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Watch: Colbert Challenges Cruz on Reagan, Taxes, Immigration

In an appearance on CBS’s “The Late Show” on Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was challenged by host Stephen Colbert on carrying on the legacy of Ronald Reagan on the issues of taxes, immigration and gay marriage.

According to Cruz, he was his view Americans did not want to continue the direction President Barack Obama was taking the country and that while Reagan was willing to compromise, he also signed the largest tax cut in the history of the country.

Partial transcript as follows:

COLBERT: Reagan raised taxes, OK. Reagan actually had an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Neither of those things would allow Ronald Reagan to be nominated today. So at what level can you truly emulate Ronald Reagan? Isn’t that from a period of time he was willing to work with Tip O’Neill across stuff done? Isn’t that what people want more than anything else, not just principle but action?

CRUZ: Well, I’ll tell you, number one is that I travel the country. I haven’t seen anyone saying, ‘The thing we want from Republicans is to give in more to Barack Obama and the direction we’re going. I don’t hear that across the country.

COLBERT: But are those aspects of Reagan something you could agree with? Raising taxes and amnesty for illegal immigrants. Could you agree with Reagan on those two things?

CRUZ: No, of course not. But Ronald Reagan also signed the largest tax cut in history. He reduced government regulations from Washington and economic growth exploded…

COLBERT: But when conditions changed in the country, he reversed his world’s largest tax cut and raised taxes when revenues did not match the expectations. So, it’s a matter of compromising. Will you be willing to compromise with the other side? Because I would say it’s possible, entirely possible that your plan might be the right one. If it turns out not to be the right one, would you be willing to compromise with the other side, change your mind, and do something that the other side wants and not feel like you capitulated with the devil?

Later in the segment, Cruz said he didn’t want the issue of gay marriage left up to unelected judges, but instead the states, in accordance with the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.

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