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tv   State of the Union  CNN  October 20, 2013 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT

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can washington get back on track? >> i thank those democrats and republicans. >> today -- >> argue for your position. go out there and win an election. push to change it, but don't break it. >> there are new deadlines in december, january, and february. a chance for change? >> we're not going to shut down the government again, i guarantee it. >> our sunday exclusive with republican senator john mccain. and with the man who says not so fast. >> this is a terrible deal. >> leading the charge to gut obama care and leaving his party splintered in his wake, our dana bash with tea party favorite, texas republican ted cruz. then, what's next for the tea party? our political panel weighs in on the fiscal fiasco, the flawed health care launch, and the 2014 midterms. this is "state of the union."
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ed a good morning from washington. i'm gloria borger in for candy crowley. despite a failed effort to defund obama care that resulted in bringing much of the government to a standstill for 16 days, senator ted cruz isn't giving up the fight. and even though he isn't winning many friends here in washington, republicans in his home state are standing by their man. cruz received a hero's welcome saturday at a texas convention of republican women, and cnn's chief congressional correspondent dana bash was there and spoke with the freshman senator right after that event. dana, that was quite a hero's welcome, right? >> when i saw ted cruz walk into that room, i was looking for a rock star, not a senator. it was really unbelievable. 800 texas republican women and they greeted him really as a hero, not the senator his fellow republican senators in washington have disdain for. i asked him about some of the criticism from his own party,
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the likes of which i have rarely seen in washington, including from john mccain who called who senator ted cruz did a fool's errand, a deception of the american's people which he says he resents. >> i respect and admire john mccain. he's a war hero, a man of incredible personal courage. i will say this -- when you have got senate republicans saying, we cannot win, we will surrender, this is a fool's errand, it sabotages the evident. in my view i think the house republicans marched out on principle to say we're listening to the people who are hurting because of obama care, and i wish that senate republicans had come in like the cavalry to support them. instead, they made a different decision. they made a decision not just not to support the house republicans, but to come in like an air force and dive bomb them. you know what i think has hurt republicans is all of the senate republicans who have attacked house republicans, who have gone on tell wiig -- >> i think he's talking about
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you, sir, not house republicans. >> but he's talking about everybody who has engaged in this fight. >> we're going to have more of dana bash's interview with senator cruz in a moment, but joining me now is the man he was talking about and criticizing quite directly. that's senator john mccain. thanks for being with us this morning, senator. you heard what senator cruz said. he said he wanted you to be the cavalry, to come in and save them, and instead you lost the fight for him. so are you to blame here? >> well, there's a lot of ironies here because there were some of us and republican senators that fought for 25 days against obama care up until christmas eve morning, campaigned across america in 2012 saying that if we elect mitt romney, we will repeal and replace obama care. we were the leaders in the fight during that time.
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the point is though it would require 67 republican votes in the united states senate in order to override a presidential veto in the case of repeal of obama care. so we take a backseat to no one, certainly i don't, in my efforts against obama care, and the many ironies here, but one of them is the fiasco of this rollout has been obscured because of this internicene strive that's been going on in the republican party. so we will continue, i think, to try to get rid of the worst aspects of obama care, including the medical device tax and others, but it was a fool's errand to start with. it was never going to succeed, and the damage -- this was not an academic exercise. the damage done to the people of this country, particularly in my state where we're dependent on the tourist industry in places like the grand canyon, there's a
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town outside of the grand canyon, hundreds of people then we had to have food banks send up meals for them because they live on minimum wage. look, we can't do this to the american people -- >> do you blame ted cruz? do you blame ted cruz for that? >> i blame the whole effort. i blame the whole effort. >> well, he led it. >> the whole effort, which as i said -- well, all of those involved in it went on a fool's errand. that's just a fact. the other irony is that in the polling data, national polling, republicans are at an all-time historic low in approval or historic high in disapproval by the american people. -- >> so what does this do to your brand? what does this do to the republican party brand then? >> well, it's hurt. the question is how deep and how long, but the point is that what we need to do, move forward with immigration reform, get a positive agenda for america, continue the fight against obama
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care. get taxes down, address this whole issue of sequestration which is devastating our military. there's so many things we can do in a positive agenda and get off of this. keep up the fight against obama care, but don't shut down the government and have so much collateral damage to innocent americans, gloria. >> senator cruz says he's not ruling out a second shut down. you know, he hasn't ruled it in. he says he's not ruling it out. can he possibly do that? >> i think that he can exercise his rights as a senator, but it will not happen. >> why? >> the american people will not stand for another one of these things. they just won't. >> how do you prevent it though? how do you prevent it? >> i think the american people have spoken and will continue to speak very loudly. we did this back in '95. i have seen this movie before. it was another many years before we tried it again, and i am very
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confident the american people will not stand for another repetition of this disaster. >> can i just talk about the republican party again for a second? because there are outside groups he here, you know who they are, many with ties to ted cruz who raised millions of dollars for tea party candidates over this whole shutdown controversy and some of them, including your former running mate, sarah palin, are talking about primary opponents for mitch mcconnell, for example, the republican leader in the senate, and even for your good friend lindsey graham in south carolina who is running for re-election. so what's your response to that? that they want to primary people who actually voted the way you did to end the shutdown? i mean, are there two republican parties here now in a civil war? >> well, i think you've got to have some straight talk. there are divisions within the
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republican party. we've had them in the past. the democrat party before bill clinton had them. it's a very regrettable situation because our adversary is not each other and we will probably have to go through this discussion and debate. i just wish it would be respectful. i respect ted cruz. i respect these people and their views. >> well, did you call him wacko bird once. >> you know, and i apologized for it, and i was reading from an editorial in "the wall street journal." but the point is that we need to be respectful of each other and each other's views. otherwise, we do damage to the party. i am confident the party of ronald reagan will come back strong, will get a positive agenda, will get something that -- an agenda that unites the party and we can move forward. i am absolutely confident of that. >> well, let me switch for a moment to obama care, which you
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mentioned before was obscured by this entire fight. three weeks in we know there have been huge problems with enrollment, rollout, et cetera, and i know you have fought the program, as you were saying earlier, but is the administration being direct enough with the american people about the extent of the problems here? >> of course not. they won't even tell us how many people have signed up. >> well, this morning they said about 475,000 have enrolled, but go ahead. >> well, good. i'm glad they finally came through with some information. look, it's been a fiasco. send air force one to silicon valley, load it up with some smart people, bring them back to washington, and fix this problem. it's ridiculous, and everybody knows that. >> well, so do you think that somebody here needs to take the fall?
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that kathleen sebelius, as some have suggested, ought to resign? >> well, let's have congressional hearings. let's find out who is responsible for this fiasco and take the appropriate action in my view, but, look, this is just the beginning of the problems associated with a massive restructuring of one-fifth of our economy, and there's going to be a whole lot more problems associated with this before it's done. that's why we republicans have to keep up the fight, but we have to rifle shot it rather than a -- go at it with a meat ax which cannot succeed. >> so rifle shot meaning try and repeal parts of it rather than the ted cruz strategy. do you think ted cruz -- >> exactly -- >> do you think he was cynical in doing this? the way he did. >> i think that ted cruz was elected on a commitment to the people of texas that he would do everything in his power. i respect that.
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i just knew that it could not succeed, and it's just not -- as i said, it's not an academic exercise. this has harmed the lives of millions of people and thousands of people in my state that i represent. i have an obligation to them to try to prevent that from happening. >> let's step back for a moment and talk about what might happen over the next few years of this administration. i want you to listen for a moment to something president obama said about republican behavior, and then we can talk about it on the other side. >> we hear some members who pushed for the shutdown say they were doing it to save the american economy, but nothing has done more to undermine our economy these past three years than the kind of tactics that create these manufactured crises. >> so does this sound like a president who is building bridges to republicans? >> no, it doesn't. it's very disappointing.
