Sept. 11 widower James Smith knows something about New York values.
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Smith's wife, Moira, was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She was the only female NYPD officer killed that day.
“I was disappointed by your disparaging remarks about New York values somehow being different from Iowa and New Hampshire values,” Smith wrote. “I invite you to come to the National 9-11 Memorial and Museum and see for yourself, and perhaps learn something about the values of New Yorkers.”
Smith told ABC News Cruz's remarks saddened him.
“It’s disheartening to go through another cycle where politicians are trying to divide us,” he said. “I’m hoping that Ted Cruz doesn’t actually feel that way.”
He noted that “New Yorkers may go about things differently” but their values are the same as the rest of America.
He believes Cruz “needs to apologize to New Yorkers and to Americans in general.”
“I, and some of the other widows, would love to give him a tour and talk to him about how New York came together and America came together,” he told ABC News.
His invitation to the senator is sincere.
Smith joins a chorus of those criticizing the Texas senator for his remarks. Cruz first attacked Trump for his “New York values” earlier this week. He clarified what he meant at Thursday night’s debate.
“Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal or pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage,” Cruz said, adding that New Yorkers are focused “around money and the media.”
Trump fired back at the “very insulting statement.”
“New York is a great place, it's got great people, it's got loving people, wonderful people,” he said.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have rallied around Trump’s defense of the city. The hashtag “NewYorkValues” has been shared on Twitter more than 10,000 times.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story described Moira Smith as the only female law enforcement officer killed in the 9/11 attacks. She was the only female NYPD officer killed.