‘Take This Guy Down’: Dallas Mayor Tells Ted Cruz He Got ‘Panicked’ Phone Calls After Switching To The GOP

[Screenshot/YouTube/Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth]

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson told Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday that he received “panicked” phone calls after leaving the Democratic Party.

Johnson, who is black, explained that he was raised in a “very faith-oriented” household in west Dallas by a family who “wasn’t political at all” despite voting Democrat by default. The mayor announced his switch in a Wall Street Journal op-ed in September 2023, highlighting his policies of lowering taxes and prioritizing public safety over defunding police.

“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 told Cruz on Monday’s episode of the “Verdict with Ted Cruz” podcast.

“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 Dallas mayor continued. “I will say that loudly and on the record.”

Johnson said that he switched to the Republican Party because “story of [his] life” and the Democratic Party’s rhetoric and political agenda “just never really matched.” The Dallas mayor told Cruz that his family and friends were “well-meaning” when they called him concerned about the switch, while others turned to “traditional standard partisan warfare” and decided to “take this guy down now.” (RELATED: ‘Very Unique Kind Of Black Folks’: MSNBC Panel, Citing Racism, Raises Concerns With Trump’s Appeal To Black Voters)

“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 said.

“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 continued.

“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 said.