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tv   Ali Velshi on Target  Al Jazeera  December 10, 2015 1:00am-1:31am EST

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>> we are scared. >>...have an organized right-wing movement trying to kill others. velshi. "on target" tonight, why ted cruz could be the top republican can't against donald trump. showing off the softer side of a hard-nosed sport. >> and an alternative to donald trump is now rising fast, as trump's proposed shutdown of muslims entering the united states, even former vice president dick cheney, one of
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america's most hawkish politicians says trump's proposal goes against everything we stand for. cue ted cruz. at a press conference yesterday, he said, i commend donald trump for standing up and focusing america's attention on the need to secure our borders. and listen to his soft tone about trump's plan to ban muslims. >> i disagree with that proposal. i like donald trump. a lot of our friends here have encouraged me to criticize and attack donald trump. i'm not interested in doing so but i believe we need a plan that is focused on the direct threat and the threat we're facing is radical islamic terrorism. that's why i've introduced legislation focused on suspending for four years, putting on suspension a moratorium, where i.s.i.l. controls territory because
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that's the challenge we're facing. >> that's not exactly sharp criticism. keep in mind, crufers was ahead of trump 24% to 19. did the poll motivate trump to make his headline grabbing proposal about banning muslims? we should note that trump still is ten points ahead of cruz. but that suffolk university poll was taken and released before trump's statement about muslims. the big question whether trump suffers or benefits from cruz's statements, can cruz capitalize on the outrage that trump ignited. we will look at how ted cruz is trying to walk that fine line in a moment. but no matter what happens, it
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is clear that ted cruz has taken control of a part of the electorate, a part that wants an outsider to replace president obama and not a long time member of the republican establishment. cruz's path has been as controversial as it has been intriguing. ted cruz entered the u.s. senate in 2013 at age 42 and announced his presidential bid earlier this year. >> i'm flouncing that i'm running for president of the united states. >> cruz is famous for his role in a government shutdown in 2013. where at one point he read from his daughter's nighttime book by dr. seuss. critics of senator cruz said his grandstanding accomplished absolutely nothing and cruz
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thrives on the controversy he attracts. >> neville chamberlain. >> to nazi apiecers. >> i suspect those same pundits who say it can't be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them and they would have made television. >> it infuriated many republicans, including john mccain. >> short after he stopped down john boehner warned of false prophets. on face the nation. >> is ted cruz a false prophet? >> you pick any names out, i'll let you choose
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them. >> in those comments in august, boehner called senator cruz a jackass, but cruz takes his criticism from his peers as proof that he's different from the west. a stance he reiterated in a town hall meeting in iowa in october. >> when other candidates choose to throw rocks, when other candidates choose to go into the gutter and get personal and get nasty, i have not and will not respond in kind. >> controversy stoned cruz's background. he was born in canada, to an american mother and cuban father. he had dual citizenship. but he said he would renounce his canadian citizenship. i said if that's right then sure. >> the media has taken his
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outsider stance and run with it. megan kelly threw one of the first punches back in 2013. >> what's it like to be one of the most hated men in america? >> and the hits keep on coming. the washington post says, a lot of people don't like ted cruz, how come that's with him? and how about this headline. >> there's nothing like the warm embrace of the plain stream media. >> cruz told megan kelly on fox that's exactly why he's special. >> if you are lookin looking foa candidate embraced by the washington elite i ain't your guy. >> cruz's outsider status and his appeal to christian evangelicals, a majorities of the republicans who participate
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in these caucuses are evangelical. and rocket fuel that can take candidate deep into the nomination process. there is perhaps nobody in america who knows more about iowa politics than david gepson. he keeps tabs on the hawkeye state though he serves as the director of the paul simon center. what's going on with ted cruz in iowa? >> i think ted cruz is starting to hit the sweet spot. he's picking up support from ben carson's supporters who are evangelical and are leaving carson because carson has not shown much fluency with foreign affairs issues at a time when that issue has come to the inform and i think senator cruz is also picking up support from donald trump tea party supporters, are concerned about trump's electability.
