SAN DIEGO (CN) - Hundreds of Ted Cruz supporters gathered in San Diego Monday to hear from the Texas senator and Republican presidential hopeful ahead of what may be a decisive California primary June 7.
The rally, hosted by the San Diego Republican Party at the Town and Country Resort, also brought out protestors assailing the candidate on a number of issues.
Among those picketing Cruz were supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who displayed huge campaign signs for the Democrat on the back of a truck, and others who support Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
The Cruz rally was noticeably smaller than the hoards of people who came out for a Sanders rally in San Diego last month .
Francine Busby, chair of the San Diego Democrats, said the campaign stop by Cruz, a climate change skeptic, was an insult to scientists and researchers who have devoted their careers to climate studies at San Diego's Scripps Institute of Oceanography.
"Scripps Institute was at the forefront of climate change research. This is where it started - in San Diego. Cruz is a huge climate change denier and he's way too extreme to represent San Diego and California," Busby said.
Erin Mcleod, director of the local chapter of National Nurses United, said Cruz "stands against everything nurses stand for" from a woman's right to choose to health care for all. A Sanders supporter, Mcleod said access to affordable quality care is already in a precarious state because "insurance is a rationing of health care."
In San Diego in particular, Mcleod said, ending veterans' homelessness is a top priority for her and other nurses.
"We want to fully fund the VA in San Diego to get veterans the care they deserve. Very little has been done to end veterans' homelessness. Nurses are the strongest advocates for veterans besides the veterans themselves," Mcleod said.
Kendall De Pascal held up a big "Women for Trump" sign and was wearing a bedazzled top with Trump's name scrolled across her chest. She said the San Diego chapter of Women for Trump has received interest from 11,000 people, a testament, she said, he is "the perfect candidate for women."
"It is false women don't like Trump. Social Media says otherwise. And most of the people who attend his rallies are women," De Pascal said.
Calling Cruz a liar, De Pascal said if Trump doesn't get the Republican nomination this summer she will burn her Republican party card and write-in Trump's name on her ballot.
The opposite sentiment was expressed by Cruz supporters Bill Wilborn and Jami Wood who met while waiting in line to hear Cruz's speech.
A "Constitutionalist" fond of quoting Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers, Wilborn said Cruz represents his core values and "everything Cruz is for, I'm for."
"I want the smartest guy running the country to have heart instead of a self-ego," Wilborn said.
When asked if he was taking a jab at Trump, Wilborn retorted that he won't talk about why Trump is unqualified, only why Cruz is.