Cruz Calls ‘Republican Leadership’ the ‘Most Effective Democrat Leaders We’ve Ever Seen’

Melanie Arter | October 19, 2015 | 2:20pm EDT
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GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) (AP Photo)

( – In an exclusive interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told NBC’s Chuck Todd that the Republican leadership has “passed more Democratic priorities than Harry Reid ever could.”

“The truth of the matter is, Republican leadership are the most effective Democrat leaders we’ve ever seen. They passed more Democratic priorities than Harry Reid ever could,” Cruz said.


Cruz said the Republicans voted to fund Obamacare, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and funding for Planned Parenthood, in addition to confirming Loretta Lunch as U.S. attorney general – all Democratic priorities.

TODD: Have you overpromised? You were sitting there saying that you could stop Obamacare if you just did what you did and shut down the government and that Republicans could stop the Iran deal. The fact is, you couldn’t. The numbers weren’t on your side. There’s a Democratic president, so did you overpromise, because I understand you’re saying others, but didn’t you?

CRUZ: When it comes to promising, what I promised is that I would fight with every breath in my body to stop the out-of-control spending and the debt that is bankrupting our country, to stop Obamacare, to protect our nation, and all of those are promises that I have honored every single day in the Senate. And you know it’s amazing—so I was visiting with a colleague recently, who was making that pitch about, oh gosh, the problem is expectations. We need to define expectations.

TODD: Correct. A bunch of Republicans have been saying this, and they blame you.

CRUZ: And Chuck, it’s complete nonsense, because you know who the people promising are? It’s actually Republican leadership when they campaign. Let’s rewind the clock. Go back to ‘09. Republicans told Americans all across the country, if only we had a Republican majority in the House – things would be different. We won a tidal wave election, and very little changed. Then we were told, if only we have a majority in the Senate – the problem is Harry Reid in the Senate. Remember, when I was fighting against Obamacare, when I was fighting against amnesty, Republican leadership said, no, no, Ted, you don’t understand. We can’t do this without the Senate. If we retire Harry Reid, then we’ll fight. 2014, millions of Americans rose up. We won another tsunami election, picked up nine Senate seats, retired Harry Reid, had the largest majority in the House since the 1920s, and the position of Republican leadership is we can stand and fight for nothing.

TODD: Who’s issue—you know it’s funny. You talk to House Republicans, they blame the Senate Republicans. You talk to Senate Republicans, they say well why doesn’t the House Republicans send us a bill, and we’ll try to do it.Who’s fault is it?

CRUZ: It’s leadership in both chambers.

TODD: So this is Mitch McConnell, John Boehner?

CRUZ: Why do you think Boehner’s stepping down? He’s stepping down, because the American people are furious with Republican leaders that don’t do what they promised, and you know it’s interesting. I do town halls all over the country, and I asked folks, okay, we have the Republican majorities in both houses for 10 months. What on earth have they accomplished?

Every town hall you do, the answer is always, absolutely nothing, and usually I respond and say it’s worse than that. It would have been better if it were nothing. In fact, what the Republican majorities have done – we came back right after the last election, passed a trillion dollar crominbus bill, filled with corporate welfare and pork. Then Republican leadership joined with Harry Reid and the Democrats to do that. Then leadership voted to fund Obamacare. Then they voted to fund amnesty. Then they voted to fund Planned Parenthood, and then Republican leadership took the lead confirming Loretta Lynch as attorney general.

Now Chuck, which one of those decisions is one iota different than what would have happened under Harry Reid and the Democrats? The truth of the matter is, Republican leadership are the most effective Democrat leaders we’ve ever seen. They passed more Democratic priorities than Harry Reid ever could. 

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