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Ted Cruz, Joined in Progress

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Ted Cruz right now has a presser going on. Mike, are our microphones at this Cruz press conference? He's really hammering Trump pretty good here and Rubio as well. We spent a couple minutes here, do we have our -- I'm just springing this on our broadcast engineer. He didn't even know this was coming. Do we have a way of JIP'ing this? Oh, you do? Let's listen a little bit. It's been going on for a while, so I don't know where we are in this, but here's just the flavor of it.

CRUZ: But let's be clear. That's what they said on television. Their national anchors said it was highly significant and highly unusual. Now, their defense, the news networks' defense, is they point to a tweet from an individual reporter that day which was to the contrary. Well, no offense to the many good reporters here, but on Election Day our campaign was not sitting with bated breath following every tweet coming from every reporter. We did have --

RUSH: Take this down for a second. I just want to explain. He just got finished hammering Trump on the belief that Trump will in no way nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court, and he was explaining why. Now, obviously he got a question about the Ben Carson tweet, the CNN tweet following Iowa. Okay, back up to it.

CRUZ: Here's the important piece. What that network reported was true and accurate. In fact, Mr. Carson did not go on to South Carolina, he did not go on to New Hampshire, he went home to Florida. The first public event he did in either South Carolina or New Hampshire was the day before the New Hampshire event. So what they reported was true and accurate, and passing on a public news report that is true and accurate is not remotely unethical.

And I would note it is particularly rich that the Rubio campaign is attacking us on this, given that there had been public reports that the Rubio campaign was doing the exact same thing. Now you know what, it wasn't unethical of the Rubio campaign to pass on the public news reports any more than it was for staffers on my campaign. All of this is the product of candidates who don't want to talk about their own records. If you are a Republican candidate and you have a liberal record, if your record does not match the platform you are running on for president, then the last thing you want to talk about is your own record.

So what you do instead is you try to change the topic. You try to engage in insults and attacks. You try to go to the mud. You try to make it personal, because actually talking about the record is precisely what you don't want to do. For example, you know, one of Mr. Rubio's supporters was asked on a TV news program, "Name anything Marco has accomplished." He couldn't do so. Now, part of the reason he couldn't do so is the campaign didn't want to answer truthfully the biggest accomplishment Marco Rubio has had in his time in the Senate is passing the Rubio-Schumer amnesty bill through the US Senate.

It's not even close. Dwarfs everything else he's done. I would note in many ways the biggest accomplishment I've had in the Senate is defeating the Rubio-Schumer amnesty bill in the House and preventing it from passing into law. Now, I understand where Mr. Rubio's surrogates don't want to talk about that, because his record of joining with Barack Obama and pushing for amnesty is inconsistent with what they're saying on the record and on the campaign. But campaigns ought to be about issues and substance and record. And that's what our campaign has been about and it's what it will continue to be about.

RUSH: Ted Cruz press conference in South Carolina. We're JIP'ing for a minute here.

REPORTER: -- you call him a friend, you served with him, would you vote to confirm him (unintelligible) -- President Obama?

CRUZ: I would not. I have been very clear that the Senate should not confirm any nominee in a lame-duck session. It's been 80 years since the Senate has confirmed a Supreme Court nominee who was nominated during an election year, and particularly when the court hangs in the balance, it makes no sense whatsoever to give Barack Obama the power to jam through a judge in the final election year. We need to make --

REPORTER: -- a judge that you voted for and was unanimously confirmed?

CRUZ: Voting for a candidate for DC circuit is very different from confirming someone to the US Supreme Court. And I believe we should make 2016 a referendum on the US Supreme Court. If the Democrats want to jam in a liberal judicial activist to undermine the First Amendment, to undermine the Second Amendment, to take away our religious liberty, we should make that an issue for the American people. In just a few months the American people are gonna get to vote, and I'll tell you, Katie, I cannot wait to stand on that debate stage with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and make the case that their vision of the Supreme Court, their vision of the Constitution is fundamentally inconsistent with the vision of the American people. If they want to put --

REPORTER: -- start 11 months before the new president takes office. A lame duck --

CRUZ: Todd, those are the president's talking points but it is in fact the case that when the Democrats were there Chuck Schumer said they shouldn't confirm Supreme Court justices for 18 months.

