Today, Senator Ted Cruz held a Conference Call with bloggers and reporters to give a post-filibuster update on the fight to Defund ObamaCare. In the call, Cruz reiterated that the fight to defund Obamacare has always been a multistage process.
Via Aaron Goldberg, Freedomworks:
Stage one began in July and August, energizing and mobilizing the grassroots conservative base. Stage two happened when the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the continuing resolution funding the government but defunding Obamacare. Stage three requires uniting senate Republicans before beginning to pick off red state Democrats.
I missed out on the conference call due to the short notice, but was able to secure a transcript provided by Derek Pillie, of Hoosier Access, one of the participants.
Ted Cruz: Hope over the course of this week we’ve made progress toward focusing on the problems of ObamaCare. It’s the biggest job killer in this country. Many are losing their jobs or not having opportunity to get hired at all. Facing move to part time work, higher premiums or losing their health insurance. There was room for debate a few years ago, now it is clear that ObamaCare is not working. Hope that we have made some material progress in making Washington, D.C. listen to the American people. Any Senator who listens to their constituents as people are losing jobs, forced into part time work, losing insurance coverage, will vote now to defund ObamaCare
Matt Boyle, Breitbart – What is a vote to Defund ObamaCare this week?
Ted Cruz: The vote that matters is the vote tomorrow on cloture. Any Senator who votes yes on cloture votes to give Harry Reid the power to fund ObamaCare. I want to clarify two things that have caused some confusion around the procedural aspects of this fight. One area of confusion concerns the vote yesterday on cloture on the motion to proceed. No one has ever suggested that we should oppose cloture on the motion to proceed. Everyone agrees we should take up the bill. Taking up the bill is critical. The difference on the motion to proceed versus the motion on the bill is that the motion on the bill will cut off debate and empower Harry Reid to fund ObamaCare with a 51 vote majority. I offered a unanimous consent request to dispense with yesterday’s vote. The second area of confusion surrounds the vote on Reid’s amendment as the main vote. That’s a “show vote” because they know at the time of the vote that Reid is going to win. That’s why it is the cloture vote that matters. If 46 Republicans stick together on that vote we win, in fact we only need 41 votes. We can prevent Reid and Obama from using this bill to fund ObamaCare.
Sandy Rios, AFA in Washington, D.C. – We salute you! Procedure question – the part I can’t explain is that if we were able to get 41 senators to vote for cloture tomorrow, then what?
Ted Cruz: That’s a terrific question. In order to win this fight it was always going to be a multi-stage months long process. The first step back in July and August was to mobilize and energize the American people. Over 1.8 million Americans have signed dontfundit.com. The next step was for the House of Representatives to act. Commentators said that would never happen. Friday the House took that vote because the House leadership, to their credit, is listening to the American people. Now we’re at the Senate. First we need to unite Republicans. Then we can start trying to pick off Democrats. But until we unite Republicans we won’t be able to do that. Right now, by all appearances Senate Republicans are not united. So to answer the question, once we unify Republicans, then what? If we see 41 Republicans stand together tomorrow, we continue considering the bill. Then the focus will fall on red state democrats. If you’re a Mark Pryor or a Mary Landrieu and start getting thousands of calls from your constituents then there’s another political calculation to be made. That won’t happen unless Republicans stand together. We have some distance to travel to unify Senate Republicans around defunding ObamaCare. If we unify them then the House plays a critical role in what happens next. The red state Democrats may not jump ship immediately. My view has always been that the House of Representatives is in the drivers’ seat. They can then focus on passing smaller continuing resolutions like those that fund the military and nothing else. It will speak volumes whether Reid is willing to kill smaller, more narrow CRs because he’s determined to force ObamaCare on the American people. In my mind it would be indefensible to do that, but we won’t have those fights unless Senate Republicans can unify.
Aaron Goldberg, FreedomWorks blogger – If we fail to unite Republicans are you concerned that our failure will depress energy in the conservative base?
