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Ted Cruz On Repealing Obamacare: ‘Failure Is Not An Option’

Ted Cruz
Mengwen Cao/KUT
Sen. Ted Cruz

From Texas Standard:

It’s one day after United States Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) assured residents of Denton that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is not dead.

Cruz joined Host David Brown to talk about foreign affairs, repealing Obamacare and this year’s race for the Senate.

Many Texans have turned their focus on world events and Cruz has said the U.S. doesn't need to get further involved in Syria. Cruz says he hopes the country doesn’t need to brace itself for war.

"It is a dangerous world and it has got much more dangerous in the last eight years,” he says. “If you look at Syria, Syria is a complete mess. There are not good options in Syria. Bashar al-Assad is a monster. He has repeatedly used chemical weapons on his own citizens, killing innocent men, women and children.”

But the rebels fighting against Assad are even worse, he says.

“They are radical Islamist terrorists and the worst outcome for U.S. national security interests would be for ISIS and al-Qaeda to seize the chemical weapons and use them against Americans," he says.

On whether the U.S. should go deeper into the conflict with Syria:

"If the commander-in-chief comes to Congress seeking authorization for use of military force, I'm going to keep an open mind and hear the commander-in-chief fairly. Now the question I'm going to ask – and other members of Congress are going to ask – is how does this protect the national security interests of the United States."

On whether sending warships closer to North Korea protects U.S. interests:

"It certainly could. North Korea is, I think, the most dangerous place on earth right now. Kim Jong-un, the dictator there, is mentally unstable. ... This is an unstable leader who unfortunately has a nuclear arsenal and, in fact, has threatened repeatedly to use nuclear weapons against the United States. In fact, specifying Austin, Texas as one of the targets."

On how President Donald Trump is doing so far:

"I think Texans are glad that we have changed the path we're on – that we're no longer on the path of the last eight years. I think Texans were frustrated with policies from Washington. ... We're less than 100 days in. I think the substance of this administration has largely been quite strong."

On whether repealing the Affordable Care Act is still possible:

"There's no doubt that the initial forays to repealing Obamacare hit a rocky patch. My view is we have to get it done. That Republicans have spent seven years promising the American people if you elect us we will repeal Obamacare. ... Well, the voters obliged and we now have to keep our word. I think failure is not an option."

On what he thinks of Abbott's wish to keep policies and regulations at the state level, not the local level:

"I'm serving in the United States Senate and we've got our hands full with issues at the federal level. And so by and large I try to stay out of state issues and leave those to the governor, leave those to the state legislature. and I'm confident we've elected good men and women who can handle them."

On running for reelection:

"My view of elections is real simple. There’s an old adage: you either run scared or unopposed and until I am the latter, I'm gonna do the former. And so we're going to run hard and I'm working every day to continue to earn the support, earn the trust of Texans. My job is to stand up and fight for 27 million Texans. "

Written by Beth Cortez-Neavel.

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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