tv Caught on Camera MSNBC April 17, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
group. this is not a focus group. >> when you do shows like this, you're only as good as the person asking questions and i tell you everybody time chris and i get together, i think it's really cool and there's some magic in it and i love doing stuff with him. >> governor, stay with msnbc tonight for continuing coverage of this presidential race. all across this country people are waking up and help is on the way. >> ted cruz is riding high. >> the democrats, we've got a wild-eyed socialist and bernie sanders. >> but now he's on his rival's home turf. >> and i have this guy looking at me talking about new york values with hatred of new york. >> if you want to know what liberal democratic values are, follow donald trump's checkbook. >> can cruz win over new york voters and cut into trump's big lead in the empire state. >> we will not give up on our country. we will not give up on our freedoms.
>> this is an msnbc exclusive town hall with senator ted cruz from buffalo, new york. here now, chuck todd. >> good evening, and welcome to the msnbc town hall with senator ted cruz of texas. we are here at the cornell theater at the university at buffalo right here in western new york, home, by the way, of the university of buffalo bulls. let's go bulls. we're just five days away from the new york primary. this might be donald trump territory. he's counting on it, but it could be critical for senator cruz to keep trump from sweeping all 95 of new york's delegates. so let's get right to it and welcome the senator from texas, ted cruz. [ cheers and applause ] >> look at that.
maybe buffalo is going to be pretty good to you. >> let me just say, god bless new york. >> there you go. obviously we're going to get to some substantive questions in a little bit, but have you had your wings yet while you've been here? >> i have. >> how many wings have you eat snn. >> i will confess, i flew in late last night and i can do a lot of things but wings for breakfast was a bit much. so not yet. >> what are you talking about? come on. you just dial it down a little bit on the hot sauce. >> the truth of the matter is a lot of the nights of the trail i have wings for dinner. that's one of my most common dinners. >> we all joke, politicians, you get handed food and you have to eat it whether you like it or not. how often have you said you like something when you're eating it and you're like i can't wait to dump this in the trash? never? >> we get handed junk food. i mean, you know, you get -- the
wisconsin state fair you eat a pork chop on a stick. food on a stick, you can't go wrong. >> that is the greatest invex. we need to put wings on a stick. >> by the way, something i had, it is at a new hampshire fair was bacon coated in chocolate. yeah, that was pretty amazing. trust me on this. trust me on this. bacon and chocolate, it works. >> your whole thing is trust ted, so we'll trust that. >> although as heidi has outed, my culinary test is not high brow. i enjoy nachos and kquesadillas and chunky soup. >> let's go with the first question here. daniel. >> senator cruz, you received a bit of controversy recently for your comments about new york values. in the upstate new york we built our economy on hard work and family. those are our values. what are yours? >> well, thank you for that
question, and listen, i agree with you. the values of upstate new york are tremendous. it is hard work, it is passion, it is the working people of this country. you know, the phrase new york values actually came from donald trump. it was an interview he did with actually chuck's predecessor on "meet the press," and he was explaining why he was a strong supporter of partial birth abortion, and donald's explanation for why he supported partial birth abortion, he said i'm a new yorker, those are my values, they're not iowa values. it was his own language. i said that's how donald was explaining it. i will say the people of upstate new york, you guys have been suffering under the misguided policies of liberal democratic politicians a long, long time. [ applause ] the state of new york has wonderful people, has people
who -- this is a state that has attracted people from all over the world, people coming to conquer the world. both heidi and i have lied in fo new york. i lived here for a summer. she lived here for three or four years. it attracts the best and the brightest. that can-do spirit is the essence of america but at the same time there are so many new yorkers, you take for example, you look at the policies of governor cuomo where just next door in pennsylvania they have been experiencing incredible economic boom developing the marcellus shale, and yet knucklehead democratic politicians here think new yorkers don't want jobs. you've got the marcellus shale here. you could have thousands and thousands of high-paying jobs if the politicians would just let you develop the resources that are here, and i want to see more jobs and more economic opportunity for new yorkers. i think that's what new yorkers want to see too. >> senator, do you regret using that phrase in a derogatory
manner? do you wish you had socome up wh another way of hitting trump. >> i don't regret it. i will admit repeating his words, it had an interesting effect, it caused every new york city, and they're all based in new york city, for their hair to catch on fire. >> we're not all based in new york city. >> all right, so you're in washington, d.c., which -- >> i hear you. >> people understood what it meant and new yorkers understood what it meant. as i travel the state, people come up to me and say i know exactly what you mean and i'm sick and tired of it, and we need -- you want another example of new york values. mayor bill de blasio one of the first things he does when he gets elected, he goes up to harlem and tries to shut down charter schools and throw out a school because he's in hock to the unibosses. we need to be fighting for those kids. the people of new york know this firsthand in a way that they're ready to get some relief, to at
