EXCLUSIVE: Ted Cruz Wraps Up Bus Tour, Talks Immigration, Religious Liberty, VA Reform

TULSA — Wrapping up a bus tour of the southeastern United States with multiple stops in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Oklahoma, Ted Cruz finished a series of sold-out shows strong in Tulsa Thursday night, before heading off for an event in Las Vegas, NV.

Cruz spoke with reporters immediately after stepping off of his tour bus Thursday evening, as a crowd of more than 500 supporters, who were unable to get inside the event after the fire marshal declared the venue at capacity, welcomed the Texas Senator with open arms.

Cruz was forced to speak over an excited crowd while addressing the media, and even had a heated exchange with a local reporter, who interrupted a discussion about healthcare to argue the Affordable Care Act has been a great success.

The Texas senator attempted to address the reporter, who began to raise his voice, and cut in several times.

“If you don’t like the answer, then you can write in your paper how unhappy you are,” Cruz told the reporter, who again interrupted him. “This is not a debate.”

Cruz also told Oklahomans their state could play an important role in determining the 2016 GOP nominee.

Supporters outside surrounded the campaign bus in the parking lot of the Union High School Performing Arts Center. Expressing his disappointment they would not be able to hear him speak, Cruz offered to take photos with his campaign followers to make up for the inconvenience and spent about 15 minutes greeting them before heading inside.

Inside the event, which filled up well before Cruz’s arrival, an anxious crowd listened as Rep. Jim Bridenstine reiterated his support for Cruz.

After being introduced by Bridenstine, Cruz addressed two-thousand electric supporters, many who were forced to stand, and went after Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and stated his first order of business as president would be to rescind all illegal executive actions signed by President Obama.

Cruz also drew loud applause when he declared that, if elected, he would immediately order the Department of Justice open an investigation into the activities of Planned Parenthood, disband the Department of Education, end Common Core and the Internal Revenues Service, repeal Obamacare, and dismantle the Iran nuclear deal.

Cruz then added he would put an end to religious persecution through coming down on the Department of Justice and the IRS.

Supporters unable to get inside waved Cruz signs and America flags and mirrored what Bridenstine was telling those inside the venue: Ted Cruz is a grassroots candidate, who hasn’t been tainted by establishment Republicans, and will fight for the little guy.

A small group of Bernie Sanders supporters also showed up and told Breitbart News they feel the Republican Party refuses to address “income inequality,” and said Americans place an unfair stigma on socialism:

Some supporters from as far away as Michigan waited for hours to catch a glimpse of Cruz and told Breitbart News they were eager to hear his detail-oriented campaign message, which they say is filled with solutions.

Cruz spoke with Breitbart following the event about reforming the VA, illegal immigration, religious liberty, his popularity with Hispanic voters, and the enthusiasm he encountered during his week-long tour of the southeast, which his campaign has deemed “Cruz Country.”

“Every person on that stage will say they’re a conservative,” Cruz told Breitbart of the August 6 primetime Fox News debate in Cleveland, OH.

Riding momentum from a strong performance, the Cruz message resonates with supporters who say they are tired of candidates who campaign as conservative, only to fall in line with the GOP establishment when taking office.

“I think republican primary voters are looking for someone who has walked the walk and led the fight to stop illegal immigration, to stop sanctuary cities, to finally secure the borders and to stop amnesty,” said Cruz, adding, “One of the reasons we’re seeing so much enthusiasm is I think the debate in Cleveland began to make distinctions clear. A majority of the candidates standing on that stage have previously supported amnesty. I have never supported amnesty, I have always opposed amnesty and indeed I led the fight to stop Chuck Schumer’s amnesty program that was supported by a great many Republicans. I stood shoulder to shoulder with Jeff Sessions to defeat amnesty.”

Whether it is opposing amnesty or standing up to Planned Parenthood, Cruz says all of the candidates in the Republican field have spoken up, but only a handful have been consistent. “I believe we should defund Planned Parenthood altogether,” he stated. “We should not send one penny of taxpayer money to an organization that has now been caught on tape in what appears to be a pattern of multiple felonies that is ongoing.”

Cruz added: “It is not sufficient to simply say we’re spending taxpayer funds for one division of the ongoing criminal enterprise, rather than anther division. We should defund Planned Parenthood across the board. Beyond that, the Department of Justice should investigate this criminal conduct and prosecute any and all crimes that investigation uncovers.”

Cruz also called out candidates who were absent during the fight over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act earlier this year.

“Every candidate on the stage says he supports protecting religious liberty.” Cruz told Breitbart.

The battle in Indiana just a few months ago was a time for choosing. It was a line in the sand. More than a few Republicans, including more than a few candidates on that stage were nowhere to be found in the battle for religious liberty in Indiana. I think Republican primary voters want to know when your right to live according to your conscience and faith is being threatened. Who has stood up to defend religious liberty? I have spent two decades of my life fighting to defend religious liberty, and I have a long proven record of doing so.

Cruz also feels strongly his positions on illegal immigration and amnesty prove the Republican Party can appeal to Hispanic voters.

“In 2012, in the state of Texas, I earned 40 percent of the Hispanic vote, statewide. That was at the exact same time Mitt Romney was getting clobbered with 27 percent of the Hispanic vote nationwide,” Cruz said.

He added: “The mainstream media will constantly tell you the reason Romney did poorly among the Hispanics is because of immigration.”

When I was earning 40 percent of the Hispanic vote I ran unequivocally opposed to amnesty and in support of securing the border, however I also told my father’s story, of his coming as a penniless immigrant from Cuba, not speaking English, seeking the American dream. That is a story that ties all of us together. It ties the Hispanic community together, but it ties every American together. We are all the children of those who risked everything for liberty.

In the Hispanic community, our values are fundamentally conservative. Faith, family, patriotism, hard work and the American dream. We need Republican candidates who can go and communicate those values in a way that resonates and connects with hardworking Hispanics, who want a better future for their children.

Cruz also offered solutions for U.S. military veterans, struggling to fight for suitable healthcare.

“There needs to be accountability for those responsible for the unjustifiable delays in life-saving treatment,” Cruz said with a tone of conviction. “We need to ensure we honor the commitment that was made to every one of our veterans… we need to reform the VA system so that every veteran can see the doctor of his or her choice. If you want to go to the VA, you should be able to do so, but if you want to go see a cardiologist at the hospital down the street, you should be able to do that as well. We need to give vets true choices.”

In regards to repealing Obamacare, Cruz said every GOP candidate states they are opposed to the unpopular law, but most have refused to take up the fight: “When Mike Lee and I were leading the fight, along with millions of Americans to defund Obamacare, very few of the candidates on that stage stood with us when the battle was being waged.”

The Texas Senator left Tulsa at dusk Thursday, with a still-energized crowd visible in the rearview mirror of his red, white, and blue campaign bus. He is scheduled to speak Friday evening at an event organized by the group Americans for Prosperity.


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