One of the few bright spots from Nov. 6 is the victory of our incoming
Republican Senator from Texas, a Tea Party guy who decisively defeated
the GOP establishment candidate in the primary. The 41-year-old former
Ivy League debate champion, Associate Deputy Attorney General, and Texas
Solicitor General is a huge up-and-coming talent:
RUSH: Mr. Senator-Elect Ted Cruz, how are you, sir?
CRUZ: Fantastic. How are you?
RUSH: Great, and I really appreciate your time, I know you’re busy.
A lot of admiration for you here.
CRUZ: I appreciate it very much and I’m always happy to visit. I
always have time to do so.
RUSH: The New Yorker magazine says you’re slated to be “one of
the most right-wing members of the U.S. Senate” — already putting a
bulls-eye on you. How does that feel?
CRUZ: After every election, particularly elections when Republicans
don’t prevail, the conventional wisdom in the mainstream media immediately tries to blame conservatives, and I think they’ll try to do that
now. What we need to do is get back to our conservative principles. I
think the country, despite this election, remains fundamentally center-right, and we need to defend our principles. That’s certainly what I
intend to do.
RUSH: How do you do it in this climate? You’ve said, “I think every
case in litigation and every argument in politics is about the fundamental narrative. If you can frame the narrative, you win.” Now a narrative
has emerged: Obama won; conservatives must cave.
RUSH: How do you change that?
CRUZ: Obviously these were very disappointing results. The problem
this election cycle is that we failed to win the argument. Fundamentally,
every election is about presenting a choice to the American people.
RUSH: Do you think we made the argument?
CRUZ: No, I don’t. Barack Obama wanted this race to be a battle
of personalities, and I think we allowed it to become a battle of personalities. If the race had been about ideas, about which set of policies
work and which set doesn’t, I think we would have won. But we didn’t
engage in the basic argument, that the path of this Administration —
more and more spending, debt, taxes, and regulation — doesn’t work,
is killing small businesses, is destroying jobs, destroying opportunity.
RUSH: But here’s the rub. People are living that, and Obama still
won. We may not have told them, but they didn’t need to be told.
I think there was a fear. We’re dealing with an historic figure here.
The Republican Party is very sensitive about being called “racist,” and
it appeared to me that the strategy was to hold back any criticism of
Obama, even of ideas — while the left got free reign to totally mischaracterize Mitt Romney as a felon who didn’t mind that some guy’s wife
died of cancer. That stuff was never answered. Our campaign message
was, “Obama, he’s a nice guy. He’s just wrong.” It didn’t carry the day.
CRUZ: That’s right. Obviously, Americans understand the economy
is not doing well. What is interesting and disappointing is that exit polls
showed a majority of Americans blame the current economic conditions
on George W. Bush. The Obama campaign every single day said it was
George W. Bush’s fault, and we did nothing to counter that. We were
so afraid to even mention Bush’s name that we never presented the
argument about how to turn things around.
RUSH: There’s a lesson there, too. Karl Rove has said that in retrospect, one of the major mistakes they made was to let criticism of Bush
stand. They never reacted, because they figured the next day would