On radio this morning, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined Glenn for the first time since his epic 21-hour anti-Obamacare speech on the Senate floor. Sen. Cruz talked about his experience this week and why some of his Republican colleagues have been apprehensive to support the movement to defund Obamacare despite the public support on the issue.
Establishment Republicans like Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and others have expressed they will side with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats in voting for cloture, a move that has been quite perplexing for Glenn and most conservatives.
"It's that they're scared of political blame, that they're scared that if we do the right thing, it might lead to a partial temporary shutdown," Sen. Cruz said of his colleagues. "And if there's a partial temporary shutdown, they're scared the media will blame Republicans, and the truth is the media will blame Republicans if it rains."
With the Senate cloture vote set to take place at 12:30pm ET today, Sen. Cruz encouraged every American to call his or her Senator and demand they vote "no" or visit DontFundIt.com and make your voice heard by signing the petition. Sen. Cruz reiterated that the concerns of the American people are being heard, and his colleagues' phones have - much to their dismay - been ringing off the hook.
"You know, they want to blow you off. That's certainly true. But I've got to tell you, nothing has enraged Republican senators or gotten their attention more than the facts that their phones are melting down," Sen. Cruz said. "Listen, the most dominant instinct for almost any politician in Washington is the desire to get reelected, and when their constituents actually notice something they are doing and speak out in real volume, it scares the living daylights out of politicians. And as you know, I said this many times. In fact, I think I said this on your show, which is that liberty is never safer than when politicians are terrified. That, it makes a difference. So I encourage folks to give one last burst this morning. But then second, if the Republicans who have publicly pledged to vote with Harry Reid carry through at 12:30 and do it, then Harry Reid will have the 60 votes he needs to strip the language out of the House resolution and to add the funding back for Obamacare. But the game won't be over then."
Sen. Cruz ultimately is remaining optimistic because regardless of what happens in the Senate, the fight will continue in the House of Representatives.
"And it's a privilege to stand with so many Americans. And let me encourage folks if Republicans vote as they've said, if cloture's invoked today at 12:30, it's not over. It goes back to the House. And the House Republicans I hope and believe are going to stand their ground and so this fight will continue," Sen. Cruz said. "And so let me encourage everyone, sign the petition at DontFundIt.com and then call your House members. Encourage them. Salute them for having done the right thing last week and encourage them to stand their ground. If the Senate Republicans won't support them, let them know that the American people support the House Republicans."
Full transcript of the interview below:
GLENN: Hold on. We have Ted Cruz on the line. Ted.
CRUZ: Good morning, Glenn. Great to be with you.
GLENN: How are you, sir?
CRUZ: I'm doing terrific. How about you?
GLENN: I'm good. I can't believe the way the Republicans have treated you and the way the media ‑‑ I mean, I expect it from the media, but it's incredible. I watched you and my wife and I, we laid in bed and we watched you and it was ‑‑ I mean, it's not really the ‑‑ it wasn't the fun‑filled, you know, experience that I was hoping for that night, but we watched you and you were making really good, great, cogent arguments and the press the next day would think that ‑‑ I mean, it sounded like you were a bumbling idiot if you would read the press.
CRUZ: Well, and that suggests the obvious conclusion, which is just not reading the nonsense they write.
GLENN: So the Peter Kings of the world and John McCains, are you surprised ‑‑ not with John McCain, but are you surprised by the way they have come out?
CRUZ: You know, Glenn, actually I'm not. Everyone who wants to preserve the status quo, everyone who is not willing to fight to defund ObamaCare, what they're trying to do is they want to change the subject and then the most common tactic they like is to change the subject and make it all about personality, make it about personal attacks and so, you know, the two things you're pointing out are connected. The media, they want to focus on everything but the substance of how Obama secures a train wreck that is hurting millions of Americans and, you know, I mean, you've got all the Republicans running around throwing rocks at me, at others. And from my end, Glenn, I don't intend to defend myself, I don't intend to respond because, look, at the end of the day the American people don't care about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Doesn't matter about, you know, who's squabbling with whom, which is the only thing the media seems to think is worth covering. What the American people care about is ObamaCare is killing jobs. Millions of Americans are facing the prospect of being forcibly pushed into part‑time work, 29 hours a week. They're facing the prospect of having their health insurance taken away. And from my end the more we focus on the substance, the better. And so all of the noisy just think is noise and I don't intend to engage in it.
