Cleveland, August 8 – Texas State Sen. Brian Birdwell, speaking on behalf of Sen. Ted Cruz, said the Republican presidential hopeful wants every American, including people wth disabilities, to “be the best you can be with whatever ability you have.” Below is the interview he had with The RespectAbility Report following the Fox News Debate Thursday evening:
Q: We write for a disability publication specifically for Americans with disabilities. So you have a Governor with a disability and one out of five Americans has a disability.
Birdwell: Yes, you’re looking at a one hundred percent disabled veteran.
Q: So this is what I want to talk about – jobs for people with disabilities. What is the Senator’s message for them? How will he be, as president, for them? What will the agenda be? Will they be a part of the jobs package? What will he do on these issues?
Birdwell: Economic opportunity will be the foundational principle to it. So that regardless of your inability or ability, to go be the best you can be with whatever ability you have and that’s the kind of champion Senator Cruz is. I’ve had the opportunity now as a disabled American Veteran to be able to work with him, see him and his heart for the fidelity of the constitution.
What the proper role of the federal government is, what the proper role of the state government are—to allow the states to be able make those decisions rather than have a top down command structure from the federal government. So it’s that freedom of maneuver that’ll allow the states to do things that are really best left to the states instead of the federal government do it.
So I’m pleased with his heart for veterans, his heart for citizens, and understanding of proper role of functioning government. To let them be the best that they can by the passivity of the federal government and not the activity of the federal government.
Q: So the disability community is very big on something we call “nothing about us, without us” – the idea that you shouldn’t have policy decisions without disability being a part of the conversation. You are the first person that I have met on any of the presidential campaigns that openly discloses that they have a disability.
Birdwell: My service scars were in service to the nation. It might not look like much, but I’m pretty damn proud of them and I’m pretty damn proud of him.
Q: So when you’re working on the campaign, do you ever speak to those issues? Does he think of you as his disability liason?
Birdwell: I’m a friend that’s gotten to see him over the last four and half years – the nature of the fights he picks at the critical time and the critical place. He’s not a man afraid of that fight and so whether it’s for the American citizen of a different skin pigment, the American of a different hairstyle, Americans with disabilities, he’s fighting for citizens of the country, not for interest groups, but for citizens as a whole.