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Chris Cuomo and Ted Cruz come to blows in shouting match on CNN

CUOMO: The book – the central thought – one vote, one seat, one judge can make a big difference. So can one voice speaking truth to power especially when it resonates like your own. Will you be that voice? Will you say, “playing nice with the Proud Boys is wrong”? 

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CRUZ: I’ve condemned the Proud Boys long ago, I think white supremacists, Klansmen, Nazis are ignorant, bigoted morons. I also think that the American people care about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They care about the Supreme Court. There’s a big reason the President was elected, there’s a big reason we have a Republican majority. This vacancy on the court, it’s the reason I wrote this book that’s released just this week because it focuses on the rights that are precious to so many of us. Free speech, religious liberty, the second amendment and how all of them hang in the balance. That issue matters enormously and for me it’s the most compelling issue. 

CUOMO: Absolutely. Now, I will exercise my rate and say, was the President wrong to go soft on the Proud Boys in the debate last night? 

CRUZ: Oh look, I wish he had been much clearer in his denunciation and I was glad today that he walked that back. 

CUOMO: No he didn’t. 

CRUZ:  I’m glad that he sought to walk it back. I’m glad his campaign sought to walk it back. But let me clear also. The press is completely hypocritical on this issue. 

CUOMO: Really? 

CRUZ: The press  is partisan in this regard. Ten years ago, 2010, Joe Biden gave a eulogy for Robert Bird who was a Klan Cyclops in the KKK That’s 10 years ago. 

CUOMO: You’re really going to go with that? I know you’re a master debater. Professor Dershowitz  tells me you were the smartest student he ever had at Harvard Law. You’re going to go with that weak a** argument here? Bird, who had a complete enlightenment about how hate was wrong. Who changed his life. Who spoke about it, who changed his ways. 

CRUZ:  Chris, have you ever eulogized a Klansman? I haven’t. Let me give you another example. 

CUOMO:  No, hold on. That’s your example, that’s your example. 

CRUZ:  I can give you a lot of examples. 

CUOMO: I don’t want you to run away from the premise. Senator. I’m not you but I’m not a fool either. He did it in Charlottesville, he did it with David Duke. The old Ted Cruz – who he called ‘Lyin’ Ted’  and insulting your wife and your father – tweeted “You’re better than this Mr. President”. What happened to that Ted? I don’t know if he changed, or if just you changed, Senator. 

CRUZ: Chris, I’m glad you take tips on insults from other folks. 

CUOMO: Really? Am I insulting you, sir? 

CRUZ: Oh yeah. 

CUOMO: How so? 

CRUZ: Yeah you are and you’re enjoying it. 

CUOMO: I am not enjoying it at all. I’m not enjoying anything about this except having an opportunity for you to say the right thing at the right time.

CRUZ: Chris, there was a time when CNN actually cared about being journalistic and talking about facts. Donald Trump broke you guys. You’re just… your entire show, your entire network now is just how much you hate Trump. 

CUOMO: Really? 

CRUZ:  I think a lot of people are interested in… you said in your opening that the president didn’t say anything positive about the country. Well I thought the most important moment of the debate last night was when the president made clear that Joe Biden’s policy agenda is shutting down the country, shutting down small businesses and shutting down schools. Our priority needs to be the economy, bringing jobs back, getting kids back in school and that’s a very different policy agenda. We have had an enormous economic impact from this pandemic. We need to restart the economy. The President and Joe Biden have very different visions. Joe Biden’s policies I think don’t work and hurt a whole lot of people. When I’m back in Texas, people in Texas don’t understand why the press is just like, the only thing you talk about is how much you hate the President. I get that the President is not your friend, fine. 

CUOMO: Ted, Ted.Senator, when you were in the campaign, do you ant me to read through some of the things that you said about Donald Trump? You want to talk about somebody who had a chance to talk about policy but just stuck with the person? Nobody did it more than you did. That’s why he gave you the nickname he did and beat you down with it. The idea that you are going to put that on the media… my brother you are the one who went on Twitter about my naked a** but you won’t tell him when he’s being an a**. Why would you put it on me? 

CRUZ: Chris, fine. You hate the President.

