Des Moines, Nov. 23 – “People with disabilities want independence,” Sen. Ted Cruz said to The RespectAbility Report.
“They don’t want to be dependent on government,” the presidential hopeful added. “There are many programs that provide, but sometimes trap people in dependency.”
Fully one-in-five Americans have a disability and polls show that most of them want to work. Yet 70 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities are outside of the workforce.
In an interview following the Presidential Family Forum on Friday night, the senator from Texas said he’d like to change these statistics.
“My interest is doing everything we can to empower those with disabilities to do everything within their own capacity, to do everything as independently as possible, to be as involved and engaged in the workplace as they are physically able, and that’s something that is a tremendously important part of achieving the American Dream,” Cruz said.
More than 50 percent of Americans report having a family member or close friend with a disability. Fifty-two percent of Democrats report that they or a loved one have a disability, and for Republicans, a smaller number of 44 percent report they have a disability. Surprisingly, Independents have the largest number of voters who say they have a disability, with 58 percent saying yes. This shows that swing voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs.
Cruz is perhaps best known in the disability community for his attempts to reform Social Security and his opposition to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability treaty, which is supported by hundreds of disability organizations as well as former Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole.
According to Cruz, he opposed the treaty because its ratification “is not going to materially change the degree of compliance by foreign nations, but it is going to open avenues to undermine sovereignty and challenge U.S. law.”