Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz believes he will fare well with upstate New Yorkers in next week's GOP primary, comparable to how he performed with Wisconsin conservatives earlier in the week.
Cruz, who has struggled to recover with Empire State residents since his jab at their values, stood by his comments in a Thursday night interview with CNN host Dana Bash.
"[E]veryone in New York and outside New York knows exactly what I meant by that and it is the liberal values of Democratic politicians who have been hammering New Yorkers for decades," Cruz said. He later called out Gov. Andrew Cuomo, former Sen. Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bill de Blasio for creating an environment that caused residents to "suffer."
The senator maintained upstate residents would understand why he attacked city dwellers.
The Tea Party Texan, who trails GOP front-runner Donald Trump by 34 points in a RealClearPolitics average, also said upstaters embody conservative values just as Badger State residents do, but Manhattan residents do not. Cruz said he expects to do well with that demographic based on his success among Wisconsonites.
Cruz, ranked second in the GOP race, would need to win 88 percent of the remaining delegates to win the nomination outright. He said, while speaking to Bash at a Jewish Community Center in Brooklyn, that he has performed well among Orthodox Jews in New York.
He attributed his campaign's previous four wins in the past three weeks to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's departure from the race.
"What happened is over 80 percent of Marco's supporters came to us and it unified much of the remainder of the party behind our campaign," Cruz said.
The New York primary is scheduled for April 19.