CUOMO: I do not hate the President. You are too smart to say something that stupid. I respect him as President, I want better for this country, and frankly I want you to speak to that as well. You can’t say we have a policy difference over closing down the country…

CRUZ: Chris, please don’t interrupt every sentence. You are behaving like you were one of the debaters last night. We can have a respectful conversation and speak to each other civilly or you can yell at me.

CUOMO: Senator, how many times have I invited you on the show? 

CRUZ: One time, you tweeted out “Cruz is dodging my show” literally as I was on Fox and Friends, you invited me, you attacked me….

CUOMO: 20 times

CRUZ: …and by the way I did a 15 minute interview with CNN that day 

CUOMO:  I didn’t attack you. I just asked you to come on the show and you said, “I just did one with CNN”. Every show is different. 

CRUZ: You literally put me on the screen and said, “Ted is afraid to come on.” And you invited me while I was on Fox. Let’s actually talk about substance…

CUOMO: 20 times

CRUZ: I don’t think you’re listening 

CUOMO: You’re here right now 

CRUZ: I’m here right now… Chris, let’s actually talk about substance. 

CUOMO: Good! Why do I care? Because you said the most important part of last night was when he talked about the timing of who shut down the economy and when 

CRUZ: No not the timing. What the solution is right now. 50million Americans have lost their jobs. They want to go back to work. Small businesses want to go back to work, restaurants want to open up, movie theaters want to open up… people want to be able to provide for their families

CUOMO: They should 

CRUZ: Moms want their kids to go back to school 

CUOMO: Dads too! Not just moms. Dads care too. 

CRUZ: Absolutely. 

CUOMO: You know why it can’t happen? You know why it as wrong for him to tell your governor he was doing the right thing when he wasn’t, and he had to learn the hard way? Same in Georgia. Same in Florida. Testing, Ted.  Testing. 

CRUZ: I am a huge proponent of testing. 

CUOMO: The federal government and the President has slow walked it sir. 

CRUZ:  I get that your show wants to attack Texas, Florida and Georgia because they have Republican governors. We have also had much, much lower death rates than many other parts of the country. And it’s political, the attacks you’re making. I think what we should be focused on, yes testing, I am a big proponent of testing. 

CUOMO: Why don’t we? 

CRUZ:  We need to go back to work. 

CUOMO: Why don’t we do the testing so people can go back to work? Why don’t we do the testing so kids can go back to school? 

CRUZ: I’ve introduced legislation to create a tax credit  for employers to test employees on a weekly basis. 

CUOMO: What happened with it? Why haven’t you guys voted on it? 

CRUZ: The Democrats are blocking voting on everything. They’ve filibustered multiple times. I don’t think either Pelosi or Schumer actually want anything to pass.

CUOMO: Did they read Green Eggs and Ham? By the way have you tried that one yet or… been saving that one for you. 

CRUZ: Chris, do you actually want to talk substance? 

CUOMO: We are talking substance. I just want to point out the hypocrisy when it’s there because the audience’s head stay on straight that way. Wait, this is the Green Eggs and Ham guy. Is he talking about filibustering? That’s what this sow is. But I have to tell you, to cheapen it by saying I want to take political shots about COVID. You know I had it, you know my wife had it, you my kid had it. You know I network with people all over this country who are still suffering with it.  You know I hate that kids aren’t in school. Or your staff should have told you, I talk about it every night. It couldn’t be less political for me. I don’t want people to get sick. 

CRUZ: Chris, if you attack Republican governors… let me say something.  There is something disgusting that Democrats are doing which Joe Biden does and you do, which is you try to blame the people who have lost their lives on your political enemies and that’s just… 

CUOMO: No. 

CRUZ:  It’s not right. It’s not right at all. 

CUOMO: No.I’m saying when 200,000 people die.. you don’t say “it is what it is”. 

CRUZ: It’s particularly not right when your brother has presided over  the state with the highest death rate in the country. 

CUOMO: New York will stand for itself. 

CRUZ: I know that your brother didn’t want those people to lose their lives but you shouldn’t play politics with… 

CUOMO: Oh that’s good. So you don’t think he intentionally killed them? That’s good. 

