Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, campaigned for now U.S. Rep. Andy Ogles in Franklin, Tenn. in October 2022. (Photo: Holly McCall)
Former Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, the Republican nominee for the 5th Congressional District, joined U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Franklin, Tenn. Wednesday night for a rally featuring rhetoric targeting transgender people, COVID, inflation and immigration.
“Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. To be subjective about whether a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl is incompatible with democracy,” said Ogles during an 8-minute address to about 1,000 attendees. “During COVID, your right to go to church, instead they were closed. That’s incompatible with democracy.”
Ogles reiterated his primary night call to impeach President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.
In response, Democratic nominee Sen. Heidi Campbell of Nashville said in a statement, “Andy Ogles and Ted Cruz have told us what they will do with power: they’re going to cut Social Security benefits and increase the cost of prescription drugs for Tennessee seniors — all to give giant corporations and billionaires another tax break.”
Ogles introduced Cruz as “a leading contender to be President, someone who’s on the short list for the Supreme Court” before Cruz proceeded to attack pandemic shutdowns, neglecting to mention Donald Trump was President for the first 10 months of the 2020 COVID pandemic.
Cruz made jokes about Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman, President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Ogles has avoided talking to members of the media since his August primary win. He fielded no questions during a media availability at the conclusion of the rally, while Cruz deflected questions by insulting reporters, calling one local reporter “a member of the corporate media” and telling another he wouldn’t “debate” him.
Cruz, who was in Tennessee as part of a 16-state tour to support Republican candidates through his Truth and Freedom PAC, endorsed Ogles in the primary.
Other speakers included U.S. Rep. Mark Green, who gave the opening prayer, and sports radio host Clay Travis.
During his portion of the rally, Travis railed about transgender issues, saying “if it hasn’t happened in your neighborhood, your schools, it will.”
He falsely accused Vanderbilt University Medical Center of “operating on children to take away their genitals.”
Travis referred to a firestorm begun when Matt Walsh, a media personality with right wing-outlet The Daily Wire posted video clips of VUMC staff members talking about transgender care.
On October 7, VUMC announced the hospital’s Clinic for Transgender Care would temporarily halt all surgeries on minors, noting that no genital procedures are performed on minors.
Wearing a cowboy hat and holding aloft an Uncle Sam sign with the words, “In the fall, fire ’em all,” 76-year-old Bob Nevens of Nashville said he has already cast his early vote for Ogles.
“I’m a veteran, my dad was a Marine in World War II. He died 15 years ago, and if he saw (the country now) he’d ask, ‘Is this my heritage?'” Nevens said. “The pillars of society are crumbling.”
But, added Nevens, “The GOP has failed terribly. When the call to action has come and we have power, we don’t do anything.”
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.