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the president felt he had to take a victory lap. maybe it's not in his dna to be maginot -- by the way, your foreign policy and national security policy is continuing to be a total debacle and our prestige in the world has never been lower. >> let's talk about some of these issues. we've seen super committees fail. there's all this talk there's might be some kind of grand compromise. is there any reason, senator, for us to be optimistic now after the fight you have just had that something can actually get done? >> i believe that there's good faith. republicans weren't the only ones, gloria, that suffered in this debacle. the president's numbers went down, democrat numbers went
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down, disapproval rates went up. we're down to paid staff and blood relatives. i got a call from my 101-year-old mother, she's angry. the point is it's in our interest, it's in our interest to sit down and get some of these issues resolved. everybody knows that we cannot -- this path we're on is unsustainable. maybe it would be a small bargain. maybe we can achieve certain things. i'm most worried about sequestration next year and the devastating effect it's having on our military. i'm telling you, it is having effects that we won't cure for a long time unless we fix that. >> what about immigration reform which is an issue near and dear to your heart. you have been working on it. republican congressman labrador last week said this. he said, quote, it would be crazy for the house republican leadership to enter into negotiations with the president
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on immigration. what's your response to that? >> my response is that we still -- that we're the architects of this comprehensive immigration reform want you to pass legislation, we can sit down, work this out. 11 million people living in the shadows in this country is not an acceptable situation. we urge you to address this issue with us together and we respect your views, but to do nothing i think is a grave disservice to the american people, and sooner or later we will have to address this issue in a comprehensive fashion. >> and one more quick question i can't help but ask you since you were the party's presidential nominee in 2008, you remember that, right? ted cruz clearly thinking about 2016. do you think he would be an attractive republican presidential nominee? >> well, i can't predict what
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would happen this far in the future. >> but would he be attractive? >> well, obviously he would be very attractive to many. we just heard from dana bash down in texas. the question is will our party be able to field a winning presidential candidate and vice president so that we can win the election rather than, unfortunately, the record of the last couple has not been what we wanted it to be, i can say that from a personal standpoint. >> all right, senator. thanks so much for being with us. and now we're going to go back to more of dana bash's interview with senator ted cruz. >> senator, thank you for having us in texas. >> dana, it's great to be with you. >> what a rousing reception that you got from the women -- the republican women convention that we were just at. >> well, it was tremendously uplifting. it's really good to be home.
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>> just obviously the reason it was so startling to somebody who came from washington is to see the very big difference between the reception you're getting here at home and in washington. >> well, it's kind of like d.c. it's just in d.c. they're yelling different things. >> but does that -- what does that tell you when you come home and you get applause and you get a standing ovation and you get people treating you with such reverence as opposed to the other things they're saying back in d.c.? >> i think people are frustrated in texas and all across the country. people are frustrated that washington politicians aren't listening to them, and they have been frustrated for a long time. a lot of people are hurting because of obama care. a lot of people are hurting because they can't find jobs and obama care is the biggest job killer in this country. a lot of people are hurting because they're losing their insurance or their insurance premiums are skyrocketing because of obama care and washington politicians are ignoring them. they're not listening to them, and i think the reason why you see congress at 5%, 10%, 15% approval ratings is because d.c.
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politicians, career politicians, aren't listening to the people. what you just saw there is people just expressing relief that somebody is actually listening to the people and trying to help give them a voice in washington. >> given that, are you planning on doing this again on january 15th when the current bill that was just passed to reopen the government, when it finishes? >> there will be time enough to talk about specific strategy, specific tas tictics. i think we need to keep as the top priority providing meaningful relief for all the millions -- >> but you're very deliberately not ruling it out. >> what i'm saying is the top priority -- there are a lot of politicians in washington who want to put obama care behind us. say, okay, fine, no more. no more discussing obama care, and you know what? the american people are not satisfied with that. right now you've got a president who has granted an exemption from obama for business
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business, for members of congress. the american people are getting hurt, young people, single moms, hispanics, african-americans. they're forced in part-time work, they can't afford their health care or their losing their health care. what congress is saying is we're not going to do anything to help you. we caused the problem, and we're not going to fix it, and my view, we need to keep as our priority providing real relief for the people who are hurting because of obama care. >> as you well know, your fellow republicans pretty much unanimously agree with you that they want to get rid of obama care, but they just realize it's impossible to do with a democratic majority in the senate, with a democrat named obama in the white house. mitch mcconnell, your leader in washington, says it's not going to happen again. there will be no government shutdown ever again as far as he's concerned and he hopes the newer members like you, you have been in washington only ten months, have learned a lesson. doesn't sound like you learned a lesson, senator. >> i'll tell you, the lesson i learned is what we've seen in
