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Ted Cruz Defends His Dad's Comments About Sending Obama "Back To Kenya"

Cruz said a video shows his father, Rafael Cruz, reacting to something an audience member called out. A video from 2012 shows Rafael Cruz making the remarks unprompted.

Posted on July 31, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. ET

Olivier Douliery / Getty Images

Ted Cruz defended his father on Thursday from charges that his father had said President Obama should go back to Kenya — something his father did say in a 2012 video — saying that it was a response to someone in the audience.

The video of the exchange taken in September 2012 at a gathering of the North Texas Tea Party, shows pastor Rafael Cruz telling the audience (unprompted) that he'd like to send Obama "back to Kenya, back to Indonesia."

"We have our work cut out for us," Rafael Cruz said while discussing the United Nations. "We need to send Barack Obama back to Chicago. I'd like to send him back to Kenya, back to Indonesia."

In an interview with Alan Colmes on Thursday, the Texas senator said his father was simply repeating something someone in the audience said, adding that it was part of "an effort in the media and among some Democrats to try to paint a scary picture of my father."

"I'm not familiar with what you just mentioned there, but I'll tell you one of the most often cited examples that gets repeated in the fever swamps of the internet is that my dad has said President Obama should go back to Kenya," Ted Cruz said on Fox News Radio.

"Well, what actually happened if you go to the video, my father was giving a talk and what he actually said was President Obama should go back to Chicago and someone in the audience calls out 'back to Kenya' and my father laughed and repeated 'back to Kenya' and kept going and in the context to anyone watching it was obvious that it wasn't him and immediately the internet turns this into 'Pastor Cruz says Obama's from Kenya,'" Ted Cruz stated.

"It was silliness and there's a reason they want to paint him as scary because his personal narrative as starting with nothing and working hard to achieve the American dream runs counter to the story that many are trying to tell," added Ted Cruz.

A request for comment was not returned by the Cruz campaign.

Here's the video of Rafael Cruz:

Here's the audio of Ted Cruz's defense: