Sen. Cruz to CNN’s Dana Bash: “A lot of Americans are tired of politicians in Washington and both parties who play games.”
CNN chief Congressional correspondent Dana Bash recently traveled to Texas to speak with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Today on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Bash reported on her Texas findings and on her interview with the new senator. A highlight is below and a transcript from the full report will be posted on http://archives.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/sitroom.html.
Credit: CNN chief Congressional correspondent Dana Bash
Highlights from Bash’s Report
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BASH: Joining only two others to vote against John Kerry for secretary of state, aggressively defending gun rights and trying to take down defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel.
(on camera): I’ve covered the Senate for a long time. It’s unusual for a freshman to be this outspoken on a high profile issue.
CRUZ: At the end of the day, I was elected to represent 26 million Texans and to speak the truth. You know, I think a lot of Americans are tired of politicians in Washington and both parties who play games.
BASH (voice-over): The 42-year-old Cuban-American, the first Hispanic senator from Texas studied free market principles and memorized the Constitution as a teenager, thanks to his father, a Cuban refugee. After Princeton and Harvard law, Cruz became solicitor general of Texas, arguing for state’s rights and religious freedom before the U.S. Supreme Court.
BRENDAN STEINHAUSER, TEXAS TEA PARTY ACTIVIST: That was a long shot.
BASH: Tea Party activists bucked the GOP establishment to help elect Cruz and now see their hard work paying off.
STEINHAUSER: He’s the total package. He’s brilliant. He’s a great messenger for ideas. He’s a true believer. And he’s a guy that you never have to wonder how he’s going to vote.
BASH (on camera): Conservatives here in Texas who fueled Cruz’s come-from-behind Tea Party Senate win may be ecstatic that he’s been so aggressive so fast, but for some senior Republican senators, not so much.
One of the guiding principles of the Senate for a freshman senator is come in and be a workhorse, not a show horse. You don’t seem to be following that.
CRUZ: The attention that has focused on me, in my opinion, is actually primarily being driven by an effort to distract from merits of the Hagel nomination.
BASH: From Democrats, suggestions of McCarthyism.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: It was reminiscent of some bad times.
CRUZ: I do find it ironic that in the course of attacking me and using a label like McCarthyite, they also chide me for not respecting comity.
BASH: It’s clear Cruz did not run for Senate to make friends.
CRUZ: I find it amusing that those in Washington are puzzled when someone actually does what they said they would do.
BASH: Now, one GOP senator I spoke to about Cruz said that even in the place of healthy egos — which is what the Senate is — Cruz stands out for his ego. And a Tea Party activist supporter I talk to said that, Wolf, he could do well with a small dose of humor. But still, it’s very clear, talking to Cruz, watching him, he relishes the kind of criticism he’s getting from the so-called establishment.