NEW YORK — For New Yorkers, anyway, it was arguably the most memorable part of the GOP presidential debate Thursday night. Ted Cruz, senator from Texas, described "New York Values" -- three words that have taken on a life of their own in a variety of media, and have been met the day after with everything from scorn to eye rolling from people who live and work in the Big Apple.
Chief among the offended is New York City's mayor, who demanded an apology, that Mr. Cruz gave, although in a decidedly sarcastic, self-serving way.
"I apologize to millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians," Cruz said in an impromptu press gathering on the campaign trail in Iowa early Friday evening.
He was responding to calls for an apology for a statement he made in the debate, in which he said, "Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage, focused around money and the media."
The comment was aimed at fellow candidate, and New Yorker, Donald Trump, the overall front runner in the race, who had been trailing Cruz slightly in Iowa.
Trump responded with uncharacteristic calm fair measure. "We rebuilt
downtown Manhattan and everybody in the world watched " the billionaire said about 9/11, "and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers, and I have to tell you that was a very insulting statement that Ted made."
It led, on Friday, to a rare moment of political agreement from bold faced New York names on the left and the right.
"I find myself, for once, in agreement with Donald Trump," said self-described liberal Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. "I think it was right for Donald Trump to defend New York City and to talk about the heroic actions of the people of this city after 9/11."
"I am disgusted at the insult," the mayor also said, "that Ted Cruz threw at this city and its people, and the bottom line is he does not understand in the least New York values. I think Ted Cruz owes the people of New York City an apology."
Many New Yorkers PIX11 asked about the issue agreed that what they deserved to hear was the Texas senator saying he was sorry.
"He should apologize," said Elizabeth Alvarez. "He was wrong. We're awesome."
"It would be nice," said a woman waiting for a bus outside Grand Central Terminal. "There's nothing wrong with apologizing. I'm not a Trump fan, but I would say he's a little spot on. It's insulting."
"Our society shouldn't be based on money," said Queens resident Jessica Collins. "It should be based on our family values and our morals. The whole city came together on 9/11."
However, not everyone agreed that Cruz should apologize for insulting them.
"That's his opinion," said Rashawn Johnson. "That's his personal opinion. Everybody's opinion is valid, everybody's opinion. Everybody's voice matters."
That may be the ultimate New York value, that no matter what you think of us or where we live, your point of view means something.
That point of view may cost Cruz some votes, however. He'd had a slight edge in the polls in Iowa prior to Thursday night's debate. On Friday, though, Real Clear Politics's average of polls showed Trump with a razor thin edge over Cruz -- 0.4 percent, a statistical dead heat.AlertMe