I listened to the entire Ted Cruz interview with CNN's Dana Bash. The Right Scoop has the full video, "FULL INTERVIEW: Ted Cruz tells CNN’s Dana Bash he isn’t giving up fight to stop ObamaCare."
Click on Right Scoop and scroll to 9:45 minutes. CNN's Bash presses Cruz on GOP divisions over the defunding strategy. She says that Senate Republicans told her that their luncheons with Senator Cruz were so angry and intense it was "like an intervention." Here's the passage from CNN's transcript:
CRUZ: No. What I'm choosing sides with is the American people. And what I think the focus should be is on Obamacare. Is it working? You know what's striking? In the last two months in the course of this debate over Obamacare, Democrats aren't defending Obamacare. They're not saying, hey, these things working great. They're not saying, hey, it's not killing job.You have to think about this for a minute, breaking it down.
They're not saying, hey, it's not forcing people into part time work. It's not driving up health insurance premiums. It's not taken away people's health care. And the reason is you can't defend it. On the merits, I mean, there's a reason, Dana, the unions are jumping ship. They're saying let us out, it's not working. There's a reason Democratic senators went to the president and said we want a special exemption for members of Congress because it's not working.
And so, I understand you want to draw me into the back and forth with other Republican senators and that's fun to cover. I'm not interested in playing that game. Do you know what many of the elected officials in Washington are most upset about is that their constituents were calling and holding them accountable.
I can't tell you how many of my colleagues have expressed outrage to me that my constituents are calling me. Dana, we work for our constituents. That's our job.
BASH: But the reason they're frustrated, the constituents, they're calling them is because senators have said this to me, because they thought you were selling them snake oil. It was never going to happen.
CRUZ: You know, they can insure we can't win this fight by going on television constantly and attacking everyone who's standing up to win this fight. That made certain we couldn't win.
BASH: Let's chill down on what some of your colleagues seem to be most upset about. First of all, you referred to the fact that your colleagues were yelling at you red faced about their constituents calling. There were a lot of very animated private lunches with you and your colleagues, correct?
CRUZ: Look, I'm not interested in focusing on the disagreements between politicians in Washington –
BASH: Let me just ask you about this, because one of your colleagues told me it was like an intervention, that there were so many of your colleagues saying, you know, why are you doing this? And really angry at you. And I'm just wondering even on a human level, they told me that you really didn't flinch.
On a human level, that's got to bother you, to be sitting in an institution like the Senate and having your, not Democrats, fellow Republicans, so angry at you.
CRUZ: Dana, not remotely.
CRUZ: Because the people I work for are the women and men you just saw. I work for 26 million Texans. That's my job to fight for them. I don't work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for the people of Texas, and I fight for them. The reason people are frustrated all over country is that far too many people get elected and they think they're there to be part of the club.
You know what was very interesting about some of those closed door discussions? What I said in those closed door sessions, I would have said the exact same thing if CNN's camera were sitting in the room. What I say privately to my colleagues is the same thing I say publicly. And you know what's interesting?
Virtually, every person in that room that was criticizing what Mike Lee and I were doing would have said very different things if the camera was in this room, because what they're telling their constituents is very different from what they're saying behind closed doors.
BASH: Do you think Mitch McConnell has been a good leader?
CRUZ: I think Senate Republicans should have united. Senate Republicans should have united and supported House Republicans. The one hypothetical that I really think is worth thinking about is how would this have played differently if when the House stood up and led Senate Republicans had marched into battle side-by-side and said we are united and saying we should fund government.
But we should not fund Obamacare. Now, one of the things that might have played out differently, one of the most revealing exchanges and an exchange you were a part of when you asked Harry Reid about the funding for NIH. When the government was shut down, the House passed 14 bills to fund vital government priorities. The Democrats objected to all of them. They sat on Harry Reid's desk. He wouldn't allow a vote. Every one of them was a clean bill. So you had a bill to fund the veteran's administration.
When friends or family "stage an intervention" it's because a loved one is sick. The classic example is the alcoholic whose family life is being destroyed by drink and family members want to confront their loved one's denial and disease with "caring and compassion." Or perhaps it's a family member who's got a gambling addiction. A loved one's entire life revolves around going to casinos to the point that all of life's other priorities are rationalized away for the sake of generating the thill of the slots or the roulette wheel. Out of concern for the health of their loved one, family members organize an intervention to help the addict cope with the devastating consequences of their problem.
In both cases, the "intervention" is staged to help someone who's sick, someone with the disease of alcoholism or the clinically irrational addiction of gaming.
And now here we have Senate Republicans holding luncheons with the Texas Senator to literally hound and harass him on his "hopeless" ObamaCare defunding agenda. These meetings, according to "Senate colleagues," were confrontational and angry.
And Ted Cruz "didn't flinch." He didn't cave to the pressure from his craven and yellow-bellied establishment GOP pols. He resisted Senate Republicans' calls for "collegiality" in abandoning his crusade to protect the American people against the ObamaCare monstrosity.
Ted Cruz is not sick. He doesn't need an intervention to save him from pathologically diseased behavior. It's the Republican establishment that's sick. The establishment GOP has joined forces with the JournoList media to demonize the one person speaking the concerns of everyday Americans. Ted Cruz has gone to Washington to represent the interests of his constituents. He's doing the people's work. And members of his own party want him destroyed!
They're "really angry at you," Bash says to Cruz. And he doesn't flinch!
The entire establishment is attacking Ted Cruz as this crazed Frankenstein of the tea party. And he doesn't flinch. He's being flayed by the Obama-alled press as a "tea party deadender" out to normalize "the new crazy" in American politics.
But who's crazy? Seriously?
We now have a budget deal that's eliminated any caps on borrowing until 2014, and Democrats will push to make the removal of those borrowing limits permanent. We blew past $17 trillion within hours of the announcement of the budget deal. And there's no end in sight. And who's crazy? We have a national healthcare debacle in which insurance premiums are skyrocketing around the country, with 45 states documenting surges in insurance rates. American healthcare is crashing down the path to single-payer. And who's crazy?
Republicans fear losses in upcoming elections. Senate Republicans especially fear that Democrats could win a filibuster-proof majority, and individual senators are angling, at all costs, to keep their seats. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be next year's poster boy for the Senate GOP's Obama-shoe-shine coterie.
But the one constant on display through all this craven partisan protection will be Senator Ted Cruz's courage and commitment. He's committed to the values that have made this country great and prosperous --- and he's got the crosshairs firmly affixed between his shoulders for it. But his analysis is the correct one: We simply need more members of Congress committed to the limited government agenda, members who are willing to leverage their institutional power to stop this healthcare train wreck dead in its tracks. There's gonna be a reckoning on ObamaCare soon enough. It's simply not working and it won't be fixed in time for people to get enrolled. The White House is going to be forced to delay the law, and when it does it will be heroes like Ted Cruz who are vindicated.
UPDATE: Linked at Blazing Cat Fur. Thanks!