CRUZ:  Of course not. I do think we can have a very reasonable policy discussion about the policy mistakes in New York and New Jersey about sending COVID patients into nursing homes. I think that was a very serious policy mistake. 

CUOMO: Because that didn’t happen all over the country? That wasn’t the most vulnerable population? Texas, the place where the governor said that you didn’t need to test and need masks right? 

CRUZ: That’s just a complete fabrication. We test a lot. 

CUOMO: The place where he said we didn’t need to shut down then he had to turn around because cases popped up all over the place? That guy? 

CRUZ:  Was it a mistake when your brother implemented a policy that had nursing homes accept COVID positive patients and endanger the lives of… 

CUOMO: My brother was the first one to say there was a learning curve and mistakes were made and they changed things as soon as they could 

CRUZ: Well look then don’t be a hypocrite. 

CUOMO: I could ask you questions about only things that have to do with your family but I’m not going to do that because the general population matters more. 

CRUZ: Chris, I am talking about public policy that was a serious mistake 

CUOMO: Testing isn’t a public policy? 

CRUZ:  Chris, please, I’m not interrupting you let me actually get a sentence out without you interrupting… 

CUOMO: I think you’ve had many sir. I’ll show you the tabulation of who spoke more in the segment later. Go ahead.

CRUZ: Chris, this pandemic has been an enormous challenge across the country. I think Democrats and Republicans are trying in good faith to keep people safe but I think we can also have reasonable policy discussions about what works, a) to keep people safe but b) to get people back to work. This week Disney announced 28,000 lay offs. 

CUOMO: Did you see American Airlines? 

CRUZ: Now Disney is not a right-wing company. What’s interesting is they’re doing the layoffs in California because California shut down the theme park. They’re not doing the layoffs in Florida because Florida opened Disney World. It’s a clear contrast. 

CUOMO: So they’re laying off the people where they’re out of business and not the place  where they’re in business and you’re saying that’s political? 

CRUZ: No, I’m saying the policies of Democrats to shut the economy down are bad policies that hurt people’s lives. 

CUOMO: What do you do when people are getting sick, Ted, and you don’t test them and they don’t wear masks? 

CRUZ: You don’t send them into nursing homes. 

CUOMO: So the nursing homes was the sum total of the entire problem in the country? 

CRUZ: Well it led to New York having 33,000 deaths compared to Texas having 15,000 deaths and Texas has 50% more population than New York does. 

CUOMO: What about all the cases they had? And how many people got sick by the refusal to shut down businesses? You say you want to open then up but you won’t say how. You say you introduced a bill, but you won’t talk about the President and his failure. The testing has to be done at the federal level, Ted. You know this, you understand a little about state economics. You know the Governor can’t do it himself. 

CRUZ: Well actually Governors have taken the lead and have had much greater success. Texas record on every level is much much better than New York and New Jersey.

CUOMO: That’s not true. Look at New York’s numbers, the rate every day. My brother puts it out every day. They were the hub where people were coming. You want to celebrate China… you let in 40,000 people, they’d already gone to Europe. They went to the hub. 

CRUZ: It doesn’t trouble you at all that New York and New Jersey had the highest rates? 

CUOMO: Of course. It all troubles me, Ted! And to watch guys like you stand around and stroke your beard like a wise man instead of telling the President to get on it….

CRUZ: How about tell your brother to get on it!

CUOMO: Why don’t you talk to the president the way you talk to my brother? Are you scared of him? Are you afraid he’ll smack you down? 

CRUZ: Oh yeah, I’m terrified of the Cuomos. 

CUOMO: Not the Cuomos. I’m talking about the President. The one who called you a liar. The one who said your wife was ugly. That guy. The guy now who you won’t say anything about. 

CRUZ: You wonder why you don’t have a lot of Republicans who want to come on your show

CUOMO: I have more than any other show 

CRUZ: You yell at me…. you insult me 

CUOMO: I’m not yelling at you. I am raising your voice to match your own because you want to play games Ted. And people are dying. 

CRUZ: That’s OK Chris, you’re perfectly fine to scream and yell. 

