Meet the Press   |  September 29, 2013

Cruz: 'I don't want a government shutdown'

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas lambasts Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's rejection of the House-passed government funding measure that would delay Affordable Care Act implementation.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> would stop giving insurance to their employees, it is a major tool to get employees. and health care , perhaps these problems that you're identifying could be solved short of complete de-funding. i want to start for just a moment to get you clear. a government shutdown , that is an acceptable outcome to you?

>> look, i don't want a government shutdown . i don't think that harry reid should shut down the government. the house of representatives did something significant, which is they passed a bill to make clear that regardless of what happens the men and women of our military -- they should be paid. that passed unanimously in the house. and listen, right now, harry reid and president obama had been essentially holding the military hostage, threatening their paychecks over this potential shutdown. they might force. i think regardless of what happened we should pass the bill. we should not have a shutdown, which means harry reid has to move off his absolutist position. you have been multiple compromises from the republicans, and can you tell me what the democrats have done to compromise --

>> but what has he done -- as i outlined before, you have lost ground from even the summer on the position of getting people to vote with you. you lost ground from that position and you haven't persuaded one democrat. you have got to be democrats if you're going to overturn this thing.

>> well, actually, joe manchin came out saying he supported the delay in the original mandate. listen, last time this was in the senate, there was division among the republicans. i had hoped the republicans would be united. that didn't happen, i'll tell you this, this next time around, this is an opportunity --

>> you have raised money on this, taken to the floor for 21 hours, you haven't moved anything legislatively, do you concede that point?

>> david, i don't, and the establishment has been exempted from some of the harms. members of congress , how can you possibly justify to the american people that members of congress are exempted from the law? are not put on the exchanges like millions of americans.

>> well, they're part of the exchanges, they don't get a portion by the employers --

>> but anyone on the exchange doesn't.

>> but hundreds of thousands with their employers do --

>> but people with the exchange don't, you want people frustrated with washington? the simplest reason is you have politicians in both parties who are not listening to the people. they get a different set of rules. harry reid said to president obama , we don't want the obama care. i had an exchange with dick durbin , who argued we should stick the american people in coach. i think his own analogy shows what is wrong with this system, at a minimum, members of congress shouldn't be treated better than the american people , and should he be willing to compromise he would agree what the house has done to delay all of this saying it is not ready for prime time . it is not working, and we'll treat the american people at least as well as the others.

>> you are talking about democrats, it is hard for them to get a word in edge wise, because there are members of your party who are so critical of what you have done and how you have done it. you have colleagues who accused you of putting on a show. congressman peter king said you're a fraud, lying to the base. george will , who has been a conservative columnist for "the washington post ," who has been great, supportive of you in the past. but he wrote this past week, and i want you to respond. those people who deceive others first deceive themselves, allowing their wishes to be fodders of their thoughts by beginning to wish everything has changed. they should remember everett dirksen of illinois, the leader of senate republicans during passage of the 1964 civil rights act recalled, 40 preachers caught me one afternoon there in the lobby "i'm not a moralist." are you more legislative than others?

>> i'm just trying to fight for 26 million texans, and for the american people . and i'm pretty sure what he argued is we should be delaying obama care, which is exactly what the house of representatives just voted to do. and one important thing to remember, you and all the voices of washington keep saying we need compromise. twice now, the republicans have compromised. and a twice, harry reid says we won't even have a compromise, i want to fund it all. we want to stick it on the american people and won't budge, that is not a reason, if we have a shutdown, the