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Jack Kennedy Schlossberg writes that his grandfather would "be shocked by just how far the Republican Party has lost its way"

January 21, 2016 05:50 PM

At a campaign event in New Hampshire last weekend, GOP hopeful Ted Cruz said that if John F. Kennedy were alive today, he would be a Republican.

Jack Kennedy Schlossberg is here to tell the Texas senator that he could not be more wrong. In a new essay for Politico, the former president’s only grandson writes that Cruz’s suggestion is “absurd.”

“Were my grandfather alive today, he’d be excited about how far we have come as a nation since 1963, he would feel a sense of urgency about the challenges that lie ahead and he most certainly would not be a Republican,” Schlossberg writes.

The 23-year-old, a self-described “student of [JFK’s] life, legacy and administration,” goes on to draw “stark” comparisons between Kennedy’s beliefs and values and those of today’s Republican Party.

“[JFK] created new federal programs with ambitious goals, such as the Peace Corps,” he writes. “He did not spend his years in the House and Senate devoted to obstructing the opposition. He certainly did not lead an effort, as Cruz did, to shut down the federal government to score political points and deny health insurance to millions.”

“Cruz described the Kennedy campaign as one for tax cuts, limited government and tough talk against the Soviets. And yet, accepting the nomination of the Democratic Party in 1960, Kennedy said this: ‘There may be those who wish to hear more – more promises to this group or that – more harsh rhetoric about the men in the Kremlin – more assurances of a golden future, where taxes are always low and subsidies ever high.’ But he admitted he wasn’t that candidate. He outlined his vision for a New Frontier – a platform of challenges rather than promises, an appeal to public interest over private comfort. Clearly, Cruz hasn’t read that speech.”

Schlossberg’s searing rebuttal comes after Cruz, at a campaign event in Milford, New Hampshire, on Sunday, argued that JFK would be a Republican today because “he stood for religious liberty, and he would be tarred and feathered by the modern Democratic Party.”

But in his Politico essay, titled “Ted Cruz Is No Jack Kennedy,” Schlossberg flatly rejects Cruz’s implication that he “is somehow taking up [JFK]’s mantle.”

“Today, my grandfather would be 98 years old. He’d have no idea how to use a cell phone, and he’d be shocked by just how far the Republican Party has lost its way.”

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