least get washington off their back. if the state is not going to get off their back, at least get washington off their back so we can see jobs coming back. we can see manufacturing jobs coming back to upstate new york. that's what this election is about. >> you know, in your victory speech in iowa in february, you promised as president you would be a big champion to first responders like those who ran into burning buildings on 9/11. when you gave that speech, an nypd oftener is forced to retire because of 9/11 related cancer, he wrote an op-ed and blasted you for saying this and called you hypocritical because you voted against the act which was for 9/11 relief funds. many republicans voted for it including senators ayotte, blunt, bozeman, burr, senator cot thanh. a lot of people supported this that are normally your allies. why did you vote against it? >> it's real interest. i supported the act. it was the right thing -- >> but you voted against it. >> it was rolled in as washington -- the way washington works, they rolled that in to a
giant omnibus that funded every single one of obama's priorities. so to vote for it you also had to vote to fund obamacare. vote to fund amnesty. you had to vote to fund bringing syrian muslim refugees to america that are a terror threat to this country. so i wasn't going to fund all of these liberal priorities. if you had given me a clean standalone i would have happily voted for it and i'll tell what you. when i travel around, cops and firemen, they stop me over and over again and say thank you for standing up for me. they're so tired of seeing democrats like mayor de blasio siding with the criminals and the thugs and the rioters instead of the men and women in blue. in january 2017 if i'm elected we're going to have a president who stands consistently with law enforcement and first responders and has their backs. >> senator, with all due respect -- [ applause ] >> -- i run into a lot of politicians who will say what you just said. i supported that part of the bill, but i didn't because -- that's the way washington --
that's the way the senate works. that's the way congress works. how are you going to -- as president do you really -- >> yes. >> you have tried to change the way the senate works and it hasn't changed. how are you going to change the way the senate and congress works as president. >> you say it hasn't worked and yet look across the country. donald trump and i have received 80% of the votes across the country. people are furious with the way washington works. you're right, that is the way washington works. it's corrupt. it's career politicians -- >> but it's also compromise. some people say you want this in new york, i want this for my residents in texas. that's another way the system works. >> you want to do a compromise in washington, you sit down with a bunch of career politicians and you say we'll spend for your project, your project, your project, your project. another trillion dollars, and you get 75 votes in the senate. the only people left out are the taxpayers and our kids that are looking at over $19 trillion in debt and what that means, listen, that is real. that means our kids, if we don't stop this, they'll spend their
whole lives not working to meet their priorities, not working to meet the needs of the future. but just trying to pay off the debts of their deadbeat parents and grandparents. >> i don't think you mean our parents and grandparents are the debt beats. >> i'm putting me in that -- >> you're calling us deadbeats. >> if we give our kids $20 trillion in debt, no other generation in history has done that. our parents didn't do that to us. and i have said young people, when they walk out of the voting booth, they ought to turn around and punch their parents in the nose. listen, it is as if -- >> generation al warfare right here. >> and by the way, one of the things that has been very interesting, if you go to our rallies, they're filled with young people. it's one of the things that should be terrifying hillary and bernie sanders. young people are excited to change the path we're on, and part of the reason, you look at our national debt, it's as if we
went out, got a credit card, went to vegas, partied it up, and then stuck our kids with the bill, said good luck guys, have fun paying it. i mean, it is time for responsible adult leadership. you're right, that has been the washington game, and the way to change it, the only force strong enough to change washington is we the people, the grassroots. the last time we did it was 1980. the reagan revolution and i think we're at a similar moment in time where people want washington to listen to the people again. >> let me ask you a quick question here about the process. who is picking this republican nominee, the delegates or the voters? >> both. but, look, it's a democratic process. it's been in place from the very beginning. we're campaigning here with the voters. i spend every day out on the campaign trail often doing, you know, five, six, seven, eight, nine events in a day, standing in front of the voters, answering their questions. i think anyone who wants to get elected owes it to the people to look them in the eyes, to answer their questions, to be held
accountable, and it is the people who are electing the delegates. if we go to a contested convention where nobody has a majority, it will be the delegates who are elected by the people who make the final decision, but they have been elected by the voters in the first place and this is a battle to earn the support of the american voters across the country. >> have you thought about the irony that the washington cartel you rail against may be the ones that rescue you and give you this nomination? have you thought about that it's going to take insiders in cleveland to give you this nomination? >> you know, it's actually not ironic at all. the way to win and turn the kurnt around, we've got to unite the party. my focus every day is uniting republicans. [ cheers and applause ] and, chuck, let me give you a historical analog. if you think of the last time we broke the washington cartel, it was 1980, ronald reagan. as you know, washington despised ronald reagan at the time. remember in 1976 he had primaried gard fogerald ford.
