I’ll be joined today by would-be GOP nominee Senator Ted Cruz after spending the morning promoting on The Queen many radio shows including my pal Mark Davis and Bill Flynn, and Salem’s only lefty Democrat Mark Larson:
I may work a few plugs into my remote broadcast from Disneyland as well. The Cruz interview:
HH: I’m talking now with United States Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz, welcome, it’s a gloomy day. I’m at the world’s happiest place, and you’re happy because A Time For Truth is on the bestseller list of the New York Times. Congratulations on that. But our country’s got to wake up. This is a serious problem.
TC: Hugh, you’re exactly right. It is good to be with you, but this is a time of crisis in America. And all of us, our prayers are with the families of those four Marines who were shot by a radical Islamic terrorist yesterday. And we need to acknowledge the threat that we’re facing, and we need a commander-in-chief who will lead, who will stop trying to make deals with radical Islamic terrorists like the Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran, but instead will acknowledge what it is we’re facing. You know, it was really a shame to see the President refer to this terrorist as a “lone gunman.” He misunderstands the nature of the enemy. And in today’s world through social media, ISIS and al Qaeda and al-Shabaab and radical Islamic terrorism throughout the world is all interwoven and interlinked. But we will not defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as the president of the United States refuses even to utter those words.
HH: Now Senator Cruz, in the first and obvious question comes from these facts. Yesterday, Chattanooga, 2010, a Virginia recruitment center was attacked. 2009, an Arkansas recruitment center was attacked. 2008, a recruitment center in New York City was bombed. Should our Marines, sailors, soldiers, Coast Guardmen, Air Forcemen be armed at their recruitment center?
TC: Absolutely, our soldiers should retain their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I have, for over a year now, been calling for public hearing in the Senate Armed Services committee on preserving and protecting the right to keep and bear arms of our soldiers and sailors and airmen and Marines. And indeed in the wake of this shooting, it underscores the need that it is my hope that the Senate Armed Services Committee will conduct hearings, and that we will change the policies so that military commanders are not forcing our young men and women who are serving our nation to be defenseless against these terrorist attacks.
HH: At the same time, we also have learned that the killer spent 7 months in Jordan last year, and yet was not on our radar screen. His father had been investigated twice and cleared twice, but he went to Jordan for 7 months. Do you think metadata would be a good thing to have on this man right now, now that he know that he was in Jordan for 7 months, he killed four Marines, he wounded three others, including a police officer and two other Marines? Wouldn’t we want to be running through the metadata on him right now?
TC: Look, there is no doubt we need to do a better job of connecting the dots and stopping radical Islamic terrorists. It’s why my criticism of the Obama administration has been twofold. Number one, they have been woefully ineffective stopping the actual bad guys when we had all of the warning signs and all of the information needed to go after them. So for example, the Tsarnaev brothers, we knew that Russia had told them they had visited with radical Islamists. The FBI went and interviewed them, but then they dropped the ball. And when the elder Tsarnaev brother posted on YouTube a call to jihad, no one was bothering to watch. Likewise, Nidal Hasan in Fort Hood was communicating with Anwar al-Awlaki, a known radical terrorist. He was inquiring about the permissibility of jihad against his fellow soldiers. And yet the administration did nothing. Instead, it seems to focus its attention on the metadata of law abiding citizens, on the emails of law abiding citizens. And the reason, Hugh, is this is not an accidental failing. Because the President won’t acknowledge we’re fighting radical Islamic terrorists, they will not treat the Tsarnaev and the Nidal Hasan’s and the Abdulazeezes any differently than a law abiding citizen, even though this man’s father was raising red flags on the terrorist watch list, even though he was traveling to countries that are hotbeds of radical Islamic terrorism. If you don’t acknowledge what you’re fighting, all of our policies fail to actually combat the real danger.
HH: Now Senator Cruz, I’m not sure, I can’t recall if you voted against the collection of metadata or for the ending of it, but if it existed, we could be right now connecting dots with Abdulazeez. Would you fill me in on how you voted on that and whether or not this sort of situation makes you want an even more robust collection of the metadata, not searching of it, but collection of it for days like this on the day after attacks like yesterday’s?
TC: Hugh, not only did I vote for the USA Freedom Act, I was an original co-sponsor of it. I agree with the policy. I think it is entirely possible to protect our national security and at the same time respect the 4th Amendment right of law abiding citizens. But what the USA Freedom Act does is it ends the federal government’s bulk collection of phone metadata of law abiding citizens, of your phone metadata, of my phone metadata, but it preserves the tools for law enforcement and the National Security Agency to with specific evidence, whether it is an Abdulazeez or a Nidal Hasan or someone else to then get judicial authorization to seize their phone metadata and follow the evidence. And I’ll tell you, the National Security Agency told the Senate that they believe the USA Freedom Act will be more effective in tracking down the connections of terrorists than was the existing program.
HH: Okay, we disagree on that, we’ll come back to it another time. I want to ask you about the aftermath. After the Charleston shooting by the domestic terrorist who is a white supremacist, a lot of the country’s outrage focused, and I think rightly so, on the Confederate flag as the visible expression of a no longer acceptable point of view. And not the government, but public opinion rallied against it. Is there a similar expression out there, do we need to shut down people who are not through government action, but through public opinion, people who are in any way sympathetic to these killers?
TC: Yes, and I think there are three things we can do that I’ve publicly called on. Number one, holding hearings and changing the policy to protect the 2nd Amendment right of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, they don’t forfeit the Bill of Rights when they sign up to serve this country, and that’s number one what we can do. The second thing we should do, Hugh, is pass the Expatriate Terrorist Act, which is legislation I’ve introduced in Congress that says if you go and join radical Islamic terrorists, if you join a terrorist organization against the United States, that you forfeit your United States citizenship. There are right now over 100 Americans who have gone to the Middle East, who have joined up with ISIS. And this danger is coming back to us. They have U.S. passports. And we should change the law so we don’t have terrorists with American passports coming back to murder innocent Americans. And then number three, we need to examine seriously our immigration laws to ensure that we are not allowing people like this young man, like this young terrorist who attacked us to exploit our immigration laws and come here to murder Americans.
HH: All right, now I want to ask you a couple of political questions in our minutes left. A story out today that Donald Trump is most cutting into Ted Cruz’ people, do you agree with that?
TC: Oh, I’m a big fan of Donald Trump, and I think Donald Trump is certainly attracting a lot of attention, number one, because he’s speaking the truth and he’s not afraid of Washington, and number two, because he’s focusing on illegal immigration. And it’s a huge problem. It’s something I have been leading the fight for many years. You know, I have to tell you this week that the biggest news I think was that everyone filed their fundraising reports, that out of 16 Republican candidates, our campaign raised the most hard money, $14.3 million dollars. We raised more money than Jeb Bush, because there were 175,000 contributions at www.tedcruz.org. That has Washington terrified, because we have not seen a true, strong, grassroots movement conservative with serious fundraising ability, with serious fundraising support, since 1980, since Ronald Reagan. It really is gratifying that we’ve seen between the campaign and the superPAC over $52 million dollars raised, because people are fed up with Washington and they want someone to tell them the truth, and to do what he said he would do.
HH: If I can keep you just for one more question, Senator Cruz, I’ve got to ask you a Disneyland question, because I’m at Disneyland today for the 60th Anniversary celebration of the Happiest Place on Earth. I’ve got to get a question for Ted Cruz as to what his Disney fix it, his jones at the park, so do not go anywhere, America.
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HH: Last question, Senator Cruz, I asked this of John Kasich two days ago. I think a lot of Republicans are going to look at those 16 candidates, whether at the big table or the kiddies table in the debate, and no matter whether they switch from one to the other in the course of the fall in the debates, they’re going to want to know which of the 16 is best able to beat Hillary Clinton. Why is the answer to that question Ted Cruz?
TC: Because the only way we beat Hillary Clinton is, as Reagan said in 1980, to paint with bold colors and pale pastels. Every time we follow the Washington establishment’s advice of going with a moderate, mushy middle candidate, we lose, from Gerald Ford to Bob Dole, to Mitt Romney to John McCain, over and over again, it doesn’t work. To win, we need a young, dynamic, positive, optimistic candidate who is, and this is critical, Hugh, a consistent conservative. There are a lot of good people running, people who I like and respect. But no candidate in this race has the record of being a consistent conservative over and over again, a fiscal conservative, a social conservative, a national security conservative, across the board, a full spectrum conservative. And as you have noted quite rightly, we need a candidate who can stand on the debate stage with Hillary Clinton and make the case, as Margaret Thatcher said, first you win the argument, then you win the vote. We need to make the case that the Obama-Clinton policies haven’t worked, they’ve made life in America harder and harder, and they have endangered the world and allowed the rise of radical Islam. And we’ve got to get back to the principles that made America great.
HH: Ted Cruz, thank you. I’ve got to go check up on my radio producer who is riding It’s A Small World for 14 hours today. I don’t suppose you have a favorite ride at Disneyland, do you, Senator?
TC: You know, I’m kind of a Space Mountain guy. When I was a teenager, we rode it 18 times in a row and had a lot of fun.
HH: Well, that’s kind of a piker compared to Duane, but we’ll take that anyway. Senator Ted Cruz, always a pleasure, good to talk to you.
TC: Take care.
End of interview.