TEXAS SEN. TED CRUZ ON KFAQ’S PAT CAMPBELL SHOW
PAT CAMPBELL: Long time since we’ve seen each other. The last time I saw you was back in December at the Mabee Center at ORU. At that time, I promised we’d deliver Oklahoma. We gave you Oklahoma. You made one heck of a run for (the GOP Presidential nomination). Then came Indiana and I knew Indiana was going to be tough for you. I knew you’d be wounded, but I have to be honest with you. As a supporter and I think I say this for a lot of my listeners, too. I was shocked when you decided to suspend your campaign. My question for you is, “Why did you do that? And why didn’t you sludge on?”
TED CRUZ: Well, Pat, I appreciate all your tremendous help and support and I’m immensely grateful to all the people of Oklahoma for the wonderful and powerful victory we had in Oklahoma. What had happened in the race is that at that point, it had turned against us and we no longer had a path to victory. Indiana was the culmination of a series of elections and if you look at the race, going back to…there was a period in the race where we had won five states in a row over three weeks. It started with Utah, then went to North Dakota, to Wisconsin, to Colorado, to Wyoming. And all five of those were landslide victories.
At that point, we were winning the race. Momentum was with us. We were winning race after race. During that entire period, you know, typically in a race when someone is winning race after race after race by landslides, the media usually is saying, “Wow, another victory. What’s happening? Where is this momentum coming from?” That’s not what the media ended up doing. What they began saying over and over again was, “The New York primary is coming. The New York primary is coming. The New York primary is coming.” And then what proceeded to happen….we actually saw our numbers drop through the floor the week before the New York primary. The reason is simple despite the face we (he and Trump) were polling very closely nationwide. You turned on the television and every pundit on every station 24-7 began saying, “New York is coming. Donald is going to win. And therefore, he is unbeatable. He is unstoppable. He cannot be beaten.”
That had the effect, that within 48 hours, our numbers plummeting 20 points. We went from being within single digits in Pennsylvania and being tied, effectively, in Maryland and Indiana to being 20 points down. And that happened within 48 hours.
What happened, Pat, was that the media told our supporters non-stop that it was hopeless. There was no way to win and they essentially gave up and said, “Well, if Trump is going to be the nominee, then I surrender.” We were looking at Indiana. We got clobbered there. But we were looking at the states that were coming up. We were down in a hole and there was no path to winning the nomination. So it broke my heart to suspend the campaign, but I said from the beginning if there’s no viable path to victory, that’s when we wouldn’t run.
PAT CAMPBELL: Trump reached that magical 1,237 (delegates), which I think you thought he would never reach. He actually reached 1,238 (Thursday). If Donald Trump is the nominee, do you think he can win?
TED CRUZ: Well, that’s going to be up to the voters. What I hope is that we have a Republican nominee who will actually defend conservative principles. That’s what I’ve been fighting to defend from the beginning. I think it’s what the people of Oklahoma want. I hope we have a nominee who will defend free market principles, reducing the burden of Washington on small businesses, who will defend our Constitutional liberties. I’ve spent my whole adult life defending the Constitution and Bill of Rights. We have a President right now who tramples on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, who behaves like some sort of monarch, who can just issue executive orders and just ignore the law.
PAT CAMPBELL: Are you suggesting that the nominee might be someone other than Trump, because Trump doesn’t live up to those standards?
TED CRUZ: Well, I hope that he will.
PAT CAMPBELL: Let me ask you this question. Dr. Everett Piper, who you met up in Bartlesville, he’s the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, asked me to ask you this question. This is something he is struggling with and many of my listeners are too. Should a true conservative support Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee?
TED CRUZ: That’s a decision every voter is going to have to make. It’s a decision that’s going to have to come from prayer and from careful examination and whether he has demonstrated that he has earned your vote. Whether he has demonstrated that he stands for the principles that built this country. I am where I think a lot of voters are – that is looking and listening. I am deeply concerned for our country.
On a personal level, I feel incredibly privileged, incredibly honored to have had the opportunity to run for President. We saw remarkable success. We ended up winning eight million votes, winning 12 states, winning nearly 600 delegates. But at the end of the day, voters chose a different path.
PAT CAMPBELL: Marco Rubio had a sitdown interview yesterday. He said if he’s asked to speak at the convention he will. He said he wouldn’t do anything to hurt Trump. He is on record as saying he has or will release his delegates before Cleveland (at the GOP Convention this summer). Will you do the same thing?
TED CRUZ: Look, as I said, I’m looking and listening to see what the candidates do. I believe principles matter. Our country is in crisis. If we have a President who is willing to undermine the Constitution…we’ve seen that for seven years and if we continue down that path, I think we are threatening the foundations of our nation. So I want to see how the candidates conduct themselves and a demonstration that principles actually mean something. From my perspective, I’m simply listening and waiting and giving the candidates an opportunity to prove what they believe.
PAT CAMPBELL: I want to ask you about Congressman Jim Bridenstine. As you know, he is being challenged, within the Republican Party by a gentleman from Tulsa, a guy by the name of Tom Atkinson, who portrays himself as a nationally recognized energy expert, yet everybody I’ve ever talked to in the energy industry doesn’t know him. He claims he’s a true conservative and he claims he’s going to go to D.C. because gas and oil needs to be better represented in D.C. He seems to be backed by people who,
in the past, have had associations with (former Speaker of the House) John Boehner. I know you’ve been working, as has Congressman Bridenstine, on the American Renaissance Act. Talk to me about the importance of getting Jim back in there, especially as it pertains to the gas and oil industry.
TED CRUZ: I don’t know this fellow that’s been recruited to be the challenger. What I do know is that Jim Bridenstine is a rock star. He is someone I know very well. He is one of the strongest conservatives in the entire House of Representatives. Jim chaired my campaign in the state of Oklahoma. You know Jim was a war hero; was a flight instructor at the Top Gun Academy. He has that rare quality that is almost non-existent in Washington, which is backbone. The reason Jim has a primary challenger and the reason that there is a whole lot of PAC and lobby money flowing in against Jim is because Jim is willing to stand up to leadership, willing to stand up to folks like John Boehner and leadership hates that. They do not want a member of Congress to actually represent the people of Oklahoma rather than the status quo in Washington.
When it comes to energy, the United States Senate, I’ve authored the American Energy Renaissance Act. It’s the broadest, most serious comprehensive energy legislation to get the federal government off the back of the oil and gas industry, to prohibit the federal government from regulating fracking, to open up new land and new waters to energy exploration, to end the war on coal and Jim is the author of that same legislation in the House of Representatives. You could not have a stronger, more principled, more effective conservative fighter in Congress than Jim Bridenstine. You should ask yourself. It is rare for an incumbent to have a primary challenger, funded by all sorts of establishment money coming out of Washington. There’s a reason for it. Leadership doesn’t want to be challenged. They want someone who will be a rubber stamp for leadership.
Jim Bridenstine is a ferocious warrior for the state of Oklahoma.
PAT CAMPBELL: Sen. Ted Cruz, we’re about out of time. One other thing I want you to do for me. When you go to the convention in Cleveland, please, please make sure they don’t screw around with the party platform and remove the abortion plank.
TED CRUZ: You have my word. One of the reasons we are continuing to work to elect conservatives as delegates, even though Donald has the delegates to get the nomination, we intend to do everything we can to fight for conservative principles and to prevent Washington forces from watering down the platform. The platform is a manifestation of what we believe as a party and I think it is important that it continue to reflect conservative values, free market values, Constitutional liberties, Judeo Christian principles, the values that built this country and that is exactly what I intend to fight for.
(KFAQ staff report. All rights reserved.)