you want to cause republican leadership to loathe you, come within an inch of beating the incumbent republican president in a primary. as much as washington dislikes me, they hated reagan with the heat of a thousand white hot suns. and what he did, think about what reagan did in '77, '78, '79. he didn't fly to washington and sit down with the old bulls and say, come on guys, you have to stand for something. instead, he took the case to the american people and buffalo, new york, played a critical part in that because it was jack kemp's economic vision and power -- >> there you go. [ cheers and applause ] you're always going to do well with jack kemp references here. >> well, look, i grew up idolizing jack kevin because he understood that the way you lift people out of poverty is empowering them to stand on their own feet and achieve the american dream and that reagan revolution, it came in like a tidal waeve and it united
republicans. all the people that hated reagan, when they showed the voters show up -- >> they liked him now. >> as you know, you interview a lot of people. you can't find a republican today who will not swear that ronald reagan is tattooed somewhere on his body. >> do you have him tattooed somewhere on yours? >> listen, that's between me and my wife. >> fair enough. let's go to another question. sean mccormick right here, registered republican. >> hi, senator cruz. a large portion of the american public is unhappy with how government functions and the nonstop gridlock in d.c. it's no secret that you, senator cruz, championed the government shutdown in 2013. so why should we elect you, the number one proponent and instigator of the 2013 government shutdown for president. >> it's a good follow to the conversation. >> it fits in very well. listen, people are frustrated and, indeed, furious with washington and something i have said many, many times. the biggest divide we've got politically, i don't think it's
between republicans and democrats. it's between career politicians in washington and both parties and the american people and what we have right now isn't working. the most common thing i hear as i travel the country is we keep electing people that go to washington and they're not listening to us. and i hear that, i hear that from republicans, i hear it from democrats, independents, libertarians. they don't listen to what we say. you know, we had a massive takeover of the senate with republicans in 2014. the people rose up in overwhe overwhelming numbers, gave republicans a majority, gave us the biggest majority of the house since the 1920s. [ applause ] and yet the battles i have had with republican leadership have been very simple. they've all focused on one question. if and when we can stand up to barack obama. and i think you pick your battles. you fight on things that really
matter. what i have fought on is obamacare, is stopping amnesty, and stopping the debt that's bankrupting our kids and grand kids. i think those are issues that matter. i think those are why we got elected. [ applause ] but, sean, let me give you a bit of good news. it may well be relationship leadership and i will never see eye to eye on this. i believe we could have stood and fought more effectively. republican leadership on every issue said we can't fight against obama, with he have to give in. fine. let's not relitigate that. let's look forward. if i'm elected president, i think i will work very, very closely with leaders in congress because it's a very different thing. we're not going to have tactical disputes about whether we can stand up to obama. we're going to have a strong principled conservative president working with leadership in congress to pass legislation, repealing obamacare, stopping amnesty, passing a flat tax, and i think we will see washington responsive to the people in a way it hasn't been since the 1980s.
[ applause ] >> thank you. we're going to sneak in a break here. we will be back right here with the university of buffalo town hall exclusively here with texas senator ted cruz. we'll be right back. ♪ ♪ (laughing) there's nothing like making their day. except making sure their tomorrow is taken care of too. financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can. while you're mastering life. the call just came in. she's about to arrive. and with her, a flood of potential patients. a deluge of digital records. x-rays, mris.
