Fresh off his Tuesday victory in the Midwestern state, the GOP hopeful held a campaign event in the Bronx on Wednesday, where he got the cold shoulder from voters still sore over his mocking of "New York values" in a January attack ad about rival Donald Trump.
"Residents and leaders derided him for insulting the city and the borough, only to come crawling back for votes," The Daily News reports.
Adds The Washington Post, Bronx voters still "haven't gotten over" Cruz's criticism of the borough during a 2014 lecture on immigration: "I understand Manhattan is very concerned with their security with the Bronx," he said at the time. "But it's a little different on 2,000 miles of the Rio Grande."
Cruz got a lesson on New York values when a Bronx high school canceled his visit after students threatened a walkout, protesting in a letter: "His views are against ours."
Even Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. called the Texas senator a hypocrite, declaring, "He not only offended New Yorkers, he offended Bronxites … [now] he's here looking for money and votes. We in the Bronx know how offensive he's been. We know the truth about our borough."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on Thursday in an interview with CNN. "I think Ted Cruz is out of touch with New York state and New York City," he said. "You can't insult the people of New York, who fought their way after the tragedy of 9/11 back to strength, and expect people to ignore it … Ted Cruz insulted the people of New York when it was politically convenient, earlier in the primary season … Well, guess what? The New York primary is suddenly a lot more important than Ted Cruz might have imagined and now he'll pay the price for it."
Nevertheless, the senator didn't back down from his past criticism of the state.
"The people of New York know exactly what those values are," he said Wednesday. "They're the values of liberal Democratic politicians, like Andrew Cuomo, like Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, like Charlie Rangel, all of whom Trump has supported … If you want to know what liberal democratic values are, follow Trump's checkbook."
But Cruz's disastrous campaign stop seemed to give Trump an added edge in his home city, with even the Democratic mayor siding with the billionaire businessman.
At a rally on Long Island Wednesday, Trump asked supporters of Cruz, "Do you remember during the debate when he started lecturing me on 'New York values,' like we're no good? I started talking to him about the World Trade Center … the incredible bravery of everybody ... We all know people that died. And I've got this guy standing over there … talking about New York values with scorn, distaste, with hatred, with hatred. So folks, I think you can forget about him."
New Yorkers seemed happy to oblige, and The Daily News left Cruz with some parting advice for how to leave the Bronx: "Take the FU train, Ted!" read the paper's Thursday headline.
In other N.Y.C. campaign news, former New York state senator Hillary Clinton had a minor misfire as she attempted to enter the subway on Thursday morning.
It took the Democratic hopeful five swipes of her MetroCard to make it through the turnstiles – but even with her struggle she seemed to know the ropes better than rival Bernie Sanders.
Asked by The Daily News about how to get on the subway today, the Vermont senator and Brooklyn native replied, "You get a token and you get in."