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Ted Cruz: ‘I Don’t Think What Washington Needs Is More Compromise’

As Adam Peck at Think Progress noted, this is just the latest version of McConnell saying the Republican's top priority should be defeating President Obama rather than governing: Tea Party Senator: ‘I Don’t Think What Washington Needs Is More
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As Adam Peck at Think Progress noted, this is just the latest version of McConnell saying the Republican's top priority should be defeating President Obama rather than governing: Tea Party Senator: ‘I Don’t Think What Washington Needs Is More Compromise’:

For the last two years, Republicans in Congress have achieved new levels of obstructionism never before seen in Washington, passing fewer bills than any other session of Congress since such information began being recorded in the 1940s.

But if voters sent a message to the GOP in November by reelecting President Obama and voting out Republicans in both the Senate and the House, freshman tea party Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) seems to have missed the memo. He appeared on Fox News Sunday:

I think the fiscal cliff deal was a lousy one, but moving forward with the debt ceiling and those who believe in limited spending and solving the debt…I don’t think what Washington needs is more compromise, I think what Washington needs is more common sense and more principle.

Cruz has said that he would not have voted for fiscal cliff agreement. Pressed by guest host John Roberts, Cruz extended his no-compromise agenda to everything from new revenue to gun control to the impending nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) as Secretary of Defense.

I remember back when we had someone named Bush as president and the right wing screaming about our politicians being akin to traitors if they didn't want to support his agenda and go invade a couple of countries on the credit card. Now it's just considered business as usual.

Full transcript below the fold. Roberts was so guest hosting terrible he actually made me miss having Chris Wallace on there.

ROBERTS: In the time we have left, Senator, I want to talk to you about the future of the Republican Party, because after what happened in November, lot of people are talking about, wow, what do we need to do? Some people are saying, look at changing demographics in the country, the more minorities, they traditional vote Democratic. We've got to be more moderate.

You wrote an op-ed piece in "The Washington Post" the other day that, no, you need to retrench conservative values and develop opportunity conservativism to try to help people live the American Dream.

Is that really the right way to go when you look at changing demographics in the country?

CRUZ: I think it's exactly the right way to go. The reason I am a conservative is because conservative policies work, and they improve opportunity. They are the avenue for climbing the economic dream. And what I have been talking about for many years is opportunity conservatism, that every policy should focus like a laser on easing the means of ascent of the economic ladder that we should be championing the 47 percent, to take that now infamous comment. Look, the great thing about Americans -- Americans don't want to be dependent on government. Dependency zaps the spirit. It doesn't work.

Americans want to stand on their own two feet. And the best way to do that is have policies that allow entrepreneurs and small businesses to thrive and to create jobs and advance the American Dream.

ROBERTS: Senator, you said famously a couple of times, we don't have time to play the actual sounds, but so many politicians get elected, promising to go up to Capitol Hill, cut spending, live conservative values, and then turning into spineless jelly fish.

What's to prevent you from becoming a spineless jelly fish here in the climate of Washington?

CRUZ: Well, you know, the great thing about the election we just went through is that we saw hundreds of thousands of grassroots activist across in Texas and across the nation stand up against a mountain of money and mountains of attacks. We weren't supposed to win this race. And so I -- I feel like I'm coming into office surrounded by and lifted up by those grassroots conservatives who I am happy to stand with over and over again.

ROBERTS: But as Mitch McConnell proved the other day, governing requires compromise, particularly when you're in the minority in the Senate and a Democratic president just got re-elected for another four years. So, you know, how -- it's one thing to criticize Washington when you're a candidate, but when you get here, you've got to govern. How do you do that?

CRUZ: Well, I think the "fiscal cliff" deal was a lousy deal, but I think, moving forward with the debt ceiling, I think those who believe in limited spending and in solving the debt and not bankrupting our kids have the advantage in the negotiation on the debt ceiling.

If we can stand strong and insist on, number one, structural reforms to fix the problems, and, number two, pro-growth policies so we can grow the economy, we can get jobs back; we can get people back to work, I think we can win that debate and win that argument.

I don't think what Washington needs is more compromise. I think what Washington needs is more common sense and more principle.

ROBERTS: Senator Cruz, it's good to get to know you. Thanks so much for dropping by and -- and good luck.

CRUZ: Well, thank you. Thank you for having me.

ROBERTS: All right. Appreciate it.

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