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welcome back. we are here at the university at buffalo here in western new york. the msnbc town hall with senator ted cruz continues. senator, welcome back. let me just -- you and i have kids about the same age, i think my kids are a couple years older than yours. this has not been the easier campaign for me to explain to my kids. my son is about to turn 9 tomorrow. yeah him. [ applause ] and my 12-year-old, and it can't be easy for you. and by the way, i think the new star of the cruz family is katherine. sorry, buddy.
how do you tell her, what's it like? she's hearing all the name calling. how do you handle it? do you turn off the tv? >> you know, it's been an interesting journey and let me say to your son who is turning 9 tomorrow, happy birthday to him. >> thank you. >> and my daughter caroline turned 8 today so let me say sweetheart, happy birthday. >> there you go. i owe you a happy birthday, caroline, and we'll see you in about 12 years, maybe they will meet. if my son is lucky. >> you know, i will say i'm going to confess, the most selfish reason that i want to win the presidency -- >> secret service? >> oh, yes. and i will confess i have already rehearsed the speech. i'm envisioning some, you know, teenager with braces showing up to take caroline out, and number one sitting him down in the oval office and, you know, what i'm contemplating saying is, sonning i'm not telling you that the cia has a satellite that could disintegrate you in a tenth of a
second. i couldn't tell you that. that would be a national security violation but you're going to have her home at 7:30, right? >> let's go on to the questions here. mary has the next question. go ahead, mary. >> senator cruz, i respect and admire you. >> thank you. >> but it doesn't seem that the republican establishment does. could you share your thoughts on why that is. >> well, thank you very much for your kind question. you know, listen, i think a lot of folks in washington, when they got elected they came there wanting to do the right thing. most people who run for office, they run for office because they believe in something. they believe in the country, they want to serve, they want to make a difference. and it ends up washington is an amazingly kcorrupting place and it kor runts you incrementally. i'm reminded of one of my favorite movies is "the godfather." michael corleone is a good and
honorable man. he was not going to follow the course of his family. he went to good schools. he was going to be legitimate. he was going to resist, and every movie it's a series of really small decisions. you know, it starts off his father is shot. his father is in the hospital and he's got to be a good son defend the family. he makes smau incremental decisions that you can understand and at the end of every movie michael corleone murders everybody. every "godfather" movie ends with everyone getting whacked. that's a little bit like washington where people get there and they want to make a difference and they're told, okay, you can make a difference but not today. you've got to wait until tomorrow. you've got to be around a little longer. you have to become a committee chair. and the most corrupting thing is people want to get re-elected. you know, there's an old joke that politics is hollywood for ugly people. my wife says i resemble that remark. but what happens is people get
terrified of not being in office anymore, and anytime you're facing a big problem, to fix it takes risk. you've got to be prepared to take a risk, and so what happens is just gradually people become so risk-averse, they don't want to take any big steps because they might not get re-elected, and so you end up with everyone just giving in to washington, and it's not malicious, but the good news is it can be changed. it's why i invoke 1980 so often because a lot of people say can we fix it? and what the reagan revolution demonstrated is when you have a mandate from the people, it changes the incentives of washington so that everyone comes together. i think that's the only force powerful enough to change washington. >> thank you, mary. but i want to follow up on her question here because there may be another reason why some senators are hesitant to endorse you even now when they will tell me privately, oh, i can never support donald trump. i want to play a clip for something you said last summer
about mitch mcconnell. here it is. >> the majority leader looked me in the eye and looked 54 republicans in the eye. i cannot believe he would tell a flat out lie. not only what he told every republican senator, but what he told the press over and over and over again was a simple lie. >> now, look, there was context to this and i understand it has to do with some i guess dirty laundry behind the scenes getting aired out on the senate floor but you called the senate majority leader on the senate floor. that has not sat well with your colleagues. do you regret calling him a liar on the senate floor. >> you know, washington is an amazing place. when somebody stands up and lies to you and someone else points out that they lied -- >> he lied to you. you still stand by -- >> every word i said there was true and accurate. no one has disputed a word i said. the reaction in the senate is how dare you say that out loud?
