Senator Ted Cruz joined me this morning:
HH: Now over to Ted Cruz, senator from Texas. You just heard what Chuck [Todd] said. I think he’s thinking Beto’s run way too far to the left. What do you think? Have we got Ted with us? Senator Cruz?
TC: Yeah, I’m here, Hugh.
HH: Yeah, well, you heard Chuck. What do you think?
TC: I think that’s right. I’m also glad to join the hoarse voice club. I think two weeks out from Election Day, anyone who spends their time doing politics has a little bit of hoarseness right now.
HH: Yeah. He, Chuck was saying Beto has run hard left.
HH: How can anyone run hard left in Texas? You can’t do that.
TC: You know, that has been his campaign from the beginning, that typically in Texas, Democrats at least pretend to go to the middle. And from the very beginning, Beto O’Rourke made the decision to go hard left. He’s running like Elizabeth Warren. He’s running like Bernie Sanders. Now what it’s resulting in is massive money. He is the number one Democratic fundraiser in the country. Last quarter, Beto O’Rourke raised $38 million dollars. That is the most money ever raised in a single quarter by any candidate for U.S. Senate in history. That’s a lot of money. And what happens is every time O’Rourke embraces a left wing position, every time he comes out and calls for impeaching President Trump, which he has, millions of dollars flood into the state. Every time he talks about abolishing ICE, which he has, millions of dollars flood into the state. And I think in many ways, he is playing to the national liberal donors, national liberal activists. And the people he doesn’t play to are actual voters in Texas who care about jobs and care about securing the border and care about the Constitution. He is not responding to the interests of the people of Texas.
HH: Well now, Senator Cruz, talk to me a little bit about these nine suspicious packages, at least one of which was a real bomb.
HH: The President’s condemned it. The Vice President’s condemned it. Rod Rosenstein’s condemned it. I’m sure you’re going to condemn it. But the media is running with the narrative that it’s Donald Trump’s fault. I’m sure you see this. And it makes me crazy. It’s either some nut in a basement, or it’s a hostile power messing with our elections. But what do you make of the attempt to blame Trump?
TC: Look, it’s, the media’s doing what the media does, which is any narrative that they can twist against Trump, they will do so. This is terrorism. I mean, this is terrorism, and whoever the terrorist is needs to be caught, needs to be prosecuted, he needs to be put in jail for a long, long time. And I’m confident that’ll happen. You know, it’s interesting. You remember some months ago we had the bomber in Austin that was setting off bombs throughout Austin. And I met with the ATF folks, the FBI folks who were leading that task force. And the federal law enforcement has tremendous resources to put, to bear to track him down in terms of components of the bomb. I know they’re, I’m sure they’re analyzing all of those now. And we’re going to catch this guy, and we’re going to put him behind bars. But it is wrong. Violence is always wrong wherever it occurs on the political spectrum. You know, we saw tragically a year ago a crazed gunman coming to Washington, D.C. with the objective of shooting Republican Congressmen and ultimately going to the Congressional baseball practice and shooting and nearly killing Steve Scalise. And this should not be part of our political discourse. Disagreement is fine. It’s even healthy to disagree on policy issues. But violence has no place in it, and we need to be able to disagree with each other with civility and with respect.
HH: Now Senator Cruz, you are cruising, and that’s great. We need you back in D.C. Just a final question to you about the Supreme Court, which is now, the 30 year’s war for the Court is over, at least for a time. We have five conservative, I would argue, originalist judges there. We need, you know, it would be great if we get two or three more. But we’ve got 29 Appeals Court judges and 50 district court judges. How important is it that the Republicans keep the Senate? And this is about Martha McSally in Arizona and Mike Braun in Indiana and Josh Hawley in Missouri? How important is it that the Republicans maintain their control of the United States Senate?
