2016 GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program on Friday afternoon, again laid into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for lying to the entire GOP Senate conference—and laid out how the “Washington Cartel” is coming after him for speaking the truth after he spoke out against McConnell on the Senate floor on Friday morning.
“At the end of the day, it is about power and money in Washington and the people getting left behind are working men and women,” Cruz said. “Now I will say one thing that’s very encouraging, which is even though the Washington Cartel is coming after me hard—the lobbyists are backing other candidates in this presidential race—out of 16 candidates for the Republican nomination, do you know which candidate raised the most money out of all 16?”
“Let me see…” Limbaugh joked as if he was about to say former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
“We did,” Cruz said, referencing a recent memo from his campaign manager that Breitbart News previously obtained exclusively showing that Cruz has raised more hard money—$14.3 million—than any other Republican running for president, primarily from grassroots small dollar donors. The next best candidate, Bush, has only raised $11.4 million.
“It was 175,000 contributions at TedCruz.org where people came and said we want someone to tell the truth and stand up to the bipartisan corruption of Washington,” Cruz told Limbaugh.
Cruz, during the program, laid out how McConnell has engaged in “the exact same procedural abuses of power that Harry Reid used to do”—specifically blocking legitimate amendments to legislation, like ones that would defund Planned Parenthood or cut off sanctuary city funding, by filling the amendment tree as it’s called—and hammered McConnell for working with Reid now.
“Right after Mitch McConnell did this, Harry Reid Tweeted out a Tweet celebrating Mitch McConnell for reauthorizing—or leading the fight to reauthorize this corporate cronyism [the Export Import Bank],” Cruz said.
He attacked McConnell for essentially supporting Obamacare too by not putting forward any real effort to stop it.
“It’s complete fiction: He wants a show vote on repealing Obamacare,” Cruz said of McConnell. “And of course back in October 2013 when Mike Lee and I were leading the fight to defund Obamacare, then Mitch McConnell joined with Harry Reid in leading the fight to preserve Obamacare. So when it actually had teeth, leadership wasn’t with us. But they do want an empty show vote.”
When Limbaugh asked about how McConnell lied to Cruz and the entire GOP conference—something Cruz exposed on the floor—Cruz recounted the instance where he at first believed McConnell, then walked through how McConnell has proven what he said was a lie.
“I came back and sat down with my staff and my staff all said he’s lying to you, this isn’t true,” Cruz said of McConnell’s promise during a closed-door lunch with all Senate Republicans where McConnell insisted there was no deal with the Democrats to secretly reauthorize the Ex-Im Bank. “I said listen guys, I don’t know if that’s true or not but he looked me in the eye—he looked every Republican senator in the eye. I don’t have a basis to assume he’s lying. I have got to take him at his word, so my vote hinged on that. His behavior today demonstrates that unfortunately my staff was right and I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.”
Limbaugh also asked Cruz about a recent report from Politico that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is now going to work to eliminate incumbent Republicans in upcoming elections.
Cruz praised local chambers of commerce around the country, but noted that “the national Chamber is just a giant lobbying arm for big government handouts to big business.”
“So they are essentially promising to create a crony caucus—everyone who is in favor of corporate welfare,” Cruz said of the Chamber’s efforts. “How is any conservative supposed to credibly take on welfare reform if we’re not willing to stop shoveling billions of dollars to giant corporations? We need to show some consistency here. People are understandably frustrated because you don’t see people willing to take on the Washington cartel.”