they're not upset that somebody lied to them. i mean, that's the amazing thing. [ cheers and applause ] >> that's a remark -- if that's the case, how do you stand working with somebody who lies to you? >> listen -- >> and how can you work with him going forward? >> what i have done from day one is endeavored -- and it's a promise i made to the people who elected me. i'm going to tell the truth and i'm going to do what i said i would do. [ applause ] >> all right. let me go to the next question. >> and let me say also doing that enables others to come together. listen, i think i'll be able to work very, very effectively with republican leadership. part of it is focusing on issues that bring us together. you know, you look at the heart of this presidential campaign. when i'm focusing on every day is jobs, freedom, and security. that's what the american people care about. they don't care about the games in washington. they don't care about the
politics. they care about improving their lives. they want their kids to have a brighter future again. we want to see jobs coming back, wages coming back and rising. we want to see opportunity expanding, and that's an agenda that brings people together across the spectrum. >> sue has the next question. >> thank you, senator cruz, for taking my question and welcome to buffalo. the gop has progressively become a party of noninclusion, especially on social issues where personal religious beliefs of representatives infiltrate into government policy. in our current political state, we need a president who can bring our nation together, compromise on issues without compromising on values, and work across the aisle to provide solutions. moderate, pragmatic, practical republicans like myself who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal find ourselves outvoiced by the extreme conservatives and underrepresented in this gop primary. can you tell me why you feel you're the best candidate for this underrepresented group, the
moderate republican? >> well, thank you for that question. >> some say in washington that's an endangered species. >> well, you know, it may be in washington but it's not in america. i mean, and one of the dynamics of a two-party system is you have got to bring together a big tent. you have got to bring together a broad consensus in order to win, and that's something we are working hard to do. it's the reason why i mentioned before what the heart of our campaign is focused on is jobs, freedom, and security. none of those are narrow 51% wedge issues. every one of those are 60%, 70%, 80% issues. they're issues that unite us, that bring us together. now, there will be issues on which we disagree, but i'll point out, let's take social issues for a minute. hillary clinton's views on abortion are radical and extreme. hillary clinton support unlimited abortion on demand up until the moment of delivery, partial birth with taxpayer funding and no parental
notification. 9% of americans agree with hillary clinton. that 91% of americans disagree with hillary. that is an extreme position. i think we need to look for ways to bring people together and one of the greatest ways to bring people together is the constitution and bill of rights. it unifies them. [ applause ] and so, for example, part of your question you asked about people of faith. i have spent my entire adult life fighting to defend the constitution and the bill of rights. the first amendment, religious liberty, protecting all of us. protects christians, jews, muslims, it protects atheists. the first amendment says every one of us, we have a right to seek out god, to worship god, to live according to our conscience and our faith. that is empowering and it's empowering in the diversity of who we are as americans, and i think those principles about trusting and empowering the individual and keeping government the heck out of your way, those are unifying
principles. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, sue. you brought up abortion. you've been on both sides of the personhood issue. you were hesitant to support it and then you did sign a pledge saying that you did want to see personhood. it's this idea that the minute of conception essentially, that that fetus has rights. [ applause ] that's a divisive issue and it gets into some contraception disputes. where are you on personhood? are you going to pursue this as an agenda item or simply supporting the idea? do you know what i mean by the difference? >> listen, some of the labels in this debate can get confusing because different people mean different things. i don't want to get in a back and forth on labels. i believe every human life is a gift from god, and we should cherish and protect and celebrate it. >> but who decides when life begins? i mean, i'll be honest, that's been the dispute here.
