NEWS10 ABC sits down with presidential candidate Ted Cruz for one-on-one interview

SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Before hosting a town hall at a Christian school in Scotia, presidential hopeful Ted Cruz sat down with NEWS10 ABC.

NEWS10 was given just ten minutes with the Texas senator to discuss several topics, including the economy and how he thinks he’ll do in the primaries. On April 19, New York State will hold the republican and democratic presidential primaries. The Empire State has become a crucial component of the electoral process. Ninety-five delegates are up for grabs.

Cruz spoke with NEWS10 reporter Trishna Begam before facing a crowd of 1,200 at Mekeel Christian Academy in Scotia. During their one-on-one interview, he discussed how he plans to lead the country.

“The problem is growth,” he said. “My number one priority is the senate. My number one priority as president will be jobs and economic growth.”

Among his proposals are passing simple flat tax and repealing the Affordable Care Act to help create more jobs.

“The place they come from is small businesses,” he said. “Two-thirds of all jobs come from small businesses.”

Trishna asked the candidate how he feels about an increased minimum wage nationwide after Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill that would gradually increase minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“I will say the problem with raising minimum wage, everyone wants to see wages go up when government mandates minimum wage,” he said. “Every time that happens, people lose their jobs. Instead of seeing a waiter or waitress or clerk at the counter, you see an iPad, and you order on the iPad. It’s worth remembering that’s the result of the minimum wage.”

As he campaigns in New York, Cruz continues to defend a previous comment he made about New York values during a Republican debate.

“As I’ve toured the state, I’ve found people knew exactly what I meant,” he said. “People knew exactly what I meant by the liberal attitudes.”

But he still has a tough crowd to win over. Candidate Donald Trump leads Cruz by 36 points in the latest Quinnipiac poll.

Cruz, however, says he has a plan to close the gap in New York.

“Listen, New York is Donald’s home state,” he said. “You’d expect him to have a lead here. Pretty much everyone is expected to win their home state, but we’re competing hard.”

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