TC: It is massively important. And the last two years had incredible victories for people of Texas and the American people. And if we keep control of the Senate, or even better, what I hope we do is actually expand our majority instead of barely 51, getting up to 53, 54, 55, which I think is a very real possibility, I think we could accomplish even more. Now we need to keep the House to get legislation through, but on the judicial side, not only do we have two Supreme Court justices which I was proud to help lead the fight to confirm both Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, but we have confirmed the first year, we confirmed more Court of Appeals judges than any time in history in the first year of a president’s term. Right now today, one out of six federal Appellate judges in the country was appointed by President Trump. And so it’s made an enormous difference. If we have another two years, I think we could see as much as half of the federal appellate bench having been appointed by President Trump. That is a legacy. As you know, virtually every case ends in the Court of Appeals. Only a fraction make it to the Supreme Court, and so every one of us who cares and cares passionately about the Constitution, about the Bill of Rights, about free speech and religious liberty and the 2nd Amendment, the 10th Amendment, having principled Constitutionalist judges is how we protect those rights.
HH: And to conclude, do you see a Kavanaugh effect? You watched that ugly ambush of Brett Kavanaugh.
HH: Do you see it in Texas? Do you see it around the country?
TC: Absolutely. Look, the Kavanaugh hearings were one of the saddest chapters in the history of the Senate. I think the behavior of Senate Democrats was appalling. And I do think a lot of Americans saw it and were really horrified, because they weren’t endeavoring to have a fair process. They weren’t trying to find the truth. They just wanted a partisan witch hunt, and they were willing to go into the gutter, and they were willing to smear Judge Kavanaugh, smear his family. By the way, Hugh, for the record, I am not Spartacus.
HH: (laughing) You know, I don’t know how you kept a straight face through those hearings, Senator. It is pretty amazing.
TC: You know, you can’t, though, but that’s all right. You’ve got to have a sense of humor. You’ve got to laugh. That’s part of, I actually think for Republicans, it’s important. When the left is so angry, so bitter, so filled with hatred, one of the things I urge conservatives all the time, don’t respond in kind. We should be happy warriors. We should be joyful warriors, and in part because policies we’re fighting for, they work – low taxes, low regulation. It works. We’re seeing an economic boom throughout Texas and throughout the country that is incredible. And so we simply have to tell the truth, talk about policies that work and make a difference in people’s lives. You know, and the contrast if we are laughing, happy, joyful warriors is significant. And you asked about the Kavanaugh effect. I’ve done, I think, 30 town halls and rallies in the last six weeks. I’ve had just the other day in Beaumont, I had one gentleman come up, and his whole family, and he said you know, I was not going to vote this year. And he said I’m coming out and I’ve voted because of Kavanaugh. That was the most horrifying thing I’ve ever seen.
HH: Oh, and in light of that, would you, do you believe that the Democrats will modify their behavior in the next two years? Or has President Trump just simply driven them crazy?
TC: He’s clearly driven them crazy. They are in the fits and throes of Trump Derangement Syndrome. And some of it is, I think, they’re captive to their base. Their far left base, their radical base, is so furious that the only thing they see is hatred of Trump. So there’s no good news. You see the lowest African-American unemployment in history, and they don’t care because they hate Trump. You see the lowest Hispanic unemployment in history, and they don’t care because they hate Trump. You see ISIS defeated, virtually all of their caliphate taken away, they don’t care because they hate Trump. And so that, I think that fever’s going to have to break. I think we have a good election this year, and keep the House, grow our majority in the Senate, and I think that’ll make a step. But my guess is it’s going to take two good elections to break that fever, because their base remains just, just consumed with rage. And I think the incumbent Democrats are terrified of their base, and in many ways, are captive to it.
HH: Senator Ted Cruz, always a pleasure. Good luck as you do your closing kick. Come back and join us for a victory lap when you’re done.
TC: Thank you, Hugh, and we’ve still got to fight, so let me encourage everyone to come to our website. It’s www.tedcruz.org. www.tedcruz.org. www.tedcruz.org. We’re being outspent 3-1. And O’Rourke is the number one Democratic fundraiser in the country. So we need your help. We are running full speed through the finish line.
HH: Ted Cruz, people will go there, www.tedcruz.org. Thank you, Senator.
TC: Thank you.
End of interview.