Our friend Larry O’Connor has a great new interview with Texas Senator (and former presidential primary candidate) Ted Cruz from his WMAL show which is worth a listen. He digs into a number of issues, but two of them are the prospects for the incoming Trump cabinet and Cruz’s recent proposal to institute term limits in Washington. Here’s the audio, and then we’ll get to some of the high points.
First Larry asked Cruz if this is actually a “conservative cabinet” that Trump is building. (Some emphasis added)
O’Connor: Is this a conservative cabinet?
Senator Ted Cruz: Well, I certainly hope so, and I tell you I am excited. I think we have an opportunity to do a great deal of good. We have been trusted with something that has rarely happened in our nation and that is Republicans have been elected by the American people and have been given control of the White House , every executive branch and both houses of Congress. And we have an historic opportunity here and my hope Larry, is that we deliver.. its why I am here working and fighting every day for us to actually deliver on our promises that we have given to the American people. I think the top priorities for voters are three fold, and those are jobs, freedom, and security. I think number one is jobs, and I think that’s why I am very glad to see Congress acting to finally appeal the disaster that is Obamacare.
O’Connor: Hey! you were against it before it was cool.
Senator Ted Cruz: It was one of the fundamental reasons why I ran for the Senate. And I promised the people of Texas that I would fight every day to repeal Obamacare and you have no idea how ingratiating it is see us on the verge on delivering on that promise. You asked specifically on the cabinet nominations, and I tell you that I have been really pleased and really impressed with President Elect Trump. This is a serious cabinet, a cabinet of highly qualified individuals and it is a cabinet of strong conservatives. The President Elect should be commended for bringing together a team of all stars and I think that bodes really well for the commitment to carry through on the promises we made.
Larry also went on to ask about term limits and why Cruz is focusing on this issue. He’s got plenty to say but here’s one worthy excerpt.
Senator Ted Cruz: I believe instead we need fundamental reforms and i think term limits, you know, something like 80 percent of the American people support term limits as a way to limit the corruption. To break through the bipartisan corruption in Washington, so you come to serve a period of time and then come home. That’s one of the major structural reforms that we need to solve the problems in the country and as President Elect Trump puts it, to drain the swamp. I think that sentiment is exactly right and I think there are few if any more potent tools to drain the swamp than term limits that make people leave Congress and go back to get an honest job for a change.
Just as a side note on that second quote, it’s interesting to hear a sitting member of the Senate talking about leaving Congress and going back to get an honest job for a change.
Cruz is doing a good job at one thing which I’d been concerned about over the summer. This was one of the more bitter, divisive and downright ugly primaries in living memory and the battle between Trump and Cruz coming down to the wire was particularly nasty. I had to wonder how well all of these characters would be able to put it all behind them and get on with the business of governing the nation. Cruz is being more than magnanimous, all things considered, and seems ready to get to work. There were rumors at one point that Trump was considering him for a position in his administration, but even failing that he doesn’t seem to have any interest in attacking him. Frankly, it’s good to see them getting along.
This is great news because the President Elect has some tough battles coming in terms of getting his cabinet confirmed. Cruz could have turned into a serious thorn in his side if he opened the door to significant defections among the GOP ranks when they all come up for a vote. But he’s clearly not being vindictive and seems more focused on the job at hand than any sort of gotcha politics. Perhaps we’re about to see a functional majority for a change.
Yes… I’m turning into one of those annoying, eternal optimists. After the last eight years can you really blame me?