when does life begin? and when do they have constitutional rights? >> when it comes to birth control, it is clear that americans have a right to birth control. i am not interested in any legislation -- >> all kinds? >> -- on any restrictions that restrict birth control. >> i hate to get into details because iud is a big one because of what some people view that it is not contraception because -- >> it's interesting this debate. it actually illustrates something that the media doesn't understand. the media often describes and says life is an issue that is an advantage to the democrats. do you know who doesn't believe that? >> that wasn't my question. >> but let me go with this for a second because i'm going to loop back for this. do you know who doesn't believe that? democrats. name the last presidential race where democrats campaigned trumpeting their support for abortion. you think about the 2012 election. the 2012 election, the democrats focused over and over again on the war on women, which was a totally made up threat, but if
focused on con interest sep tiffs. it wasn't on abortion. it was on contraceptives. i have been around conservatives my entire life. i have never met a single human being in any place who wanted to ban contraceptives. >> there are some people who are not thrilled with it. >> but listen, there are people for it because of their faith they don't use contraceptives. you have a right to follow your faith. that's not my faith. i'm southern baptist. my faith doesn't have a problem with contraceptives but i respect those whose faith differs from mine and the great thing about our country is you can live according to your faith. if your faith says don't use birth control, then don't use it. we have two little girls. i'm very glad we don't have 17. you know, we can have some tolerance and diversity, but the fact that the democrats had to create this made-up threat on contraceptives shows that most americans want to protect life, and i hope we have a culture
that values every human life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death. >> personhood, are you pursuing it or not? are you going to pursue it as an agenda? >> i told you i'm not going to get into the labels but what i will say is we should protect life but i'm not interested in anything that restricts birth control and i'm not interested in anything that reticket sh stricts inveto fertilization because i think people who are struggling to create life, to have a child, that is a wonderful thing. >> it sounds like you think this movement doesn't -- there isn't legislation yet that you could support for this movement. >> what i believe is we should defend life and i have a long record of defending life, of defending -- >> no one is questioning whether you're pro-life. that's why i'm asking, would you pursue this? >> i will happily support anything that protects life and protecting life is a value that matters. whether it is stopping partial birth abortion which i think is a barbarism or whether it is
fairly enforcing the criminal laws against planned parenthood. you know, a few months ago we had this series of videos that were horrifying, and i will say virtually none of the network news would show the videos on air. these videos showed planned parenthood officials essentially admitting to what appeared to be a pattern of federal felonies. it is a federal felony -- >> a lot of controversy around how the videos were made. some of it was made up -- >> no, it wasn't. >> some of the video was made up. he enactments. >> let me tell what you there is no controversy about. it is a federal crime, a felony with a ten-year prison term, to sell the body parts of unborn children for profit. that is a federal crime. these videos show senior planned parenthood officials laughing, sipping chardon nay, and bargaining and apparently selling the body parts of unborn children. even if you're pro choice selling the body parts of unborn children is a horrifying thing
and it's one of the sad indictments of the obama administration. nobody on earth, you don't think and nobody else thinks the obama jui justice department would ever investigate a planned parenthood because they are a political ally of this administration. i think we need a justice department that enforces the laws without regard to party or ideology, enforces the law for everybody. >> let's take another break. nbc town hall with senator ted cruz will be right back. 80% of women say a healthy lifestyle is a priority.
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welcome back to the msnbc town hall with republican senator ted cruz. we're here in lovely western new york at the university at buffalo. senator, before i go to some questions, north carolina. what's going on down there and figures it's a good follow-up for the conversation we just had. first of all, do you support the law itself that the governor signed? he signed this law last month, it limits bathroom access for transgender people, eliminates ordinances locally that were done in charlotte at the time essentially statewide law saying, no, you can't do that. you can't create these special protections. but it also took away the power of charlotte and other cities in north carolina to do their own ordinances. what do you think of the law? >> listen, i'm a constitutionalist, and the state has the power to pass their own laws, to make a determination
that men should not be going in a bathroom of little girls. as a father of little girls, i'm not terribly excite d about men being able to go alone into a bathroom with my daughters, and i think that is a perfectly reasonable determination for the people to make. that's why we have a democracy, is to respect the values of the people, and -- >> but did this law go too far. i think the governor thought it did because he signed an executive order because he was worried the law was going to go too far and then make it so you could discriminate against lesbians and gays. >> listen, the political correctness we have embraced, enough already. listen, the obama education department, it is going against a junior high insisting that the junior high must allow a teenage boy to shower with teenage girls. now, that's just nuts.
i mean, that's not a reasonable position. that's crazy. [ applause ] >> what do you say to these corporations that are boycotting north carolina right now? >> listen, i think big business gives in to political pressure and has been willing over and over again to trample on religious liberty. >> so did the governor make a mistake signing this executive order trying to backtrack. >> one of the saddest things we've seen is the retreat of the democratic party from religious liberty. it wasn't too long ago, couple decades ago, religious liberty united us all. it used to be democrats and republicans, we might disagree on marginal tax rates but when it came to protecting the rights of faith of americans, democrats and republicans stood united. you know, a couple decades ago the religious freedom restoration act, national legislation, passed congress virtually unanimously, almost every democrat voted for it, it was signed into law by a democrat, bill clinton. unfortunately, in the last 20 years the modern democratic party has gotten so extreme and
so radical, they have decided there's no room for religious liberty and they are excoriating any states passing legislation identical to what they supported. the little sisters of the poor, a perform example of this, the little sisters of a poor are a catholic charity of nuns who spend their lives caring for the poor and elderly. and right now the obama administration is litigating against the little sisters trying to impose millions of dollars of fines on them in order to force the nuns to pay for abortion inducing drugs in others. now, i have joked a lot of times, a really good rule of thumb in life, if you're litigating against nuns, you've probably done something wrong. >> did governor mccrory cave into political correctness with the executive order? because you were critical of the governor in georgia for vetoing the bill.
