Catholic church. The Democratic Party used to be proud to be the
first major national Party to have nominated the first two Catholic
candidates for President. What do you think an Al Smith or a John F.
Kennedy would say to the President of the United States who says to
the Catholic church, “Change your religious beliefs or I will use my
power as President to shut down your churches and your charities”?
That’s exactly what Obama has done. Hispanics are overwhelmingly
Catholic, and we didn’t make that argument at all in the Hispanic
RUSH: Wait, how do we make the argument in the Hispanic community? Because that argument was articulated all over our media,
Fox News and here. We’re never going to get the mainstream media
making our arguments, so how do we reach them?
CRUZ: We didn’t make the argument in outlets where they would
hear it. The other side had this trumped-up “war on women,” to
which Republicans responded by running away and hiding. They
claimed Republicans want to take away contraceptives.
Utter nonsense. I don’t know of any Republican who
wants to take away anybody’s contraceptives.
RUSH: They’re not even thinking about it. George
Stephanopoulos asked Romney that question in the
debate, blindsiding him, and they were off and running with Republicans and contraceptives. You’re right.
They just rolled over. They figured nobody will believe
CRUZ: That’s part of the problem. Republicans on so
many issues said, “This attack is ridiculous.” But when
you don’t respond to an attack, a lot of people assume
it’s right. We should have come back and said, “No
Republican, zero, not a single Republican in the entire
country wants to take away anybody’s contraceptives.”
And said, this was never about contraceptives. This is
about the federal government persecuting the Catholic
church, and using the power of government to trample
their religious liberty. We didn’t see Republican candidates and we didn’t see the Presidential campaign making this an issue. Barack Obama won 50 percent of the Catholic vote
nationwide after his Administration effectively declared war on the
RUSH: Which is what makes people conclude — I don’t even know
if they’re right — that we’re living in a country of morons.
CRUZ: I think it’s a little different. We’re living in a country where
not everyone is engaged. For example, let me talk about our race in
Texas, where, as you know, we went through a vigorous primary, the
most expensive in the country, $50 million.
RUSH: And you were from the dreaded Tea Party.
CRUZ: Exactly right. We started out at two percent. No one
thought we had a prayer. But we ended up not just winning, but winning by 14 points. Republican primary voters listened overwhelmingly
to talk radio and Fox News. In fact, when the media and the left were
coming after you directly, we ended up very publicly increasing our
advertising on your show. That made a lot of sense in the primary.
When we got to the general, we did far less advertising on talk radio
and Fox because the people listening were already largely decided in
the general election. The undecided voters were by and large not listening to political shows. They were going about their day-to-day life.
To win the argument, we’ve got to reach people, not who are engaged
in the fight, but people who will agree with us if we make the argument to them. That’s what I think we did a really poor job of doing.
RUSH: You sound very much like Marco Rubio on this, that it is
possible to do. You’re entering the Senate as a member of the minority
Party, representing a very demoralized political movement, and yet this
is a great moment in your life. How are you approaching this? Are you
as optimistic as you thought you would be prior to the election?
CRUZ: The election was obviously a disappointing result nationally.
I had hoped we would have a new President. I had hoped we would
have a new majority in the Senate. That didn’t come to pass. That
being said, I remain profoundly optimistic for our nation. I think the
values of Americans are fundamentally conservative. Look what happened in that first debate. When Mitt Romney engaged in the debate,
the numbers spiked. And then we stopped making the argument.
RUSH: Why did people change their minds? Politics is your business. Getting audience is far different than getting votes, this I know,
but I’m genuinely curious. That first debate, no question, Romney
secured a bunch of undecideds and shored up some Republicans who
were simply Party loyalists; they became Romney supporters. Why
did he lose them, if that debate got them? We’re told Romney was
chugging along, doing great, and then Obama gets a photo-op with
Chris Christie and people who were voting for Romney decided, “I
like Obama again.” Are voters really that fickle?