KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spent some of his political capital in East Tennessee Friday to endorse Dr. Manni Sethi in the senate primary.
Cruz frequently pointed to what he called the Washington establishment, who he said are funded by lobbyists, and don’t want a senator who will stand up to special interests, resist a growing government and national debt, and who is not afraid to protect American liberties.
“We need reinforcements. We need senators that are willing to stand up and fight and it isn’t easy,” Cruz said.
The two share a similar view on how the government should approach another phase of coronavirus relief. “We’re not going to solve this economic crisis by just throwing money at it, Cruz said. “We need a bill that’s focused on reducing taxes, reducing job killing regulations on small businesses, all the Tennessee small businesses that were forced to shut down, that are just right now trying to reopen.”
“I completely agree with Senator Cruz here,” Sethi said. He sees repeated stimulus packages and unemployment benefits as incentive for people to stay home. “I’ve talked to so many small business owners who say they literally cannot find employees because they’re getting paid to stay home. We can’t incentivize that.”
While Sethi has Cruz’s backing, his opponent, Bill Hagerty, has the support of President Trump.
Ronnie and Jennifer Martin both support the President, but say they’re still supporting Dr. Sethi.
“Nobody can be a fan of Donald Trump, with integrity, without also admitting there are also things he can say or do that make us all cringe. I really believe we’re sending him better help by not necessarily following the one that’s carrying his endorsement name, but following the one, we think, will really stand up for what he’s talking about,” Ronnie Martin said.
The two believe Sethi’s work as an orthopedic trauma surgeon, and the fact that he’s new to the political scene, make him the best fit for the job.
“I’m kind of big on leadership and leaders lead, but great leaders serve. His background of service in so many ways, before he ever had, I believe, any inkling he’d run for the senate, speaks to me, kind of at the faith and heart level,” Ronnie Martin said. “To achieve the status of being an orthopedic trauma surgeon where he’s helping people, now he’s affecting government…that’s what we need right now,” Jennifer added.
Sethi acknowledged the Trump endorsement is coveted, because of his popularity throughout Tennessee; however, he said their campaign is made up of many on the President’s 2016 state grassroots team because they don’t want another establishment candidate.
Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs kicked off Friday’s event by also endorsing Sethi. He said to the hundreds in the crowd he doesn’t usually endorse in primaries, but said when U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Senator Cruz endorse a candidate, he listens.
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