• Obama enlisted Cruz's help with Latino vote

  • By Ohm Youngmisuk | November 7, 2012 9:10:39 PM PST

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz was busy on Tuesday, even though it was the New York Giants' day off.

The wide receiver was doing some last-minute campaigning for President Barack Obama on election day by doing phone interviews around the country. Back during the spring, Obama called the Giants' facility to personally ask Cruz for his help in trying to rally the Latino community.

Cruz remembers rushing to the receptionist's lobby to take the phone call from the commander-in-chief.

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When the Giants visited in June, Barack Obama received a Giants jersey befitting the 44th president.
"When you get a phone call from the president, you don't tell him you are calling back," Cruz recalled on Wednesday. "It wasn't too long. It was just more so him telling me what he wants me to do and how much he is a fan of me and my work and the things that I do. He was humbled to have me help out in any way I can. I was trying not to freaking blush the whole time I was on the phone with him. It was pretty crazy."

Cruz is known nationally for doing the salsa to celebrate touchdowns. When he first met Obama, earlier this year at a Democratic rally in the city, the wide receiver was stunned to see the president do a salsa dance.

"He shook my hand and he started the salsa when I first saw him," said Cruz, still in awe as he told reporters on Wednesday. "So that was pretty cool. That was before the phone call. It was just one of the coolest things."

According to ABCNews.com/Univision, Obama won 71 percent of the Latino vote while Gov. Mitt Romney won 27 percent, based on national exit polls. According to exit polls, Obama took 60 percent of the Latino vote in Florida, where Cruz did some campaigning for the president this past summer.

Cruz, whose mother is Puerto Rican, went to a couple of locations around South Florida to speak during the summer and did several phone interviews, some with radio stations. Cruz also did some interviews in Spanish.

"I spent about three or four days [in South Florida]," Cruz said. "I visited a couple of rally sites, spoke to the people. I did a bunch of phone interviews and stuff like that, even the morning of, yesterday morning, I did some interviews as well. I've been on the hunt. I've been on the prowl for him."

"I did some of my interviews [with stations] in New Mexico, a couple were in Denver, a couple were in Philly, key areas where the Latino vote was going to be important," Cruz added. "That is where we hit it right on the nose with those interviews."

Cruz said aides would give him statistics and information on key points and issues that they wanted Cruz to get across. The receiver would study and try to memorize the information on days he was scheduled to do an interview.

So now that he has given a small assist in keeping Obama in office for four more years, Cruz was asked if the president supports his candidacy to remain a Giant for four more years.

"Not out loud," laughed Cruz, who is in the final year of his deal but recently said he has a structure in place for a potential contract extension with the Giants. "At least not vocally."

"We'll see," he added when asked if a potential contract extension would be for four seasons. "I'm not sure yet. It is still up in the air."

One thing is certain -- Cruz and the Giants would like to meet the president in the White House again, after doing so this past June. Tom Coughlin said the president has accomplished his end of the deal by staying in the White House.

"He's there," Coughlin said. "We need to get there."

Cruz is just happy that he helped play a small part in making history.

"I was very excited," Cruz said of Obama defeating Romney. "It is big for our community. It is big for minorities and the Latin culture and the Latin communities. It is big for all of us. I hope he continues to do some positive things for us and I am excited to have him back for another term."


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