Cruz visits Main Street


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz held a press conference with area media Saturday morning following a roundtable discussion with Fredericksburg civic and business leaders at the National Museum of the Pacific War. While in Gillespie County, Cruz also toured the museum and Becker Vineyards, near Stonewall. — Standard-Radio Post/Matt Ward

By Ken Esten Cooke —

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz made a swing down Main Street in Fredericksburg on Saturday before he begins a cross-country tour to help Republican senators get elected.

Cruz held a roundtable discussion with around 10 local industry leaders, then met briefly with the media before touring the National Museum of the Pacific War.

“We’ve done small business roundtables all over Texas, and the concerns I heard today are the same as I’ve heard all over the state,” Cruz told the media after the closed meeting. “The number one priority of Texans is restoring jobs and economic growth. And that’s my number one priority in office: Creating an environment where small business can create jobs and create opportunities and make it easier for people to achieve the American dream.”

The sometimes-controversial figure was touring parts of Texas and laying out his vision for Texas and the 2014 U.S. Senate races.

“In terms of 2014, I am focused on helping Republicans retake the U.S. Senate and retire Harry Reid as the majority leader,” Cruz said. “Under Sen. Reid, we have a do-nothing Senate because we’re not allowed to debate or vote on any pro-growth bills, or tax reform and regulatory reform, or removing federal burdens.”

In conservative Gillespie County, Cruz marched to a Senate win by a margin of more than 4-1 over Democratic candidate Paul Sadler. He was launched onto the national scene after easily defeating longtime Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and, later, for orchestrating Senate maneuvers that led to a government shutdown in 2013.

On Saturday, passersby honked at him and gave thumbs up along Main Street. One visitor from a neighboring state implored him to “come to New Mexico.”

But Cruz said nothing about a potential run for president, as is rumored in many circles. Earlier this year, Cruz renounced his dual Canadian citizenship.

Healthcare

Cruz’s office set up a meeting with local business leaders to listen to concerns. Discussions focused on the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Bill, healthcare, banking issues and more.

Hill Country Memorial Hospital CEO Jayne Pope said she told the senator that rural healthcare seems to be left out of the national picture.

“I talked about the loss of our ‘sole community hospital’ status and how it affects federal reimbursements,” Pope said Monday. “Because we are .3 miles under the 25-mile radius to qualify, we must pay back some federal funds we’ve already received.”

Peterson Regional Medical Center in Kerrville also faces the loss of its status.

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