Cruz gets personal at addiction seminar

February 4, 2016

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attends a campaign event in Hooksett, New Hampshire February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

 

Republican Ted Cruz shared his experience of losing his sister to an overdose after years of watching her struggle with drugs and alcohol. The candidate spoke during an addiction forum on Thursday, as White House hopefuls and surrogates campaigning across New Hampshire continue to face questions about the drug wave ravaging the state.

Cruz told the group gathered in a church in Hooksett, New Hampshire, that his sister was angry for much of her life about her parents’ divorce. He said when he was a child, she stole money from him to buy drugs, and as an adult, she spent time in prison.

“These tragedies are happening in human lives all over this country. It’s the human journey. It’s not an easy one,” Cruz said, speaking in a subdued tone that contrasted with his usual forceful nature on the stump.

“You know, as a family you wonder, could I have done more, was there a way to pull her back?” he said. “Those are questions you never fully answer.”

Cruz said charities and families would solve the drug crisis, not the federal government. Washington’s role was to secure the United States’ borders to keep drugs from entering the country, Cruz said, shifting to a point he often makes on the campaign trail.

“The solution to this is going to come at the state and local level, it’s going to come from the church, it’s going to come from charities, it’s going to come from friends and family and loved ones stepping forward,” Cruz said. “It’s also going to come from a federal government that actually does its job and secures the border.”

Nearly every candidate seeking the White House is in New Hampshire this week ahead of next week’s primary. At town halls across the state, voters frequently ask how to prevent the flow of drugs into the country and help people struggling with addiction.

Republican Marco Rubio also called for tougher border security on Thursday, as well as more focus on treatment.

“I think we need to make more funds available for treatment,” Rubio said during a town hall at the Stratham, New Hampshire, headquarters of clothing company Timberland.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, appeared on her behalf at the Hooksett forum where Cruz spoke.

“With that zoo down there in Washington, DC, I don’t think we’ll find a better candidate who can actually bring people together to get things done,” Shumlin said of Clinton.

 

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