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the last couple months has been extraordinary. we have seen millions of americans rise up, over 2 million americans signed a national petition at don't fund it.com and melted the phone lines down at capitol hill. just a couple months ago official washington scoffed that that might happen. we also saw the house of representatives stand up, exercise a profile of courage listening to the people and saying we've got to provide real relief from obama care for the people who are being hurt from obama care. that again a couple months ago all of official washington said would never happen. now, the reason this failed was simple. senate republicans didn't unite. you know, you mentioned that you don't think this could ever succeed. let me ask you a hypothetical. imagine this same battle played out with one thing different. imagine if after the house had passed a bill funding all of the federal but defunding obama care, imagine if senate republicans had come together, had united, and had stood side
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by side with house republicans and had said, we're with the american people. we want to fund our government, we want to fund every aspect of our government, but we want to answer the american people who are being hurt because of obama care. we would have ended up with a very different result. the deal this week was a lousy deal for the american people. >> and coming up, senate republican leader mitch mcconnell said the ted cruz tactic was, quote, not a smart play. cruz's reaction to that when we come back. vo: two years of grad school.
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we're back now with more of cnn chief congressional correspondent dana bash's interview with texas senator ted cruz. and this time the topic turned to money in politics. >> there is a group that you are well aware of, maybe people out there aren't necessarily, called the senate conservatives fund. it helps defeat gop incumbents or help people who are running against gop incumbents. you actually benefited from that last time around.
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they raised $2.1 million in september, an enormous amount. this is not an election year. on the heels of this fight on your 21-hour filibuster and some of your colleagues think that's what this is about. this was a ruse to raise money for this group and others in order to take out your fellow republicans. >> you know, dana, it is amazing how many people in washington want to focus on politics at the expense of all else. >> i'm just asking, do you deny that? is that not true? >> it's nonsense, but here is the point. look, talking about that is for a purpose. it's a deliberate strategy, and what the strategy is is to change the topic. what they don't want to talk about is obama care. they don't want to talk about the substance of obama care. they don't want to talk about all the small businesses that are not expanding because of obama care. about all the young people who can't get jobs because of obama care. all the people that are forced into part-time work. they don't -- >> but you made a lot of money. was it a money-making effort?
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>> not remotely, and, listen, this is a deliberate strategy. the strategy in washington is to launch personal attacks, some of which you read, and to encourage the media to do it. a lot of folks in the media like to cover this like it's a hollywood gossip column. this politician versus this politician, who is up, who is down, who is mad -- >> but, sir, you're the one who is starting to choose sides against your own colleagues. >> what i'm choosing sides with is the american people and what i think the focus should be is on obama care. is it working? you know what's striking? in the last two months in the course of this debate over obama care, democrats aren't defending obama care. they're not saying, hey, this thing is working great. they're not saying, hey, it's not killing jobs. they're not saying, hey, it's not forcing people into part-time work, it's not driving up health insurance premiums, it's not taking away people's health care. there's a reason the union are jumping ships. they're saying let us out, it's
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not working. there's a reasons -- democratic senators went to the president and said we want to special exemption for members of congress because it's not working. from my end, i understand you want to draw me into the back and forth with other republican senators and that's fun to cover. i'm not interested in playing that game. do you know what many of the elected officials in washington are most upset about is that the their constituents were calling and holding them accountable. i can't tell you how many of my colleagues have expressed outrage to me that my constituents are calling me. dana, we work for our constituents. that's our job. >> reason they're frustrated their constituents are calling them is, senators have said this to me, they thought you were selling them snake oil. it was never going to happen. >> you know, they can ensure we can't win this fight by going on television constantly and attacking everyone who is standing up to win this fight. that made certain we couldn't win. >> let's drill down on what some of your colleagues seem to be most upset about. first of all, you have referred to the fact that your colleagues
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were yelling at you red-faced about their constituents calling. there were a lot of very animated private lunches with you and your colleagues, correct? >> look, i'm not interested in focusing on the disagreements between politicians in washington -- >> i know you're not. let me just ask you about this because one of your colleagues told me it was like an intervention. there were so many of your colleagues saying why are you doing this and really angry at you. i'm wondering even on a human level -- they told me you really didn't flinch. on a human level, that's got to bother you to be sitting in an institution like the senate and having your -- not democrats, fellow republicans so angry at you? >> not remotely. >> why? >> because the people i work for are the women and men you just saw. i work for 26 million texans. that's my job, to fight for them. i don't work for the party bosses in washington. i work for the people of texas, and i fight for them. the reason people are frustrated
