Senator Cruz Continues the Filibuster on EIB - The Rush Limbaugh Show
RUSH: Senator Cruz, we welcome you to the EIB microphone and the program. It's great to have you here, sir.
CRUZ: Rush, it's fantastic to be with you.
RUSH: I have to tell you, I've had so many people... I've been off the past couple of days, but while this has been going on, I've had so many people e-mail me so uplifted by what you did in the last 21 hours and what you did leading up to it. So many people are so happy that there finally is some leadership. They're so happy that, finally, somebody is doing in Washington what they were elected to do, what they said they were going to do. And I just wanted to say, before we started: I'm sure you're hearing much same thing, but I wanted you to know that while you're getting all these arrows as pioneers do, there's a lot of appreciation and a lot of love for what you're doing out there.
CRUZ: Well, Rush, thank you so much. Thank you for that encouragement, and thank you for your leadership. You know, I really hope that over the course of this week we'll see more and more Republicans step forward. We had quite a few Republicans come down to the floor and support the effort, and I hope we'll see as many Republicans as possible, and even some Democrats, come together and listen to the American people. As you know... Every week, you talk to 20 million Americans. You know where the American people are on this, and it's not a close call. Obamacare isn't working and millions of Americans are hurting, and if the Senate just listened to the American people, we'll do the right thing and we'll vote to defund it.
RUSH: Well, in a political sense, it's been one of the things that surprised me, 'cause you're right. No matter what poll you look at, a vast majority of people oppose this, and I look at this... Politics isn't my business, getting votes isn't my business, but it seems to me that this is a ready-made opportunity. Here's a chance for the Republican Party to connect to a majority of the American people on a fundamental issue. If they're looking for something that could get 'em back, that could give them an identity, that could give them a little boost, this seems to me to be it. But they seem to want to have no desire to oppose this in any meaningfully way, and it's got me and a lot of people befuddled.
CRUZ: Well, look, Rush, I understand that frustration. It's why I think in many ways the central issue that we were trying to focus on in the filibuster was not the continuing resolution. It wasn't even Obamacare, as horrific as it is for the economy. The central issue, I think, is the long-standing problem we have had with Washington not listening to the American people with Democrats and Republicans. It's a lot of folks who've been in office way too long, who stopped listening to their constituents -- and as a result, we see lots of theater, lots of empty symbolic votes and very little willingness to actually stand up and fight on behalf of the American people.
RUSH: Well, wait. "Theater" is what you were accused of doing. Michael Barone, as soon as you finished, accused you of engaging in theater, and that you knew it, and that you knew there's no way you had any prayer of accomplishing what you want to accomplish. Others have said that you're just fundraising and you're making it look like you're doing something substantive, but it's just theater.
CRUZ: Well, you know, one of the approaches that those who want to maintain the status quo -- who want to make sure Obamacare stays funded, who wanted to avoid any risks, one of the approaches they do -- is they try to make this all about people. They try to make it all about personalities. And listen: Most Americans could not care less about any politician in Washington. They don't care about me; they don't care about anybody else either. And what is utterly maddening about all of these reporters is what do they write about all day long? They write about the process. They write about the horse race. They write about this personality or the other. They act like Hollywood gossip columnists writing about bickering. I mean, how many times have you and I both read the words "Republican civil war" in the past week? 'Cause that's what they like to write about.
CRUZ: And, listen, what I tried to spend much of the filibuster all but begging the media to do... In fact, I explicitly said, "Listen. All right, you guys can't resist writing something about the process, something about that silliness. But let me just ask you: 50% of what you write, discuss the substance of how Obamacare is the number one job killer in the country, how millions of Americans are suffering, how it's forcing people into part-time work, how it's threatening millions of Americans' health insurance.
"Just write a little about the substance," and the strategy on the other side is really twofold. Number one: Confuse the voters. Confuse the voters with procedural obfuscation, with complexity, so that they don't understand what's going on. And number two: Make it all about personalities. And listen, others can engage in that game, Rush. I have no intention of defending myself or of reciprocating. It's not about anybody. It's not about us. It is about listening to the American people and stopping this disaster, this nightmare, this train wreck that is Obamacare.