CUOMO: And you don’t? 

CRUZ: I came on to talk about the Supreme Court, the book, and instead you just want to repeat insults over and over again 

CUOMO: Oh and you don’t? You just bring up my brother for half the interview because you’re such a fair guy? You’re straight down the middle. 

CRUZ: You were just playing in a biased way… when the death rates are markedly worse in some states than in others we have to ask  the question… 

CUOMO: Why didn’t the President help sooner? That’s the question 

CRUZ: You want to talk about the President specifically, Chris? You want to talk about the President specifically? Was it the right decision or the wrong decision when the President halted air traffic in and out of China? 

CUOMO: Right decision. Should have done it sooner. 

CRUZ: I agree with you on that. Joe Biden denounced it as racist and xenophobic and Nancy Pelosi…

CUOMO: No he didn’t. I’ll bet you he didn’t. I’ll bet you dinner Biden didn’t denounce it. 

CRUZ: He most certainly did

CUOMO: No he didn’t. You are right about Pelosi and it was a bad move… 

CRUZ: By the way Chris, your colleagues at CNN… this is sort of the talking point. Jake Tapper actually ran the Biden tweet… the New York Times who you just had Tom Friedman on had multiple articles saying it was a mistake

CUOMO: Well you heard what I just said

CRUZ: I agree with you now but the party didn’t say it then 

CUOMO: I’m not part of the party…. What the president said about the election. Senator, seriously really now, I am happy to joust but not when it’s existential. That’s why I come at you with the pandemic, for me, I don’t play politics with that. I’m a little insulted but… 

CRUZ: You’re not playing politics? 

CUOMO: I have Republicans on all the time who are willing to come back all the time 

CRUZ: You attack Texas, Florida and Georgia 

CUOMO: I point out those states…

CRUZ: Is there anything similar about those states? 

CUOMO: Please, Senator. You sound silly. I talk about people and how they are struck in those states all the time. I care about them and I want them to get better

CRUZ: You want them to be Democrats

CUOMO: I do it with the Democrats too! I do it with them too. Anybody who’s not doing the right thing… I talk about the kids in class as a national problem. But let me ask you this, the President has been hinting very strongly that if the election does not go his way, it will have had to have been fraudulent. If your state and the other states certified your results, as they always do, and say “no this is it. Our count’s legit” and the President says “no, not good enough for me. I don’t want a transfer of power.” What would you do? 

CRUZ: So, that’s not going to happen. There’s going to be a peaceful transfer of power. But let me just say something, I wish that the two political sides had conversation where we actually listened to each other. It was surreal listening to you and Tom Friedman talking about what Trump is going to do with the election. I think its projection. I think the one who’s going to challenge the election in all likelihood is Joe Biden 

CUOMO: Biden said last night he’d accept the results 

CRUZ: But Hillary Clinton told Joe Biden, under no circumstances should you concede defeat 

CUOMO: Who cares what she said? 

CRUZ: Now it’s interesting. Tom Friedman talked about Bush vs Gore. I was one of the lawyers who represented Bush… 

CUOMO: I remember

CRUZ: There’s a chapter in my book, One Vote Away, about elections and by the way it was Al Gore who challenged the outcome of that election. It took 36 days of chaos, it went to the Supreme Court twice, ultimately, it was resolved. The ballots were counted 4 times. It’s one of the many reasons why nine justices on the court and what my book does, I’d just like to say a second about it if I could…

CUOMO: I haven’t stopped you. Keep talking brother 

CRUZ: Before I was in the Senate I was a Supreme Court litigator….. I recognize that a lot of your listeners are of a different political affiliation than I am

CUOMO: Yep but I invited you anyway so please, finish your point

CRUZ: My point is if folks at home want to actually understand why so many millions of people are deeply concerned about protecting free speech and the Second Amendment and how those rights… how they hang in the balance what the book does it tells the inside story of what’s happening with the justices… we could find ourselves in November in the midst of nationwide litigation. I would encourage folks, if you want to understand the issues more, the book is a  helpful tool to understanding these issues and what’s really going on in the court

CUOMO: Good. I hope you speak up Senator if there’s an obvious political play   

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