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Sen. Cruz Discusses School Safety Roundtable and NAFTA Renegotiation on NBC 5’s ‘Lone Star Politics’

May 29, 2018

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HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday appeared on NBC 5's ‘Lone Star Politics' with NBC's Julie Fine and Dallas Morning News reporter Gromer Jeffers. There, they discussed the solutions proposed at the school safety roundtable in Austin, and his priorities for NAFTA renegotiation.

Watch Sen. Cruz's full interview here.

Sen. Cruz began by discussing the school safety roundtable, which included productive conversations between local elected officials, parents, teachers, and students, many of whom were survivors from the shootings in Santa Fe, Sutherland Springs, and Alpine.

"The roundtable was very, very positive," Sen. Cruz said. "It was four to five hours with a number of the survivors of Santa Fe. It was students, it was parents, it was teachers and then we also we had survivors from Sutherland Springs, survivors from the Alpine school shooting as well. It was a conversation with a number of state leaders, but most of what we did was listen, which I thought was really positive. You don't get enough of that in the political world. Listen to the experiences of those who went through these horrific events, but also listen to their thoughts, their ideas on what needs to be done to prevent them. All of us want to see these stopped, we don't want to see another horrific murder like the ones we've seen recently."

Sen. Cruz also highlighted the solutions proposed at the roundtable, including increasing the number of armed officers in schools, reducing the number of entrances, arming teachers, and increasing mental health resources.

"It was striking what the students said. Each of them in that room said, ‘Gun control is not the answer.' They said, ‘Listen, taking away my guns is not going to make me safer, it's just going to mean the killers and the murderers have guns.' We said, ‘Alright, what do you do then?' The number one answer they gave both in Santa Fe on Friday when I was there, and then at the roundtable with the Governor, was more armed police officers in the schools. Having law enforcement there to protect them. In Santa Fe the law enforcement officers there bravely charged into harm's way, one was shot in the chest with a shotgun and their bravery saved lives. That was the number one proposal that came out of each of these roundtables."

"Secondly, hardening school safety, hardening the infrastructure, things like metal detectors at the doors so you know if someone is carrying in a weapon. Things like reducing the number of entrances. You think about it you go to a courthouse, you go to a lot of businesses, you go here to NBC, you go through one entrance. One entrance that's secure and that has armed security there. Well, schools ought to have the same thing. [...] And then also quite a few of the Santa Fe students they brought up arming teachers. I remember in the hospital room one student said he was in the classroom next to the art class where the shooter was committing murder and he said his teacher was a former Marine. He said he wished his teacher had been armed because as a former Marine he could have done something and maybe stopped the shooter before he murdered so many people. Then the other big thing that people emphasized, both students and parents and teachers, was early detection and prevention. That includes mental health resources, that includes spotting the problems. You look at Parkland where dozens of times law enforcement was called and the red flags-they didn't stop it beforehand. Likewise, stopping felons and fugitives from getting firearms, that is something I have really led the fight to do in the Senate-making sure that if a felon or fugitive tries to illegally buy a firearm, they're prosecuted and put in jail."

When asked about the direction of NAFTA renegotiation, Sen. Cruz discussed his efforts to urge the President's trade negotiators to take a much broader view of the economic potential of NAFTA negotiations, and advance the Republican economic growth agenda by prioritizing American jobs and competitiveness.

"The most consistent concern that I hear from Texas business leaders all across the state and also from farmers, from ranchers throughout the state is trade, and what the administration is going to do on trade," Sen. Cruz said. "My view on that, the NAFTA renegotiation it could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing. It would be a good thing if we modernized the agreement, if we expand our access to Mexican markets, the Canadian markets, if we increase trade, that would be good for Texas. On the other hand, if it is used instead to erect barriers to the U.S. market, to decrease trade, that will hurt Texas farmers, hurt Texas ranchers, hurt Texas businesses. The truth of the matter is there are voices on both sides of that debate within the Trump administration. There is an active debate. I can tell you, Gromer, I have leaned in repeatedly, with President Trump directly, with the cabinet members involved in this saying we need to be expanding trade, opening up and I think the best opportunity for NAFTA is energy. Opening up the Mexican energy markets, there are vast energy reserves in Mexico. If we do that, we can produce thousands of good paying jobs in Mexico and naturally the place they will turn for expertise is Texas."

 

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