Ted Cruz: If enough Republicans decide to vote with Harry Reid tomorrow it doesn’t mean the fight is over, it means that the debate goes back to the House. Even if Senate Republicans haven’t shown the same strength of will that House Republicans have shown because House Republicans can and should continue to stand their ground. If the House stands firm Reid has no ability to muscle the House. Myself, Lee and others will need to cheer on the House leadership’s efforts because their legislation reflects the will of the American people. A second point is that I think this week has made material progress on focusing the disaster (or trainwreck as its author referred to it, or nightmare as a prominent union leader has referred to it) of ObamaCare. Media has focused on the personalities involved and that’s silliness. As long as they’re not talking about the personality or the politics they’re not talking about the substance. We worked hard during the filibuster to lay out the problems associated with the policy. To the bloggers on this call, the more you can do to focus on the substance on how Americans are hurting and on the importance of the vote tomorrow is critical. There are some who have a tactical disagreement regarding using the CR to defund ObamaCare. If that’s the case they should be honest with their constituents. It is not being candid with your constituents to vote with Harry Reid to fund ObamaCare and then say you voted against it. Framing the debate for the American people has made progress and energizing / mobilizing the grassroots is valuable for this battle and for future elections. The only election Republicans did well was 2010 of the last three elections. How did 2010 differ from those other three? Grassroots conservatives were energized to stand up and fight against ObamaCare. In my view if we want to win in 2014 and 2016, we need to follow the model of 2010. Listening to the American people is the key to doing the right thing as well as winning at the ballot box.
Garth Kent, World Net Daily – Rep. King has complained that he’s getting deluged with pro-Cruz calls. Is there any sense tide is turning among Senate colleagues?
Ted Cruz: I don’t know. Ultimately every Senator is going to have to make their own decision. The cloture vote tomorrow will be the most important vote I have cast during my short tenure and it will be the most important vote any of my colleagues take this year. Whether Senate Republicans vote against giving Reid the power to fund ObamaCare will depend on whether the listen to their constituents. Every Senate Republican ran on fighting ObamaCare. Every Senate Republican and Democrat understand that it is a trainwreck and is hurting millions of Americans. The largest divide is between entrenched politicians and the American people. I believe a significant number of Senators on both sides of the aisle are not listening to the people. If we have accomplished anything this week I hope we’ve made significant progress to change that. If we fight for our constituents we will stand against ObamaCare.
Glenn Beck interviewed Senator Lee after the filibuster about “what happens next.” Lee told Beck that he had only 15 Senators standing with them, so far, even though 98% of the phone calls coming in strongly support the Defund effort.
Some rare positive reporting on Cruz in the MSM:
Chris Cillizza, WaPo: What Ted Cruz’s speech accomplished:
We watched much — though far from all — of Cruz’s speech (filibuster or not). And whileCruz didn’t accomplish his goal of blocking debate over legislation that strips out the defunding of Obamacare, which was his stated goal, he did accomplish several other things. Here are four.
* Cruz rounded himself out — in a good way. For the vast majority of people — up to and including much of the GOP base — Cruz was a figure of interest that they really didn’t know all that much about. Over the course of his 21-hour marathon, Cruz talked lovingly of his father, read bedtime stories to his daughters, talked about his love for White Castle burgers, did a Darth Vader impression and generally came across as a normal person. Yes, if you went into the speech already not liking Cruz, all of the things mentioned above probably annoyed you rather than endeared him to you. But, if you went into the speech not knowing much about Cruz — and iffy about Obamacare — you probably came out of it liking him more. That’s a win for Cruz.
Keep reading…it’s all good stuff.
It’s sad…and more than a bit telling that I am grateful to the point of tears that there’s at least one guy in the MSM who is willing to give Cruz a fair shake.
Another must-read post from Michael Walsh at NRO: What We Just Saw:
In the aftermath of Senator Ted Cruz’s epic performance on the Senate floor, a few observations:
After his disgraceful attacks on Cruz, including his reach-across-the-aisle, dog-in-the-manger response today, this should be the end of Senator John McCain as a voice of influence in the Republican party. Ditto his mini-me, Senator Lindsey Graham. Indeed, the entire Old Guard of business-as-usual “comity” fans passeth. When you care more about what the other side thinks, it’s probably time either to switch teams or step down.
There is new leadership in the GOP, whether the party wants to admit it or not: Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Jeff Sessions, and the others who stepped into the breach to spell the senator from Texas.
The popular reaction to Cruz will be immediate and noticeable; the more the old bulls carp, the more the public will rally to Cruz’s side. The country has been spoiling for a real fight since the election of 2008, and now it has one.
Conservatives have finally realized that, as it’s currently constituted, they have no home in the Republican party, which is the Washington Generals to the Democrats’ Harlem Globetrotters, the designated losers who nevertheless are rewarded handsomely for their sham opposition.
Finish reading at the link.