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all over the country is that far too many people get elected and they think they're there to be part of the club. you know what was very interesting about some of those closed door discussions, what i said in those closed door discusses, i would have said the exact same thing if cnn's camera was sitting in the room. what i say privately to my colleagues is the same thing i say publicly, and you know what's interesting? virtually every person in that room that was criticizing what mike lee and i were doing, would have said very different things if a camera was in this room because what they're telling their constituents is very different from what they're saying behind closed doors. >> do you think mitch mcconnell has been a good leader? >> i think senate republicans should have united. senate republicans should have united and supported house republicans. the one hypothetical that i really think is worth thinking about is how would this have played differently if when the house stood up and led, senate republicans had marched into battle side by side and said, we are united in saying we should
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fund government, but we should not fund obama care. now, one of the things that might have played out differently, one of the most revealing exchanges and an exchange you were a part of when you asked harry reid about the funding for nih. when the government was shut down, the house passed 14 bills to fund vital government priorities. the democrats objected to all of them. they sat on harry reid's desk. he wouldn't allow a vote. every one of them was a clean bill, so you had a bill to fund the veterans administration -- >> their strategy won. >> it did, but here is why. >> they were successful. they beat you all back. >> the question you asked harry reid about nih funding, if you could save just one kid with cancer, wouldn't you want to do that? and his answer, which was stunning, why would i want to do that? and then he attacked you personally. >> sorry, i'm a big girl, i can take it. >> i have no doubt about that, but do you know why he attacked? because he was vulnerable. the position he was saying was
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unreasonable. president obama and the democrats' position throughout this was we will not negotiate, we will not compromise, shut it all down. that's not a reasonable position. now, if senate republicans had united and supported house republicans, if we had had 46 senate republicans on television every day, in the media every day making the point, why won't they fund the va? why are they holding our veterans hostage? why won't they fund the nih? that's a fight we could win. on the other hand, we had half the republican conference on tv not making that point but instead making president obama and the democrats' point, attacking the house republicans, attacking those of us trying to stop obama care. that's a recipe that necessarily leads to losing. >> when do you make your intentions for the white house known? >> look -- >> what time is it? >> my focus is entirely on the
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u.s. senate. it's on substance. i get that everyone wants to talk politics. >> and, you know, some trips to some of the first primary and caucus states might be little hints. >> there's a reason for that, which is the only way to win this fight and for that matter to win some of the other fights we've had is to energize and activate the grassroots of the american people. i traveled all over the country to town halls and rallies to make the case to the american people, you don't get 2 million people signing a national petition without going directly to the people, and what we're trying to do -- listen, i think what we're trying to do is bigger than the economy, than the budget, bigger even than obama care. what we're trying to do is change how washington operates. the reason people are so frustrated is career plitolitics in both parties aren't listening to you, and the american people have the sense for good reason that the system is rigged. >> thai. i have to ask you one newsy question before i go. kathleen sebelius, some of your colleagues are saying she should
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resign. do you agree with that? >> absolutely she should resign. why? because the program she's implemented is a disaster. it's not working. >> isn't that helping you politically? isn't that helping you make your point that it's not the right program or policy? >> you know, it's interesting, dana, that point you make, and there are some republican gray beards in washington who make the point, let's just let this collapse and then -- >> and they think you're stepping on their message. >> and then republicans will benefit. i profoundly disagree on their message. i want to step on their message. number one, i consider that theory the bad samaritan theory. basically inflict a bunch of harm on the american people and hope we benefit politically on it. what a terrible, cynical approach. i am not interested in seeing the american people suffer just because my party might benefit politically if they blame the democrats for the foolish policy that is have been imposed. >> senator, thank you for your time. >> thank you, dana. >> appreciate it. >> and when we return, it's one
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thing to be a political target, but quite another to be targeted. ted cruz on threats, twitter, and what makes him laugh. next. i have low testosterone. there, i said it. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel. the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy
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have a good day at school, ok? ...but what about when my parents visit? ok. i just love this one... and it's next to a park. i love it. i love it too. here's our new house... daddy! you're not just looking for a house. you're looking for a place for your life to happen. nthat's why they deserve... aer anbrake dance. get 50% off new brake pads and shoes. ashamed, dishonest, loco. some of the words aimed at ted cruz on twitter, but one man took his threat a little too far. what he said that got the attention of authorities. more of ted cruz up next. to wo.
