Dallas mayor describes to Ted Cruz ‘panicked’ calls he got after jumping ship as a Democrat

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson told Sen. Ted Cruz during a sit-down that he received “panicked” phone calls after jumping from the Democratic Party to the GOP eight months ago.

During the interview on Monday on the “Verdict with Ted Cruz” podcast, Johnson touched upon the seismic political shift his changing parties brought about because of his race. He explained that many black voters become Democrats by default just because it is perceived that’s how it has always been done.

The mayor comes from a “very faith-oriented” home in west Dallas. He said his family “wasn’t political at all” despite the fact they all voted Democrat. He announced his switching from the Democrat Party to the Republican Party in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last September and it caused an uproar.

His priorities include putting the citizens of Dallas first and lowering taxes. Johnson also supports the police. All of those are very conservative policies.

(Audio Credit: Verdict with Ted Cruz)

“You kind of inherit the Democratic Party as a cultural heirloom when you’re African American in this country. It sort of gets handed to you as part of who you are,” Johnson confided to Cruz.

“I probably had more phone calls, I know I had more phone calls with people distraught about this party switch than I ever would have gotten if I told people that I was actually leaving the church,” the mayor went on to comment. “I will say that loudly and on the record.”

Johnson went on to explain that he switched to the GOP because the “story of [his] life” and the Democratic Party’s agenda “just never really matched.” He asserted that his friends and family meant well when they confronted him over switching parties. But politicos within the party structure utilized “traditional standard partisan warfare” and made it clear they were determined to “take this guy down now.”

“It was almost in some ways inevitable that there was going to be a problem. Because at the Democratic Party’s core, is what I was saying, is a belief that how things turn out for you in this country are largely determined by things outside of your control. The race you’re born, the neighborhood you’re born in. It excuses away your failures and it excuses away your successes to something outside of your control,” Johnson further commented to Cruz.

That’s a point that Johnson takes issue with because he believes in responsibility and accountability. Those beliefs appear to be antithetical to most Democrats.

“If you’re successful and you’re white it’s because, of course, you are. And if you’re unsuccessful and an African American, well, the deck was stacked against you. And I just wasn’t a person who ever believed that,” the Dallas mayor contended.

“At every turn, if I put the work in, I was told repeatedly, over and over by people who didn’t look like me, we’re proud of you and we’d like to give you more opportunity. I wasn’t having doors slammed in my face the harder I pushed, I was having more opportunities given to me,” Johnson concluded.


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