On Monday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) elaborated on his call from he and 24 other senators to participate in the investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that is in its beginning phases on the House of Representatives’ side of Capitol Hill.
Partial transcript as follows:
CRUZ: Eight months ago, I introduced a resolution, a resolution that has 25 senators as co-sponsors, to hold a joint select committee to investigate the truth of Benghazi, to do what the House of Representatives is doing but actually have the Senate do our job, as well.
And eight months ago, California senator Barbara Boxer objected. And just today, I introduced it again, asked for consent a second time, and Bob Menendez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, objected.
And you know, Sean, it was striking. We had about a half hour colloquy on the floor. We actually had something that rarely happens in the U.S. Senate, which is actual debate on the floor of the Senate. And during that debate, Senator Menendez admitted that he had no idea if President Obama was told during the terrorist attack at Benghazi that it was going on, and he had no idea if there was anything President Obama could have done to save those four Americans. And then what he said was, those questions were, quote, “not worthy” of being answered. I mean, it was stunning.
HANNITY: Well, I mean, didn’t this — you know, this went on for 14 hours. We know that the ambassador himself and others requested extra security in the lead-up to 9/11. We know the British had left Libya altogether because of what was going on there and the rising hostilities.
So we got before security denied, during no help given over a 14-hour raid, and then after, where we had the — Charlene Lamb saying she witnessed this on videotape in real time. And then we have Beth Jones of the State Department on September the 12th saying that it was Ansar al Sharia, and that evolved into a big lie. Don’t we need answers to this?
CRUZ: Of course we do, Sean. And the Democrats are all reading from the same partisan talking points. What they’re all getting up and saying is that we’ve had lots and lots of hearings. There’s no reason to answer any other questions.
So what I did on the Senate floor is I laid out 10 basic questions that haven’t been answered because, yes, there have been hearings, but the Democrats, the White House has stonewalled and refused to answer questions. So for example, I asked Bob Menendez a simple question. Did President Obama sleep the night of September 11? You remember Hillary Clinton’s famous TV ad against Barack Obama, about would he be there to answer the 3:00 AM phone call…
HANNITY: Where was he? Do we know where he was?
CRUZ: We don’t know. And Bob Menendez, who’s the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, he’s a Democrat, admitted he had no idea if Obama was awake or asleep, if anyone told him at all.
And their talking points are so disconnected from reality. Listen, this should not be a partisan endeavor. Every American, Republican or Democrat, should want to get to the truth, and it’s really unfortunate to…
HANNITY: Well, wait a minute.
CRUZ: … see the Democrats…
HANNITY: I also have one other question. Why weren’t they able to talk to the people on the ground? The committees have been denied access to the eyewitnesses to the event. And as I understand, they bypassed the station chief’s rendition of what happened that night, story about what happened that night, and rather they went with a manufactured political story. How did that happen? How did we have the evolution of a lie? Where is the videotape? I’d like to know — can America see it at some point?
CRUZ: Right. Look, it’s a great question. We know that Hillary Clinton’s top political aide told career foreign service officers, Do not talk to Congress, do not talk to the press.
You know, in the non-political world, if this were just a law enforcement investigation, that would be called obstruction of justice. And yet the Democrats’ view collectively is — in fact, I invoked Jack Nicholson’s famous line, You can’t handle the truth, because the Democrats — they don’t want to know the truth. And it’s…
It really is unfortunate to see national security, to see the lives of four brave Americans, including our ambassador, just treated as a partisan matter to be disregarded by President Obama and the Democrats.
HANNITY: How significant do you find this Geithner revelation that Dan Pfeiffer’s basically saying to lie on the Sunday shows, especially as it relates to the Ben Rhodes memo, the smoking gun memo, where, you know, literally, the White House, which denied — all of them denied that there was any involvement in the writing of these talking points, and now we’ve got an e-mail that shows they were actively involved.
So if they’ll tell — if they’ll tell Geithner to lie, is it a leap to suggest that they are telling Susan Rice to tell tall tales, as well?
CRUZ: Look, this is a pattern that extends across multiple issues, where this administration has demonstrated a shocking mendacity, a shocking willingness to look in the TV camera and just lie to the American people, whether it was President Obama 28 times saying, If you like your health insurance plan, you can keep your plan, when was that knowingly, willfully, repeatedly false, or whether it was Benghazi, sending out Susan Rice to multiple Sunday shows to carry out political marching orders that we now have in writing from the White House, or whether it was the IRS scandal.
You know, the pattern, Sean, they follow with all of these is the same. When it breaks, they say they’re outraged. You and I both remember that debate with Mitt Romney, when President Obama said, No one is more upset about Benghazi than I am, and he got all emotional. And in the year- and-a-half that has followed, when has President Obama ever again uttered the word “Benghazi,” other than to dismiss it since then?
CRUZ: What they say is, is it’s an outrage on the day it breaks, then they stonewall, and then after time has passed, they say, Well, it’s old news, you haven’t figured out anything, it’s old news. Never matter (ph). We need to have real truth and accountability here.
HANNITY: Let me ask you one political question. It’s pretty apparent to me that Senator Rand Paul is gearing up for a presidential run. This past weekend, Marco Rubio seemed to open the door in a New Hampshire visit, saying that, in fact, he believes he does have the experience to become president. There’s been a lot of talk that you may consider a run for the presidency in 2016.
What’s your reaction to those two guys? And where do you stand on that question?
CRUZ: Well, I love Rand. I love Marco. They’re both colleagues. They’re both friends. I think very highly of both of them. You know, I’d say two things. One, Sean, we’re really — we are at a decision point with this country. This next election in 2014 and 2016 are the most important elections of our lifetimes. We have got to change the course we’re on or we’re going to lose the greatest nation in the history of the world.
And secondly, look, I think it’s premature for us to decide who the candidate should be in 2016, but let me tell you the test I would suggest all of us should follow. It’s the test I will follow as a primary voter, which is I intend to 2016 to vote for whoever is standing up and leading, whoever is effectively making the case to the American people that we got to get back to free market principles, we got to get back to the constitution, to the principles that made this country great, that made the American dream accessible to millions throughout our country.
And I would encourage everybody who may be thinking about running to stand up and lead, to demonstrate. I think it would be great if a year from now you and I were talking and there were 10, 12, 15 Republicans, senators, governors, standing up and leading and making the case we got to change the course this country is on. That would be terrific for the country.
HANNITY: I’m disappointed. There is success with conservative governors. They have taken huge deficits and turned them into surpluses. They’ve taken huge unemployment numbers and created jobs and lowered those unemployment numbers. I wish, I keep putting up on my website and I keep saying there has to be five things, inspiring vision, that they can grab ahold of as a party and say we’ll do this if you’ll elect us, and I don’t see that yet.
Last question. Boehner says the arrest of Lois Lerner is up to the attorney general. Do you agree with his interpretation, or constitutionally, if she is held in contempt, can they do it themselves, and should they?
CRUZ: I am glad Congress voted to hold her in contempt. We need another select committee on the IRS. Benghazi was the first one but the IRS is the other one. It’s the other scandal, the abuse of power where administration has been lying to American people. The Senate won’t inquire into the truth. The House of Representatives can and should.
HANNITY: I read, by the way, and people might want to check your website out. I did read your abuse of power piece and you lay out line by line how the executive branch has overreached the constitutional authority. And I would suggest people read it, and by not enforcing laws, rewriting laws at will, and a lot of other issues. Thank you, senator, good to see you.
CRUZ: Thanks, Sean, great to see you.
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