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who matters most to you says the most about you. at massmutual we're owned by our policyowners, and they matter most to us. if you're caring for a child with special needs, our innovative special care program offers strategies that can help. since texas republican senator ted cruz became the de facto face of the partial government shutdown, he started receiving threats via twitter, some of which capitol police are taking seriously enough to investigate. >> just want to turn to one thing and that is obviously this has been a very intense time for you, and we understand that there have been some security threats. are you doing anything differently, and can you talk about some of what you're hearing and how concerned you might be? >> you know, look, some of that is a natural outgrowth of the
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animosity and the venom. i have to admit, i read twitter daily, and i actually read a lot of those on the far left, they're attacking me with this incredible personal venom and nastiness. i think that's really unfortunate. we should be able to treat each other with civility in public discourse. we should be able to treat each other with respect. i very consciously do not reciprocate the attacks that are launched my way, and i don't defend myself. i will note though, i remember one fellow who tweeted -- it was fairly amusing -- there had been an unfortunate fellow who threatened to kidnap and murder me and my father and to blow up the sun if he wasn't given $3 million. and this is a fellow who i think has some psychological issues, and the authorities got involved, but there was a fellow on twitter who tweeted, he was from the left and very critical of me, but he tweeted, he said, i'm fine with whatever they do to cruz, but this blowing up the
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sun thing do you understasounds. >> in all seriousness, does it concern you? >> i am trying to keep my focus on doing my job. you know, i think about 55 years ago when my dad came from cuba with nothing. he had been in prison, he had been tortured, he washed dishes for 50 cents an hour to pay his way through school. the idea that his son now has a chance to serve in the u.s. senate and i think the challenges we have right now, they're not typical. i cannot tell you how many texans have looked at me, have grabbed me by the shoulder, and have said i'm afraid for the future. i'm afraid for my kids. i don't want my kids to inherit a country that is broke where they have less opportunity, where they have less hope, less of a future, and for me as the son of an immigrant, as the son of someone with nothing, to have the chance to serve in the senate and actually fight to help turn this country around,
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is a breath-taking honor. >> and back with me is dana bash. dana, he clearly pays a lot of attention to his twitter feed, doesn't he? >> absolutely. one of the most telling parts of those exchanges weren't so much about the security, which is unfortunate. it's something a lot of members of congress on both sides of the aisle have to deal with, but the way that he is so tuned into social media. and i think that's really telling as to part of the divide within the republican party because it's generational. >> john mccain tweets. >> he does tweet. he does tweet. he does tweet a lot, but sort of big picture, he is somebody who is driven by social media. the conservative grassroots right now are driven by social media and he pays such close attention to that on purpose and it's part of the divide with maybe not john mccain but other gray beards who may be more afraid -- >> to use cruz's words.
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>> exactly. that is what is driving this absolute fervor out there. >> and the question is whether he can take it nationally. >> it is national, maybe not in washington, but it is national. >> thank you, dana. and the republicans lick their wounds after a bruising debt ceiling fight. do they have any fight left this them for anyone other than each other? our panelists next. help the gulf recover and learn from what happened so we could be a better, safer energy company. i can tell you - safety is at the heart of everything we do. we've added cutting-edge technology, like a new deepwater well cap and a state-of-the-art monitoring center, where experts watch over all drilling activity twenty-four-seven. and we're sharing what we've learned, so we can all produce energy more safely. our commitment has never been stronger.