>> let me tell you this, in the general election, you may be moderating one of the debates, i cannot wait to stand on the debate stage with hillary clinton and to defend religious liberty and let hillary explain to the american people why she supports suing nuns. that doesn't make any sense. >> governor mccrory, did he make a mistake? >> i don't know the terms of what he signed in the executive order. the states have the authority to pass laws that the reflect the values of their citizens. i will always defend the religion liberty of americans because that's who they are as americans. >> let's go to robert mcmahon. >> thank you for coming to buffalo. thank you for standing with police. my question for you is about border security and our southern border. >> yeah. >> looking at the presidents that we've had all the way gak to reagan, both democrat and republican, nobody has secured our southern border. >> yes. >> trump has a clear plan and has verbalized it quite well. what is your plan to do with our
border and to protect our country? thank you. >> robert, thank you for that question. it is a very, very important question. i have a very, very detailed plan to secure the border and stop illegal immigration. it is 11 pages single spaced chapter and verse. if you want to read the specific plan, you can go to the website. it's tedcruz.org, and you can see -- >> giving you homework tonight. sorry about that. >> i'll give you the overview but if you want to get down into details and nitty-gritty, we have all of them spelled out. as president we are going to build a wall. >> amen. >> we're going to triple the border patrol. we're going to increase fourfold the fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. we're going to put in place a strong e-verify system at the workplace so you can't get a job without proving you're here legally. [ applause ] we will end sanctuary cities and we'll do that by cutting off federal taxpayer dollars to any jurisdiction that defies federal
immigration law. [ applause ] and by the way, let me send a special message to mayor bill de blasio, that means new york city, you're either going to enforce federal immigration law or your federal taxpayer dollars are going away. [ applause ] and we are going to end welfare benefits for those here illegally. [ applause ] and let me say two more points on this. number one, we know how to solve these problems. we have the tools. actually much of them are within existing federal law. what's missing is the will to do it, and you're right. trump has talked about immigration a lot. i'm grateful for him raising the issue and talking about it, but i will point out if you look at his actual record in 2013 donald trump was funding the gang of eight. of the eight members who pushed for amnesty nationally, donald
gave over $50,000 to five of them. i led the fight against the gang of eight amnesty plan and defeated it in congress. so we've been on opposite sides of this issue. [ applause ] and i will tell you something that new yorkers and americans, anyone who is concerned about illegal immigration should be worried about. in january of this year donald sat down with "the new york times" and had an interview with them where it's been reported that he told them he doesn't believe what he's saying on immigration. he's not going to build a wall. he's not going to deport anyone. that's just language to tell the voters because they're gullible. that whole conversation is on tape. "the new york times" has said they're happy to release the tape if donald gives them permission. he will not allow the tape to be released. i got to tell you, as a voter it should be worrisome if donald is telling "the new york times" i'm lying to the voters and i'm not going to do anything on immigration. he should release the tape and let people judge for themselves, but i'll tell you this, as president i will secure the
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financial guidance while you're mastering life. from chase. so you can. and we are back here. here. the exclusive msnbc town hall with republican senator ted cruz. let's go right back to questions here. dan devlin has the next question. dan, go ahead. >> senator cruz, you said that you've been fighting for the constitution your whole life. >> yeah. >> recently hillary clinton has said that the unborn are not protected by our constitution. however, our posterity is specifically named in the constitution. >> mm-hmm. >> and our posterity are descendants, both born and unborn. >> mm-hmm. >> do you believe that the constitution is meant to protect our unborn posterity as well? >> well, dan, thank you for that question. and of course the constitution protects life.
and -- [ applause ] you know, i'll tell you this is something even kids can understand. i think back when our daughter caroline was just 2 years old. and heidi was pregnant with catherine. and caroline had this blanket that she called bink that -- oh, she loved bink. it was the nastiest thing you'd ever seen. she dragged it everywhere. it was practically alive. and i remember caroline one time, she was talking to heidi's tummy. and she was talking to her sister catherine. and she said -- she's just 2, and she says, "catherine want to chew on bink?" and she held up bink and held it to her mommy's tummy. and it was the most precious exchange. and even at 2 she knew that wasn't a lump of cells in there. that was her baby sister. and one of the amazing things about science, more and more people -- you know, any parent who's ever looked at a sonogram,
who's ever seen their daughter or their son kicking and sucking on their thumb, i mean, it is an amazing thing. and unfortunately, with abortion we've had not only over 50 million children never get to breathe a life of air but we've had women who are victims of this. women who are pressured into having abortion. [ applause ] who struggle with the consequences of it. and i think we need to work toward a nation that values and celebrates every human life. now, for that to happen we're going to have to persuade our fellow citizens. it's not going to happen with waving a magic wand. it is going to happen by moving hearts and minds one person at a time. but i believe that's happening. and you know, one of the encouraging signs of that, if you look at young people, this generation of young people is the most pro-life generation of young people we have seen in modern times. and i think that's because science is making more and more clear that unborn children are people who can feel pain, who
can feel suffering, and we ought to be protecting them. [ applause ] >> i'm curious. something you said about public opinion in general. when does public opinion influence you and when do you say look, i know where the public is but i'm -- it's always this line. because look, a principled guy like you will say i'm principled, but public opinion, you'll cite it when they agree with you. and then you're saying i'm principled when you disagree. what's your line on public opinion? >> well, and this is related to the question that conservatives always get asked, which is will you ever compromise? it's interesting, no one seems to ask elizabeth warren or bernie sanders that. >> sanders gets asked the compromise question a lot. >> my view on compromise is exactly what ronald reagan's was. reagan said what do you do if someone offers you half a loaf? you take it. and then you come back for more. i'm perfectly happy to compromise with anyone. republican, democrat, independent, libertarian. i've joked, i'll compromise with
martians. if we're shrinking the size and power of the federal government. if we are protecting our rights. if we're moving forward, advancing freedom. [ applause ] so let me give you a specific example of compromise. i am campaigning on a simple flat tax, 10% for every american, filling out our taxes on a postcard, abolishing the irs. [ applause ] now, as president i intend to fight for that. i would take a compromise, something that is not 100% that but is simplified the tax code, reducing the burdens on the american people? yes. and then i'd come back and keep fighting for a flat tax and abolishing the irs. but here's what you don't compromise. you don't compromise fundamental values and principles. you don't compromise the constitution and bill of rights. you don't compromise aa way religious liberty or the second amendment or the basic protections of an american. that's the difference between values and negotiating and reaching a middle ground on
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you listen to the delegates and -- are you saying unequivocally, shermanesquely, that you will not accept being donald trump's running mate? >> chuck, it ain't going to happen. >> shermanesque? if nominated i will not run? >> let me tell you why it's not going to happen. one of the reasons that we're seeing republicans uniting behind our campaign is because we've got to win. the stakes are too great. i think the entire country is hanging in the balance that if we go another four or eight more years down this road, we lose the supreme court for a generation, our basic rights are put in jeopardy, our kids are buried in trillions more in debt, we're trapped in economic stagnation, and it is indisputable that if donald trump is the nominee, hillary clinton wins and she wins by double digits. and i'm not prepared to give hillary clinton the white house to lose the senate, and that's why we're seeing republicans unite behind our campaign. >> okay. >> we're going to beat donald in
cleveland. and we're going to beat hillary in november. >> and i've got to beat the clock. i want to thank you. i want to thank everybody here at the university at buffalo. [ cheers and applause ] stay tuned for more msnbc and full coverage of campaign 2016. we'll see you down the road. thanks, everybody. this sunday, a $353,000 ticket to a hillary clinton fundraiser. my exclusive interview with the host of that event, george clooney. >> i think it's an obscene amount of money. it's ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. >> george clooney on clinton, trump and all that money in politics. >> i think there is a difference between the koch brothers and us. plus, the republican party at war with itself. >> it's a rigged system, folks. the republican system is a rigged system. >> the trump campaign is trying to be more disciplined, but is it too late for the candidate to change the script?