RUSH: Right.

CRUZ: Now, I understand their standard, "No, no, that's only Republican nominees."

REPORTER: What would your cut-off be?

CRUZ: We should not confirm a justice nominated during an election year, particularly with a lawless president who has undermined the Constitution at every stage.

RUSH: There you have it.

CRUZ: And we have an election. Let the people decide. That ought to be something folks in the press would stand for is letting the people decide.

REPORTER: -- president until 2016?

CRUZ: But the people also decided in 2014 they wanted a Republican Senate in large part because of the lawlessness of President Obama. Elections have consequences. We have a Republican Senate, and any Republican Senate would be foolish to confirm a left-wing Democratic nominee in an election year which has not happened for a nomination made in an election year in 80 years, and now is no time to start.

REPORTER: Senator, Apple is saying they won't comply with a court order to open up the San Bernardino shooter's phone?

RUSH: (laughing) What a gaggle of press. There you have it. That's Ted Cruz, and he was doing a press conference in Seneca, South Carolina. We JIP'ed it coming out of the commercial break at the bottom of the hour. During the commercial break at the bottom of the hour he was hammering Trump, he was just hammering Trump on Trump not being a conservative, not oriented toward conservatism and specifically related it to Supreme Court nominations.

He said there is literally no way that Trump would ever actively nominate a conservative to the Supreme Court. His theory was that the Republicans won't, either. He said the mind-set of the Republican Party right now is they don't want the fight. They don't want to roll up the sleeves. They don't want to invest the energy or the time. So what happens with Republican nominees to the court, they try to go out and find people with no record because that means they can't be attacked on the record by the Democrats, and it makes it easier. And his point was the Republicans are looking for the easy way out contrasted with the Democrats who try to find most radical leftist they can find and then search-and-destroy anybody who opposes him to get the guy or the woman confirmed.

He related this to Trump. He said (paraphrasing), "Now, Donald's gonna say I'm lying 'cause that's what Donald does. When you nail Donald on the truth of his record he comes out and calls you a liar." But he said, "I've looked at Trump and the people that he says he likes and supports in terms of judges to the court, and they're all liberal. So you have to believe," Cruz said, "that Trump's nominations to the court would be along the lines of the four libs that we have on the court now." That's what we missed, and I am recapping it for you, that portion of the press conference that took place during the bottom-of-the-hour break here.

It just happened, folks. Fox didn't carry that; CNN did. I don't know if MSNBC did. But our microphones are wherever the action is and we were able to join it in progress for the portion that you heard.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: We have a couple of sound bites from Ted Cruz from the press conference that we joined in progress in the last half hour. There was a portion of it we missed in commercial break, and I have two sound bites from that portion. Here's the first...

CRUZ: Mr. Trump has sent me a legal cease and desist letter saying (summarized): "Stop telling the voters my record." Now, that is objectively legally frivolous. I will make that point. I will point to substance and policy and record. That should be the bread and butter of politics. But the insults and the falsehoods and the fabrications have no business in politics. It is incumbent on all of us to speak the truth. I can't change what the others do, but I can change and impact what I do, and we are gonna continue to focus on substance and issues. My record and the record of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and the other candidates.

RUSH: And here's the next bite...

CRUZ: If Donald ever became president, we know for a fact he would not invest any political capital in confirming a proven conservative justice. Why? Because for four decades he's been supporting left-wing Democrats, writing them checks, many of whose core mission was preventing conservatives from getting to the court. But even if you take Donald at face value, that he had a transformation on the Second Amendment like he claims he's had on every other issue, even if you believe him on that, there's no reason whatsoever to think he would spend the political capital needed to appoint a conservative, which means the only reasonable inference is Donald would go for the stealth candidates other Republican presidents have, and they have turned out to be disasters on the court over and over and over.

RUSH: So those are the two primary things he said during the commercial break we had at the bottom of the hour where we missed, when joining in progress, the Ted Cruz press conference in the last hour.

END TRANSCRIPT