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Sen. Cruz at Texas Tribune Festival: Texas is Thriving Thanks to President Trump and Republican Leadership in Congress

Participates in live recording of ‘Why is This Happening?’ with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes

September 29, 2019

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AUSTIN, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Saturday participated in a live recording of MSNBC's ‘Why is This Happening?' with Chris Hayes at the annual Texas Tribune Festival. There, Sen. Cruz and Hayes had a wide-ranging discussion on domestic and foreign policy, as well as news of the day.

Sen. Cruz highlighted the tremendous results President Trump and Republicans in Congress have delivered to the American people, including expanded economic opportunity and rising wages. A recent study found that the number one state in the country for income increases is the state of Texas:

"What I hear from Texans frequently is they like the policy that's being enacted. They like the substantive policy victories. The country is doing well. The economy is booming. Incomes are rising. That they like. [...] And I think on the substance, we've accomplished an enormous amount."

Sen. Cruz continued, describing President Trump's decision to pull out of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal as "the most important national security decision of the last three years":

"Number one, moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; I think that was a hugely important decision. [...] And I don't think it was coincidental that the very same week we opened the embassy, is also the week that he pulled out of the Iran-Obama nuclear deal, which I think is the most important national security decision of the last three years."

When asked about climate change, Sen. Cruz warned against the radical embrace of socialism and politicians who claim to be "saviors of the world" with regards to climate policy:

"Politically, the vast - a large percentage - of the political leaders who are advocating this, are also advocating massive government control of the economy and socialism. I think much of what's going on politically is that you have politicians who are socialists, whether they admit or not, and climate is a good excuse to say, ‘you've got to have socialism or else all of humanity is going to die.' So it has a way to frame it as I'm saving the world, and anyone who disagrees wants every person on earth to [die]. When you put it in those bold moral terms, by the way, we should always be a little scared of politicians who hold themselves out as the savior for the world. That has not worked out well historically."

Sen. Cruz continued by telling the story of Texas leading the way in reducing emissions through innovation, rather than government mandates:

"You look at George Mitchell. George Mitchell was the son of Greek goat herders, he came to Texas, he came to Houston, founded the Woodlands. And George Mitchell pioneered fracking. Now, fracking has become demonized. But fracking unlocked massive shale deposits of both natural gas and oils. Totally transformed the geo-political world. And in particular has resulted in an incredible shift from coal powered production to natural gas-powered production. Nothing--no socialist regulator, no Paris deal--nothing has had anywhere close to having an impact on carbon emissions as has a Texas oil man innovating fracking and moving away from coal to natural gas. I think that's how we should address the environment through innovation that also produces jobs."

Sen. Cruz also highlighted the job-killing impact of Democrats' proposed ban on fracking:

"I think it is foolish and wrong for Democratic presidential candidates to cavalierly be prepared to tell 14 million people who are predominantly middle income or lower income, ‘You guys are out of a job.' I think that's wrong. I think we ought to be fighting for jobs."

Sen. Cruz also emphasized the importance of protecting the environment. Sen. Cruz is a cosponsor of the Save Our Seas Act, which combats plastic pollution in the oceans by encouraging international cooperation on marine debris and positions the United States as a world leader:

"I believe we have a responsibility to clean up the environment. I want clean air. I want clean water. My children breathe, and drink water. I'd like my grandchildren to breathe, and drink clean water. [...] Just this last week, I'm on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, we passed a bill of which I'm a cosponsor called the Save Our Seas legislation. If you look at plastic waste in our seas, 90 percent of the plastic waste in our seas [...] comes from 10 rivers, eight of which are in Asia, two of which are in Africa. If you want to reduce plastics in our ocean that are killing turtles, that are killing fish, that's unambiguously good reducing that pollution. Save our Seas legislation that we just passed out of committee, I hope we get signed into law soon, has the government, has the United States leaning in, working with those governments to clean up that pollution, to reduce it."

When asked about the impeachment inquiry, Sen. Cruz discussed how congressional Democrats are angry with the American people for electing Donald Trump as president and are focused on removing the president from office regardless of the facts:

"What's driving the fury in the House is not the specific facts of this allegation. It was something else a month ago; it'll be something different in another month. And it is - it is that they cannot stand Donald Trump. And they want him removed.

"[...] I served four years with Barack Obama as president. I disagreed with President Obama on a lot of issues. I didn't call for his impeachment. I didn't think he should be impeached just because I disagreed with him. The remedy, if someone is implementing bad policies, and I think the policies under Obama did enormous harm, the remedy is to go and win an election, which in 2016, the Republicans did win an election. That's how our democratic process works."

He continued, noting the millions of hardworking men and women whose have been improved by the policies and leadership of President Trump and Republicans in Congress, who are working to expand economic opportunity and create more jobs for the American people:

"If you set aside all the crazy circus, because I'll say there's a disconnect. In Washington, every question this week is Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine. [...] I can tell you outside of Washington, what I hear from people in Texas they care about jobs. They care about their family. They care about their kids. They care about health care, absolutely. Health care premiums under Obamacare have skyrocketed and people can't afford health insurance under Obamacare. [...] But here are some facts, we have the lowest unemployment in over 50 years. We've got the lowest African American unemployment that has ever been recorded in the history of our country. We have the lowest Hispanic unemployment that has ever been recorded. We've have six million people who have come off of food stamps. We have the lowest African American poverty ever recorded in the history of the country. We have the lowest Hispanic poverty ever recorded in the history of the country. [...] By the way, incomes are rising, and the number one state in the country for income increases is the state of Texas. People's lives are being made better by economic prosperity and that is my number one priority."

Watch full video of Sen. Cruz and Chris Hayes' discussion at Texas Tribune Festival 2019 here. Full podcast of ‘Why is This Happening?' will be available Tuesday.

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