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so for now i think senator cruz is benefiting from that. that plus a lot of hard work, pretty good organization, he's got the resources he needs. but david, i think we need to be careful about one thing, 30% is pretty good but to call somebody front runners with that, 70% of likely republicans are someplace else, i think we ought to be a little cautious. >> fair point. but what does it say about the mood of iowa previously, ted cruz, donald trump, ben carson, outsiders. >> that's correct. the base, it's not time to be part of the political establishment. at some point some candidate had to unify that and it looks like senator cruz has done that and is doing that and in fact continues then he's on a good track to win.
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>> now does the million dollar question that a lot of people have, donald trump's comments about muslims and banning them from the united states does that help or hurt donald trump in a place like iowa? >> i think it hurts him. i mean it's roundly denounced by all republicans except ted cruz. and republican caucus goers they are pretty conservative pretty activist, but they also want a winner, somebody they can see in the white house. so the collective, the cumulative effect of donald trump's comments they're entertaining, there are a lot of people that agree with them. but they also agree that the purpose of the exercise is to elect a president of the united states. and there are a lot of republicans who say they absolutely couldn't vote for him, they are starting to move to other candidates and on balance this latest episode does hurt. >> if donald trump looks up, this is
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hypothetical, this is ted cruz making inroads to me in iowa, what i need to do is reenergize the hard core, he may have misunderstood the iowa republican electorate. >> well he certainly -- i think in going that far with it and the push back that he's getting nationally from other republicans, i think there will be a lot of iowa republicans who will say you know we agree with him, we got to get tougher but that's just too much. and it starts to make you unacceptable to independents and centrists. i do think activist republicans they are very conservative no question about it but they are also interested in winning an election. >> we mentioned in our setup piece all the controversy that ted cruz has generated in the past couple of years. do those
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continue controw those matter? >> does that fear exist in your estimation in iowa right now? >> i think it's true all across america and it's a wakeup call, even before those attacks most, a plurality of iowa was saying we think national security is the most important issue in this campaign. it sort of shifted from the years. with the most recent events it
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confirms the fears that activist republicans that the obama administration has left the country vulnerable and they want somebody who is tough and plausible in trying to respond to that. >> and given those fears how does it translate in terms of the politics of iowa and the political opportunities and where the line might be. >> well, it's a game of turnout on caucus night and candidates are identifying their support. i think you're also going to see a rallying around marco rubio, he'll get some of these people who are leaving ben carson and may be leaving donald trump. but david remember a caucus, the dynamic that occurs on caucus night. it's a meeting with your neighbors. people get together and they talk politics. they go in having preferences, but they are quite willing to change. those polls say people are very persuadable.
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you won't see that unfold until neighbors start talking to neighbors on caucus night. >> thank you for coming on al jazeera america, we appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> coming up more on the politics to of fear. what makes the average american so easy to scare these days. and later, a blizzard of bears on ice. >> it's the biggest question out there. >> go inside the groundbreaking research. >> are you ready to have your brain scanned? >> ready to go! >> challenging your deepest beliefs. >> feeling the spirit is very subjective. >> i don't buy that. >> techknow's team of experts show you how the miracles of science... >> this is what innovation looks like. >> can affect and surprise us. >> i feel like we're making an impact. >> let's do it. >> techknow - where technology meets humanity.
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>> whenever innocent people are targeted for violence in the name of ideology, the way they were in san bernardino last week, americans want to know if more attacks are coming. it was no different in 9/11 but the for now is more pronounced. first we are heading into annal election season and many americans are eager to demonstrate their national security credentials in the face of such violence. what we get from donald trump and ted cruz and others seems to be so much more. michael shure is in los angeles. ted cruz has been the softest in condemning donald trump. his voice was let's keep all the muslim and iraqi refugees out of the country for three years. that
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moderate. >> ed the cruz has a little bit of strategy as you alluded to in your question behind this. the idea if donald trump were not to make it and his voters there are a ton of them now the people that support him would have to go elsewhere, ted cruz wants them to come to him. so there's a play here for those voters. you can't embrace right now 100% of what donald trump is doing i says on
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