Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says Democrats "pigeon hole" minority candidates based on their race and gender.
In an interview with New Hampshire conservative video blogger Da Tech Guy, Cruz said Democrats "pat" candidates on the head and tell them they can only run on their identity as an African-American, a Hispanic, or a woman.
"It's interesting if you look in 2012 at the national conventions of Republicans and Democrats," Cruz said. "At the Republican convention there were four speakers who were Hispanics who had been elected statewide either as senators and governors: Myself, Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, and Brian Sandoval. The Democratic convention had zero. They did not have a single statewide elected Hispanic and there's a reason for that. Democrats tend to view people -- they pigeon hole you.
"So if you run, you know, they've got for some example some Hispanics who get elected mayor or get elected in a congressional district that is gerrymandered to elect a Hispanic Democrat," continued Cruz. "But for Democrats, they put you in that little box where they sort of pat you on the head and 'okay you're the Hispanic guy. You're the African-American guy. You're running as the women.'"
The Democratic National Convention, as Cruz stated, did not feature any statewide Hispanic speakers in 2012. The convention, however, was chaired by then-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Then-mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio delivered the keynote address.
Cruz said one of the reasons he was a Republican was because, "we treated people as individuals," saying he was running as "the strongest conservative with a proven record."
"We don't treat people as checking a box, we respect every individual," Cruz added, saying he was proud of his background and the story of his father fleeing Castro's Cuba.
Cruz told a recent story to illustrate his point, saying recently a "liberal reporter said, 'well gosh you Republicans are all the party of old rich white guys.'"
"And all I could do was laugh," Cruz said to laughs from the crowd. "I said, 'now wait a second, have you actually looked at the Democratic Party lately.' Like, look at that debate, that debate, it's like That 70's Show."
Cruz singled out talk about Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry running for president. He added he saw a "Dukakis 2016 bumper sticker" online.
"These are old tired ideas, being put forward from candidates from the past. You look at the Republican field it is young, it is dynamic," Cruz said noting the field had two Cubans, a son of Indian immigrants, one of the first female CEOs, and world-renowned African-American surgeon.
"And all the Democrats can do is try to scaremonger, try to turn against each other. Try to divide us on racial lines, and ethnic lines, and socio-economic lines. Enough with this petty partisan bickering," he added. "We're Americans, we believe in shared set of values. What we're doing isn't working and if we get back to free market principles and constitutional liberties that built America, we will reignite the promise of this great nation."