Texas Senator Ted Cruz joined me on today’s show to discuss Hillary’s “homebrew” server and the race for the GOP presidential nomination, which is already in full swing:
HH: Joined now by United States Senator Ted Cruz on the Hugh Hewitt Show. Senator Cruz, welcome back, always a pleasure to talk to you.
TC: Hugh, it’s great to be with you. I enjoyed coming in to the Game of Thrones theme song.
HH: Do you identify with any of the houses? Are you a Lannisterian? Or are you a Stark?
TC: Oh, I enjoy them all. Thankfully, politics in Washington, although cutthroat, rarely involves cutting as many literal throats.
HH: Well, I’ve got to say, I had Leslie Gelb on in the first hour, because he wrote this Daily Beast column calling you and the 46 other Senators who signed on to the Cotton letter has having engaged in an act of “near treachery.” What do you think of that?
TC: You know, I think it is revealing that the Obama administration and its defenders cannot defend the substance of this foolhardy deal with Iran. And so they’re doing everything they can to distract from it. Last week, all they could discuss was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, and their perceived myths of protocol. This week, all they can discuss is the letter, because they cannot defend on substance a deal that will lead inexorably to Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, which poses an enormous threat, the single greatest threat to America’s national security, of anything on the globe.
HH: Is the agreement being contemplated, in your view, as catastrophic as the 1994 deal has proven to be with North Korea, or perhaps even as bad as the Munich agreement of 1938, about which Churchill said you could choose between war and dishonor, you chose dishonor, you will have war?
TC: Well, Hugh, I think both analogs are powerfully on point. I believe we are hearing echoes of history. I believe we are at a moment like Munich in 1938. And indeed, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress last week was Churchillian in its clarity and moral gravity. Likewise, I think you’re exactly right that we are repeating the mistakes of the Clinton administration in the 1990s with respect to North Korea. In the 1990s, the Clinton administration led the world in relaxing sanctions on North Korea. Billions of dollars flowed into North Korea, and they used that money to develop nuclear weapons. In this instance, it’s actually stunning and highly revealing. The Obama administration reached back in history and recruited the very person who led the failed North Korea talks, Wendy Sherman, to be our lead negotiator with Iran. And I must say, to her credit, she is negotiating the exact same failed deal that she negotiated with North Korea. But in this instance, it’s far more dangerous. North Korea, Kim Jung Il, Kim Jung Un, are both radical, extreme, unpredictable, but fundamentally megalomaniacal narcissists, which means with both father and son, some degree of rational deterrence is possible. Both father and son understood that if they ever used a nuclear weapon, that day their regime would end. The problem with Iran, it is led by theocratic zealots who glorify death and suicide, and my view, if the Ayatollah Khamenei acquired a nuclear weapon, the odds are unacceptably high he would use that nuclear weapon either in the skies of Tel Aviv or New York or Los Angeles. And we should not be willing to risk that global cataclysm.
HH: So what is the motivation, do you believe, behind President Obama’s hell bent strategy on getting some sort of deal, because we haven’t gotten any concessions from them other than those of the paper mache variety that will melt in the first rain?
TC: Hugh, you’re exactly right. I think it’s driven by two things. One is simple domestic political concerns. President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes, publically said that Iranian nuclear deal will be the Obamacare of the second term. I think he meant that as a compliment. You and I might have a different interpretation of that.
TC: But they are eager for this to be the signature accomplishment, a rapprochement with Iran, and they view it as a political benefit rather than viewing it through the steely, cold eyes of protecting the national security of the United States, and also standing with, unshakably, with our friend and ally, the nation of Israel. But I think there’s a second element. You’ll remember several months ago the Jeffrey Goldberg article that had made considerable national news, because it quoted a senior White House official as attacking Prime Minister Netanyahu and using an epithet for poultry manure to describe the Prime Minister.
TC: That was not the most notable part of that article. It got the most attention, but it wasn’t the most notable part. The most notable part of that article was it quoted the same senior White House advisor as gleefully stating that he believed that the White House had successfully delayed Israel from acting for so long that there was now nothing Israel could do to prevent Iran “from acquiring a nuclear weapons arsenal.” I believe fundamentally President Obama and his senior team does not understand the nature of the regime. I believe they think it is perfectly acceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons and engage in containment. And they don’t appreciate the radical religious zealotry. Here are a couple of just simple facts about the Iranian regime. Number one, the man who’s considered the father of the Iranian nuclear program, a man who’s no longer with us because he has since met his maker, and involuntarily, I might note, had written into his last will and testament that he wanted the following words printed on his gravestone. Here lies a man who sought to annihilate Israel. Think for a second about the hatred, the animosity that is seething through someone who writes a statement like that. Last year, Khamenei, in 2014, speaking to a large crowd in Tehran, said falsely, America is the greatest human rights abuser on the face of the planet. The crowd responded by chanting in unison death to America. And indeed, every day, or every year, rather, Iran celebrates as a holiday what they call death to America day. That’s an actual holiday in Iran. Here, we have Thanksgiving, we have Christmas, we have the 4th of July. Every year in Iran, they celebrate death to America day, which is the anniversary of Iran in the 1970s taking Americans hostage. There is a reason Iran calls Israel the little Satan and America the great Satan. And I believe neither President Obama nor his team understand that these are theocratic zealots whose religious extremism and radical Islamic theology makes the risk of their using a nuclear weapon to murder millions unacceptably high.
HH: Now Senator Cruz, I think you said Khomeini, and I think you meant Khamenei. But in any event, yesterday the Secretary of State, former Secretary of State Clinton gave this press conference, and I want to get your reaction to her statements about her Homebrew server. But she began it by assailing the Republican letter in which you’re a signatory. Does that in effect make her an endorser of President Obama’s obliviousness concerning Iran? And then, too, what are your comments on her Homebrew answers? Are you satisfied that she’s being truthful?
TC: Oh, sure, on the first point, Secretary Clinton has emphatically embraced President Obama’s ill-advised strategy on Iran. And indeed what we are witnessing today are the logical fruits of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind. In the next year, we may see Secretary Clinton try to run away from the Obama record, because it is substantively indefensible. But when it comes to foreign policy, she was present at the creation. She was charged with designing and implementing the strategy of leading from behind. And what is happening in Iran, Secretary Clinton has an opportunity to stand up and speak. I will note when Prime Minister Netanyahu came and the White House engaged in a shameful personal and partisan attack on the elected leader of our close friend and ally, the nation of Israel, Secretary Clinton was unwilling to rise to the defense of Israel, remained silent while the leader of her party attacked and undermined the nation of Israel.
HH: One minute, Senator, what about her Homebrew statements? Do you think she’s telling the truth?
TC: I think what she has admitted right now on its face raises serious questions about whether she violated federal law, or even potentially committed criminal conduct. There needs to be a fair and an impartial investigation.
HH: Special prosecutor?
TC: It needs to not be a partisan prosecutor at the Department of Justice who is engaged simply in a cover up and a whitewash. It needs to be someone with impeccable integrity to investigate whether she violated the law.
HH: Senator Ted Cruz, it’s always great to talk to you, Senator, I look forward to many more conversations as 2015 rolls along.
End of interview.