RUSH: One of the things I wanted to ask you about is... I know you just said you don't want to defend yourself, and I'm not asking you to do this, but I do want to put to you a criticism that I have heard, and you have, too. It's that you have -- oh, heaven forbid -- ignored the inside rules of the Senate, that you didn't go to your party conference to try to convince them, et cetera, to do this, and that you love just be an outsider, and that the precious rules of the Senate were not observed and because of that you're harming the party.
CRUZ: Well, I will note that some of the folks making that argument -- in fact, the only folks I've seen making that argument -- are not, in fact, senators (chuckling), not in fact senators who attend the meetings, and indeed I've heard it referred to as "the Thursday meeting of the conference." The meeting is actually on Tuesday. So the people going on television purporting to know what they're talking about, they don't actually know what day the Senate meets. And more fundamentally I've attended...
Not all, but virtually all of the meetings since I've been in the Senate and we have been discussing, number one, strategies on Obamacare for at least six months. Mike Lee and I have been going over and over and over again saying, "Does anyone else have an alternative? Does anyone else have any plan?" And there's never been a plan, and we have been talking about this for months.
So nobody has an argument, at least no one that's actually attended those lunches, that we didn't discuss ad nauseum. Now, they have a different argument that we didn't wait for and get their approval and permission to stand up and do our best to fight this fight. Because, look, each of the hundred senators, we were elected by our constituents, and I've got an obligation not to my colleagues, but to 26 million Texans to fight for them.
RUSH: Senator, most of your colleagues said exactly what you've said in the last 21 hours, and the last two weeks, and the last year, most of your colleagues said years ago what you said. At the moment of truth, they're not to be found. They've sought solace somewhere else. I look at what you're doing -- forgive me for characterizing it -- I look at what you're doing as simply doing what you were elected to do as you said, but you're also drawing a line. At some point we've got to say we're not gonna allow this kind of freedom to be lost in this country. I think this is what this is about. What Obamacare substantively is is what you're about.
CRUZ: Rush, I think you are absolutely right. And to be honest, look, I think what Mike and I are doing, I don't view as a terribly big deal. We're trying to actually stand for the principles that every Republican in the Senate says he or she believes in. We're trying to actually listen to the American people, and we're trying to tell the truth. Part of why -- you know, people ask, why does Congress have, you know, 10, 12, 15% approval rating? It's because for years Congress has ignored the will of the American people. And this process -- I think it's important for your listeners to understand how this process is gonna play out this next week, because much of what the Senate does is engage in show votes that are designed to look one way to the voters and, in fact, be like World Wrestling Federation, entirely fixed.
So what's gonna happen next is on Friday or Saturday we're gonna have a vote on what's called cloture on the bill. That is the vote that matters. It takes 60 votes to grant cloture. What cloture is is cutting off debate, saying there should be no more debate. And the reason that matters is if Harry Reid gets 60 votes to cut off debate to get cloture on the bill, he will then file one amendment, he said only one amendment, that guts the House continuing resolution, and that fully funds Obamacare. And so any Republican in my view who votes for cloture, who votes with Harry Reid, who votes with the Democrats to cut off debate and give Harry Reid the ability to fund Obamacare fully on a 51-vote partisan vote of only Democrats, is voting to fund Obamacare.
Now, a number of Republicans are going to maintain that, no, no, no, no, no, their vote to cut off debate is in support of the House bill. And, Rush, that's simply not the case. It's a show vote. Now, if Harry Reid gets 60 votes, every Republican then will vote against his amendment to fund Obamacare, and so all 46 Republicans want to go home to their districts say, "Gosh, I voted to defund Obamacare, and marvel of marvels, we lost," which to be honest is the outcome that I think more than a few of them affirmatively desire. And part of what's so problematic with Washington is how many Republicans want a show vote to pretend to their constituents they're fighting for what they say they're fighting for, rather than actually fighting for it and actually winning.