Glenn has certainly had his differences with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) over the last few years about his divergence from the conservative principles he campaigned and won on. Lately, however, Sen. Cornyn has seemingly returned to form on some issues – grilling HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the failed Obamacare rollout and opposing the nuclear option. On radio this morning, Sen. Cornyn joined Glenn to discuss these issues and many more.
“Senator John Cornyn is running for reelection here in the great state of Texas. And he is a guy who has had a very good record. He's a guy who a lot of people have looked to for a long time and said: This guy is a good, strong conservative,” Glenn said. “We, on this program, have some issues. We don't ever expect to agree with everything anybody does or says. I think that is unreasonable. But he is joining us... I really don't want this to be a hostile interview… I do want it to be a frank conversation.”
Glenn first asked Sen. Cornyn to explain the remarks he made about FreedomWorks and some of his fellow conservative congressmen in the lead up to the budget vote. During an interview with Matt Patrick in October, Sen. Cornyn had this to say about FreedomWorks:
CORNYN: FreedomWorks is an organization that, that uses Republican on Republican violence, so to speak, to raise money. That's why they exist. They don't exist to run against Democrats. They use it to try to divide Republicans.
“I don't think that's true,” Glenn said. “What do you mean by ‘Republican on Republican violence’?”
“Well, Glenn, it's no secret that I disagreed with the tactic to try to defund Obamacare on a continuing resolution, not because I support Obamacare. My record is clear that I have taken every reasonable opportunity to try to stop it, to repeal it, to block it. But I didn't think the shutdown, which I thought was an inevitable part of that strategy, was the right tactic to use,” Sen. Cornyn said. “And I would classify this, at least in terms of the Senate itself, as sort of a disagreement on tactics among the family. What I think happened from my perspective was that Republicans and conservatives got divided and then we minimized the strength we would otherwise have by being unified.”
Sen. Cornyn had initially supported fellow Senator Mike Lee’s (R-UT) proposal that would fund the entire government except Obamacare, but he later took his name off the letter. Glenn asked him to explain his decisions.
“I reconsidered my signing of the letter and whether or not the tactic would succeed or not. So again, it was a different – disagreement over the tactics,” Sen. Cornyn said. “I didn't see any way, on reconsideration, that Harry Reid would allow that to pass or the President Obama would sign it. But I want to point out, Glenn, I did vote for the continuing resolution that came over from the House that would have defunded Obamacare. And my record is pretty clear on that, so I appreciate your giving me the chance to hopefully clarify it.”
From 2007 to 2011, Sen. Cornyn served as the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which campaigns and raises money for Republican candidates. Glenn asked Sen. Cornyn how he feels about the TEA Party and its influence, given statements he has made in the past.
“I think the TEA Party has been the best thing that's happened to the conservative movement in recent years. In 2010, we could not have picked up 7 Senate seats without the TEA Party,” Sen. Cornyn said. “And you know, like every political party, it's composed of different elements to a coalition. And my simple position is: We need the Tea Party, and their enthusiasm, and their votes as part of the Republican coalition so we can win the election in 2014, and we'll actually be able to govern by retiring Harry Reid… I think we need all aspects of the Republican coalition – from Libertarians to traditional Republicans to TEA Party, to social conservatives, to you name it.”
“Senator, we would love to have you on again. We're up against the clock, but I'd like to hear your thoughts on Iran, et cetera, et cetera,” Glenn concluded. “So if we could have you back on the show, we would love to have you. Thank you very much, Senator John Cornyn.”
Watch the entire interview below: