Fiercely and relentlessly. The opportunities we have in oil and gas are just extraordinary. With the technological advances and horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing we're able to reach vast reserves that just a few years ago would have been completely unreachable, and that has transformed the prospects for energy independence and energy security in North America.
This is a time when our economy is struggling nationally and I think energy presents a tremendous opportunity to get our economy going again, not just by more aggressively developing our resources but by all the spillover effects that will have for bringing heavy manufacturing back, bringing the steel industry back.
At the same time we're seeing regulators in Washington that are throwing more and more barriers in place to developing and exploring oil and gas. We need a Senator in Washington that will stand up and fight to defend the oil and gas industry, to defend common sense moving towards energy independence, and I will do so every day in the U.S. Senate.
How would you bring the position you have on national issues from Texas to Washington?
I think this election presents a stark divide between continuing down the road of the Obama democrats--more and more spending, more and more debt, and more and more government control of the economy and our lives--or getting back to the founding principles of our country. To free markets. To fiscal responsibility. To individual responsibility. To the Constitution. To getting back, frankly, to West Texas values.
I'll tell you, I love coming out to Midland-Odessa, I love the values that infuse the bloodstream here. Free market entrepreneurialism just flows in the blood out here. In West Texas people aren't looking for a handout, they aren't looking for the government to take care of them. People in West Texas are looking for the government to do its basic job; to protect our national defense, to secure our borders, and to stay out of our way and let entrepreneurs create jobs and get our economy turned around.
You called the Romney/Ryan ticket a love story. Elaborate on that.
The love story I was referring too, and this was in Tampa at the Republican convention, is the love story we have had with freedom. It's the entire history of our country starting with our founding fathers who crafted a Constitution, the most miraculous political document ever written, that protects our God-given rights from Government and from each other so we can live freely and pursue happiness. It's a love story that we as Texans have very much in our blood. From the citizens, the Texians, in the city of Gonzales, who when General Santa Anna issued an order, "Hand over your guns and hand over the cannon that guards the city," The Texians responded with that immortal cry, " Come and take it!"
It's a love story that goes forward through World War II, through the Civil Rights movement, through Ronald Reagan standing up to the Soviet Union and saying "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." That's the story of who we are as Americans, and that's what being threatened. When government takes over the economy and our lives, what goes away is individual liberty. What goes away is free markets, individual responsibility, the ability of any man and woman to work hard and to produce whatever you can based not on the color of your skin, not on who your parents were, but on the content of your character. That's the American dream, and that's what's being threatened.
If we continue on this path, what do you think the setup is for our country?
I think we are at the edge of a fiscal and economic abyss. Our national debt is larger than our Gross Domestic Product. We are galloping down the road to where Greece and Italy and much of Europe are.
At Tampa at the National Convention I talked about our national debt. I talked about our two little girls: Caroline and Catherine. After those remarks, about 1:30 in the morning, I went back to my hotel and pulled out my iPhone and looked at Twitter. On Twitter the comedian Paula Poundstone sent a tweet. I don't know her, but apparently she was watching. She said "Ted Cruz just said when his daughter was born the national debt was $10 trillion. Now it's $16 trillion. What the heck did she do?" Heidi and I almost fell out of the bed laughing. But I'll tell you it underscores the gravity of what's happened.
Caroline, my oldest daughter, is 4-years-old. In her short life the national debt has grown 60%. If we don't stop what is happening in Washington with the Obama Democrats we're threatening the future for our kids and grandkids. That's why so many millions of Texans are rising up saying, "We want our country back. We want to protect the freedom that is the God-given legacy of every American and every Texan."
What are some of the state issues you plan to focus on: mainly education. On a federal level we discussed immigration, but on a state level, if you want to hit on those points.
Let's take them one at a time.
Education I think is absolutely critical and that's the reason I think we should abolish the federal Department of Education. Block grant that money and sent it back to the states. In my life, in my parents lives, education has transformed our lives, opened opportunities we never could have dreamed of. I think education is far too important to be governed by unelected bureaucrats in Washington. It should be at the state level, or better at the local level, where parents have direct control over the education of their kids. Where they have choice, where we have competition, that's how you empower parents.
On immigration, I think the solutions are really quite simple. Unfortunately neither party is really serious about solving it, they're demagoguing the issue. I think we need to do everything humanly possible to secure the borders, and at the same time we have to remain a nation that doesn't just welcome, that celebrates immigrants, legal immigrants.
My dad is from Cuba. He fought in the Cuban revolution, he was thrown in prison, he was tortured and imprisoned as a teenager. He fled Cuba and came to Texas in 1957. He was 18 years old, couldn't speak a word of English. He had $100 sewed into his underwear and he washed dishes making 50-cents an hour to pay his way through the University of Texas. He and my mother started a small business, a seismic data processing company in the oil and gas business. That's the American dream, that's all of our story: starting from nothing to achieve everything.
That's why I've enjoyed all of the time I've spent in Midland and the tremendous support our campaign has received in Midland, because Midlanders understand the entrepreneurial spirit of Texas and we've got to get this country back to that.
Throughout this and becoming the Republican nominee, your challenger has said some very strong words about you and characterized you in certain ways. He called you a "troll," an "extremist." And he bashes your experience saying he's the only one that has the experience. How do you counter that?
I'm not surprised my Democrat opponent has chosen to insult me and throw all matter of insults in my direction. I have no intention of reciprocating. As you noted, in the last debate he called me, in fact, a "lying, crazy troll." The only response I could give was, "I'm sorry you think I'm a troll. I don't think you're a troll." I think that's a symptom of a problem we've seen: The loss of civility in politics. We ought to be able to disagree without being disagreeable--without being nasty and personally attacking each other. I'll tell you, at least on my end, we're not going to go that way.
We're going to keep the focus on the differences in policy, and I think the differences in policy are important. We need to keep the focus on how to draw a sharp distinction. You talk about experience. I spent 5-and-a-half years as the Solicitor General of Texas, the chief lawyer for the state before the U.S. Supreme Court, serving under Greg Abbott. Over and over again we defended the state of Texas, we defended conservative principles, and won nationally. Whether it was defending the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms, or standing up and fighting for U.S. sovereignty against the World Court and the United Nations. That's a record I'm proud of, and it's a record that's led to the support of thousands and thousands of grassroots activists all across the state of Texas.
Our race has been an improbably journey. When we started two years ago, I was quite literally at 2% in the polls. We went through a $50 million primary. There wasn't practically a soul in the state that thought we had a prayer. I was outspent 3-to-1. But it was thousands upon thousands of Republican women, of business leaders, of TEA Party activists, of conservative grassroots leaders that came together. And we didn't just win the primary. We came from 2% to outright winning by 14-points. That's an incredibly testament to the grassroots in Texas, and it's because Texans are standing out saying "We want to defend liberty, free market values. We want to get back to our Constitution."
Come November, why should people vote for you?
Because our country is in crisis. In the last three-and-half years our economy has grown 1.5%. That's less than half the historical average of 3.3%. President Obama's policies don't work. Higher and higher taxes, higher and higher spending, out of control debt, and regulations that are crushing entrepreneurs, that are imposing huge barriers to the oil and gas industry, are killing jobs.
We need to get back to the model of President Ronald Reagan: lower taxes, less spending, less debt and reducing regulations. And let me underscore something in particular. If, God forbid, Barack Obama is re-elected, I don't think he will be, I believe Mitt Romney will win in November. If Barack Obama were re-elected, I am convinced in a second term he will be more radical than he was this first term, and that in particular he is going to come directly after fracking and launch a direct and frontal assault on fracking. Midlanders know how utterly lunatic that would be to try and prohibit a technique that has opened up incredible oil and gas resources.
If that happens, you can rest assured that as U.S. Senator I will lead the fight to do everything humanly possible to prevent Barack Obama in a second term from heavily regulating or banning fracking which would shut down much of the extraordinary oil and gas production that you're seeing right now.
On October 19th you're having another debate in Dallas, and the last debate took some turns that a lot of us weren't expecting. Can you anticipate? Do you think it will be much of the same? What do you hope happens?
I don't know what my opponent will do. He may choose the strategy he took in the last debate which was attacking me and insulting me at every turn, and if he does that's his decision. Regardless of what he does I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to stay focused on my positive, optimistic message for turning this country around, for getting jobs back, for getting job growth back, for unleashing small business and entrepreneurs.
Just this week I was proud to accept the endorsement of the NFIB, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and to launch our small businesses for Cruz coalition for small business owners all across the state. You know two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses, and small business right now are struggling under the Obama administrations regulatory and tax assault. We need to unleash small businesses, get job creation going.
You know there are also 2.3 million Hispanic small business owners? This Hispanic community in particular has suffered under Barack Obama's policies because they're making it harder and harder for people to be able to work and get a job and work towards the American dream. We've got to get back to the founding principles, we've got to get back to the free market because that's what works.
Any final thoughts?
I think this election is unlike any other. Our country is in crisis. This is not just another political election. I would urge everyone watching this to do everything you can in the next 27 days to help turn things around. I would urge viewers to support Mitt Romney for President. I would certainly encourage them to support me for Senate. To support key battleground Senate races across the country. Because the number one objective politically this November is defeating Barack Obama, but the number two objective is retiring Harry Reid as Majority Leader. Because if we get a Republican majority in the Senate, that's how we're going to be able to reduce spending and turn around the debt, and save Social Security and save Medicare and solve these enormous fiscal and economic problems to get our economy going again.
This is an election where I would urge every Midlander to stand up and fight just like those Texians in Gonzales because we are fighting for the exact same thing. We are fighting for liberty, and I'm honored and humbled to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many Texans, fighting to make sure that our kids and grandkids have even brighter futures and even greater opportunities than we've been blessed to enjoy.