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and when we return, the original maverick from arizona, the new maverick from texas. an awful lot of space in between. our panel weighs in on what's next for the grand ole party. at afraud could meanuld blower credit scores. and higher car loan rates. it's a problem waiting to happen. check your credit score, check your credit report at experian.com.
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and joining me now are cnn commentators and political strategists alex castellanos and don donna brazile and dana bush. cruz called republicans gray beards, career politicians,
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didn't rule out another shutdown and you heard john mccain say you can't have another shutdown, it hurt his state, hurt the party brand. are they just living in alternate universes? >> they are, and the universe that ted cruz is living in is real for his world. it really is. what i witnessed in texas was unbelievable. there were women in tears when they saw him saying he was their hero, saying there's finally somebody in washington standing up for them. remember, just talking about the state that he represents, there hasn't been a democrat who won their statewide since 1994. obama lost by 16 points in texas. so that could change ultimately, but then take that constituency and you look at it around the country, this has helped his brand with that constituency and that's who he is appealing to, the core conservatives. >> there's no doubt he's running, right? >> yeah. >> alex, the brand. the brand, you heard what john mccain said, this is killing our brand. agree or disagree? >> well, if you want to see the effect of ted cruz on the republican party, look at
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virginia where you have a tea party candidate, ken cuccinelli, running for governor, and who is in the race. a tough race, uphill race, a month ago and then this happened. and the republican brand drops about ten points and cuccinelli's campaign becomes very, very challenging. gee said he's the new brand. is that good for your party? >> is cruz the new brand? >> the new maverick here? >> i worked for jesse helms years ago and he was ted cruz before ted cruz was ted cruz, but at that point republicans couldn't win anything. we were such a small minority, so it didn't matter if we went to extremes because we weren't going to win anyway, but then ronald reagan came along. what did helm dos? he didn't cut the republican party's knees off. he pitched in in a positive direction to grow the republican brand. that's a lesson our party needs to learn. we're competing for leadership
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here, and what may feel good in the base doesn't always help us achieve the things we want to achieve electorally. >> that's another way of saying ted cruz is hurting the party. >> well, he's got to learn the difference between standing for principle and standing in front of a train, and this has hurt i think the republican brand in -- you know, the republican brand, whether you like it or not, is the political expression of conservative principle, and you can't sacrifice your political gains just for purity. we loved -- we think as republicans we're a party of principle and ideas. we love freedom and so we try to out pure each other. no, i love freedom more. the internal fire of dissent, we kind of warm ourselves with it. if we let it get out of creof c, it can burn our party down. >> the train wreck has been ongoing for a number of years. right now we're on cruise control.
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perhaps in another few months we'll be another control, rand paul or somebody else. the republican party doesn't really have any strong leaders right now who can say stop it, stop it to the tea party. clearly they would like to run washington, d.c., and they need to understand that the republicans only control one-half of one branch of the federal government. i don't look to the republican party to provide any ideas, any leadership on these important issues whether it's immigration reform, whether it's controlling our debt or even creating jobs. they're in such disarray, if you talk to a republican today, tomorrow they'll change their focus because there's really no focus incompetent siside the re party. >> there was a poll this week in just over half of the american electorate identified themselves as somewhere in the center. is there some kind of huge disconnect between where the american public is and what we've been seeing going on in the place you cover every day? >> absolutely. >> and how bad is that? >> there's a huge disconnect, but i think maybe the conversation that ted cruz is
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having is different. it's not so much about the center or right or left. it's what you were talking about, washington establishment, gray beards. it's the bipartisan hatred and the fact that they're fed up in a bipartisan way with the way washington is going. that's what he's trying to pop into, that populist, anti-washington sentiment. >> and i think that's exactly right. that can be the takeaway from this whole battle. americans really are just frustrated with washington. nothing works in washington. it wasn't just the debt crisis or the shutdown. it's the obama carroll okar roc. that anger needs to be channeled in a positive way. >> thanks so much to all of you for being here today. coming up at the top of the hour, fareed zakaria's exclusive interview with former secretary of state james baker who knows a little bit about bipartisan. back in a moment. i was made to work.
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and thanks for watching "state of the union." i'm gloria

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