline-grabbing wins in big states and would give him a tactical advantage should the party's presidential nomination come down to a rare contested convention.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham says he expects to see more establishment GOP support shifting to Cruz following his commanding win Tuesday.

Graham is supporting Cruz himself though he acknowledges it's despite disagreement with many of his tactics. But Graham argues that Trump would destroy the Republican Party for generations to come, wiping out any chance of appealing to Hispanics, young people and others.

He says that Cruz is a reliable Republican "and will not alienate two-thirds of the country." And he says he's making that argument to fellow GOP lawmakers and anyone else who will listen.

Graham also says Kasich is "probably our most electable Republican" but that he's not performing well in the primary. Graham notes that he himself chose to drop out of the presidential race, and "Personally I don't see a pathway for John," but "I'm not going to tell John what to do."