GLENN: The labor unions are now starting to come out and say this is an outrage. This is killing. The garbage collectors union I think in Chicago with SEIU, they are all of a sudden saying this is an outrage because we're losing our jobs and the people ‑‑ they're being fired because people are saying "I can't afford it with universal healthcare." It's just, it doesn't work. How long ‑‑
CRUZ: Yeah, there was an exchange, Glenn, toward the end of the filibuster where Illinois democratic senator Dick Durbin came to the floor and, you know, started throwing various attacks from the left at defending ObamaCare. And, you know, one of the things I did is I just read an excerpt from James Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters letter where he said he was writing on behalf of millions of working men and women and the families who depend on them because ObamaCare was destroying their healthcare. "And destroying "is the word he used. And the question I asked Senator Durbin, I said, listen, have you read about Hoffa's letter? Is he telling the truth? And what have you done to respond to it? Are you okay with destroying the healthcare of millions ‑‑ and that's his word, millions, not mine ‑‑ millions of working men and women. And I have to say he didn't ultimately really want to answer that question. But one of the things I suggested: Listen, if reporters were actually doing their job, every time President Obama stood to a podium, they would say, "Mr. President, let me read from James Hoffa. According to the head of one of the largest labor unions in this country, you're destroying the healthcare of millions of Americans." Is he lying? But, you know, instead they want to ask him about, you know, nonsense instead.
PAT: Yeah, you had the longshoremen left the AFL‑CIO over ‑‑
PAT: ‑‑ in part ObamaCare. That just cost me 20 bucks, but ‑‑
GLENN: Are they going to ‑‑ how's this going to play out, Ted? What do you think happens now?
CRUZ: Well, there's several things that happened. The next step is today at 12:30 is the vote on cloture, and every Republican should vote no on cloture because what this vote is at 12:30 today, if you vote yes on cloture, you will be voting with Harry Reid and you will be voting to give Harry Reid the power to fund ObamaCare. Now, a fair number of Republicans have publicly said they intend to vote yes on cloture, they intend to vote side by side with Harry Reid and the Democrats and give Reid the power to fund ObamaCare. Now, simultaneously they are going home to their states and telling people this vote is really a vote against ObamaCare. You know, I point out the obvious, which is if it were really a vote against ObamaCare, then Harry Reid and every Democrat would not be voting that way as well.
PAT: Did Senator Corker know that in your opinion, Senator, or was he just trying to cover himself with his constituents? Or maybe that's not a question you want to answer.
CRUZ: You know, Glenn, I'm not going to speculate about the motives of anyone.
GLENN: That would be Pat. I wouldn't ask you a question like that. That would be Pat. This is Glenn. Now let me ask you this: John Cornyn, piece of crap or what?
CRUZ: Look, Glenn, I ‑‑
PAT: But not Corker.
CRUZ: I like John. He's a friend. He and I have been side by side on the vast majority of issues. I think he's wrong on this.
GLENN: Yeah. I'm thinking Louie Gohmert for senator and if Louie won't run, I'm running.
STU: How come we never get any good interviews on this show? Gee, I wonder why!
STU: Sorry, Senator Cruz.
GLENN: All right. So Senator Cruz, so what happens when the Republicans run to Mommy's skirt because they are afraid of the big bad Democrats and they vote yes for cloture today? What happens then?
CRUZ: Well, now let me say first between now and 12:30, there are actually a surprising number of Republican senators that are still on the fence, that haven't announced how they're going to vote. And I have to tell you this week people's phones have been lighting up. There's a national website, as you know, dontfundit.com, dontfundit.com. It's got over 1.8 million Americans who have signed the national petition. Let me encourage your listeners this morning before the Senate vote, go to dontfundit.com, sign that petition and right on that website are links to the Facebook pages and Twitter pages of each of the senators and tells you where they are publicly and also has their phone numbers. Give them a call this morning, tweet. Post on their Facebook. It makes a difference. And listen, the vote total ‑‑
GLENN: Does it really? Because I think honestly most people think, "You know, I go to this website and then what do I do?" Or "I call and they just blow me off." Does it really make a difference?
CRUZ: You know, they want to blow you off. That's certainly true. But I've got to tell you nothing has enraged Republican senators or gotten their attention more than the facts that their phones are melting down. Listen, the most dominant instinct for almost any politician in Washington is the desire to get reelected, and when their constituents actually notice something they are doing and speak out in real volume, it scares the living daylights out of politicians. And as you know, I said this many times. In fact, I think I said this on your show, which is that liberty is never safer than when politicians are terrified. That, it makes a difference. So I encourage folks to give one last burst this morning. But then second, if the Republicans who have publicly pledged to vote with Harry Reid carry through at 12:30 and do it, then Harry Reid will have the 60 votes he needs to strip the language out of the House resolution and to add the funding back for ObamaCare. But the game won't be over then.
GLENN: There's amazing, there are just amazing people that support cloture. And you know, I mean, you've got the Orrin Hatches of the world and Lindsey Graham but then you have John Corker ‑‑ John Cornyn, Bob Corker, John Thune, Tom Coburn, Roy Blunt, Mitch McConnell, Dan Coats. I mean, they are all, they're all sayin' we're votin' with Harry Reid.
CRUZ: Part of the reason the numbers are where they are is Senate Republican leadership has been whipping, has been using all of the pressure that leadership can exert to try to ‑‑
GLENN: Why? I don't understand this.
CRUZ: Every Republican to vote with Reid.
GLENN: I don't understand this other than they are with the progressive big government thing. That's the only answer because there's no way they can ‑‑
CRUZ: You know, I actually think it's a little different, Glenn.
GLENN: What is it?
CRUZ: It's that they're scared of political blame, that they're scared that if we do the right thing, it might lead to a partial temporary shutdown. And if there's a partial temporary shutdown, they're scared the media will blame Republicans, and the truth is the media will blame Republicans if it rains.
GLENN: The media's going to blame them anyway. You know, I saw Tom DeLay last night on the Real News on TheBlaze and I'm watching Tom talk about it and he's like, "We won that."
GLENN: We won that that. I mean, the revisionist history here. They shut down, what was it, 200 and some different agencies in the United States? Yes, the government shut down for, like, 30 days, but look at what they did.
GLENN: They shut it down and they cleaned house.
STU: And gained two Senate seats in the next election.
GLENN: Yeah, they won. They won.
CRUZ: And we got year after year of balanced budgets, reformed welfare. None of that would have happened if Republicans hadn't discovered a backbone and stood up.
CRUZ: But when you make that point, they look at you and just, in essence, say don't bother me with the facts.
GLENN: Okay. I want to play one piece of audio for you ‑‑ two pieces of audio. Pat, play the fundamental transformation from years gone past. Listen to this and then I want to play a new piece of audio. This is the president on the campaign trail.
OBAMA: We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.
GLENN: We're five days away from fundamentally. That was when he first got into office ‑‑ when he was getting ready to go in, five days away from the first election: We're five days away from fundamental transformation.
Now listen to what he said just a couple of days ago. Listen to this.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: So we're now only five days away from finishing the job.
GLENN: We're five days away from finishing the job. The fundamental transformation of America is finished when this goes through, isn't it?
CRUZ: It is... doing damage that is just ‑‑ look. This president's ambitions, as you know, as he said, are vast. They are exactly as he said: To fundamentally transform this country, to give up our free market foundation, to give up the individual liberty that is the foundation of this country and to move us instead to a collectivist/statist approach where the federal government is the prime driver in the economy and the prime driver in our lives. That is an approach that everywhere in the world it's been tried. It hasn't worked. It doesn't produce opportunity, it doesn't produce prosperity. It ‑‑ if someone is struggling, the best opportunity for someone who is struggling who wants a better life to achieve that better life is a vibrant free enterprise system where small businesses are prospering, where there are jobs, where there's growth. And this president has waged a war on jobs and growth, not because he's opposed to jobs and growth but because he believes in government so much and what he's done through government has been hammering small businesses, hammering entrepreneurs and hurting. The people who have been hurt the most by ObamaCare and all of the rest of it haven't the most vulnerable among us, Glenn. They have been young people and Hispanics and African‑Americans and single moms. They are the ones who are losing their jobs. They are the ones who are being forced to work 29 hours a week. You know, it's not the CEOs. It's not what President Obama calls the millionaires and billionaires. It's the single mom working as a waitress at a diner who's suddenly working 29 hours a week and can't feed her kids on 29 hours a week. And the millions of Americans who right now are getting letters from their health insurance companies saying we're no longer going to provide health insurance because of ObamaCare.
GLENN: Senator Ted Cruz, thank you for your hard work this week. Thank you for standing up. Thank you for being everything and more, I would say, everything you promised you would be and more. And the American people are grateful. Thank you.
CRUZ: Well, you know, we're all fighting to just save this country.
GLENN: I know.
CRUZ: And it's a privilege to stand with so many Americans. And let me encourage folks if Republicans vote as they've said, if we get ‑‑ if cloture's invoked today at 12:30, it's not over. It goes back to the House.
CRUZ: And the House Republicans I hope and believe are going to stand their ground and so this fight will continue.
CRUZ: And so let me encourage everyone, sign the petition at dontfundit.com and then call your House members. Encourage them. Salute them for having done the right thing last week and encourage them to stand their ground. If the Senate Republicans won't support them, let them know that the American people support the House Republicans.
GLENN: Thank you. I've got to run, but thank you so much and, by the way, all of the phone numbers and everything are there at DontFundIt.com.