Editor’s note: Below is the video and transcript of Senator Ted Cruz’s speech at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Texas Weekend. The inaugural event took place May 3rd-5th at the Las Colinas Resort in Dallas, Texas.
David Horowitz: We need leaders like Ted Cruz. And that’s why we are honored to have him on the platform today. (applause)
Ted Cruz: Thank you. Thank you very, very much. Thank you very, very much. It is great to be joining you all this evening. You know, I will observe, David, Washington is a strange, strange place. People are very, very surprised when you actually go there and do what you said you were going to do. (laughter)
I want to start by observing for all of you non-Texans, I apologize that Louie Gohmert is so soft-spoken. (laughter) That he has no opinions or courage or willingness to charge into the fray. And no sense of humor whatsoever. For the love of God, tell a joke once, Louie. (laughter)
I will point out that he described being mistaken for James Taylor. I haven’t had that experience. (laughter) But I have, in fact, been on an airplane once when a page went over asking for Tom Cruise to please come up.
And I walked up fairly sheepish. I said, “I’m — I think maybe you’re looking for me.” (laughter) You have never seen so many disappointed flight attendants. (laughter) Yes, it was, they’re just, like, “Oh.”
And I have to admit, Louie, your story of your five-year-old also remind me or Caroline, our eldest, who’s five. And in the course of the senate campaign there was one Saturday morning about 6:30 in the morning. And I was at home in the bedroom and I was on the phone doing a radio interview.
And Caroline came bursting into our room to come play with mommy and daddy. And Heidi, my wife, ran over and grabbed Caroline, pulled her out and said, “Not now, sweetie. Not now. Daddy’s doing a radio interview.” Caroline crossed her arms and she said, “Politics, politics, politics. It’s always politics.” (laughter) So, Louie, I feel your pain. (laughter)
And, you know, Bill, I have to say the Star Wars analogy at the end I thought was really quite compelling and I’m really waiting for the next presidential cycle when we can put Bill on national television and have him do a Jedi mind trick. (laughter) These aren’t the candidates you’re looking for. (laughter)
And I will confess as I sat there, I had an image suddenly of Jimmy Carter saying, “Barack, I am your father.” (laughter) And let me say additionally, the host of this gathering, David Horowitz, is a man who is utterly fearless. (applause)
And that is a very, very rare commodity. You know, David reminds me of a Texan, Chuck Norris. (laughter) Now, some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas. (laughter) And Chuck Norris wears David Horowitz pajamas. (applause)
But David is someone who understands we’re fighting to take our country back. He understands the severity of the threat in significant part because he’s been on the other side.
You know, we were visiting over dinner about how couple of months ago Jane Mayer in The New Yorker Magazine wrote a nasty hit piece. And David knew about that because he’s had a nasty hit piece written on him by her as well. Where she recounted that some time ago I’d talked about the fact that Barack Obama was four years ahead of me at Harvard law school.
And I made the point that when he and I were both students there were more Communists on the Harvard law school faculty than there were Republicans. There were quite a few who were self-described Marxists.
And she wrote this as a sensational, horrible Joe McCarthy has returned because this is terrible. And then the media all went crazy. I have to admit, our response in our office is we put up on Facebook a clip from Casablanca that MSNBC is shocked, shocked to discover there are Marxists at Harvard. (laughter)
I’m just impressed they think it’s a bad thing. (laughter) Hey, that’s making real progress. If they’re running away from it, I am glad of it. My favorite was actually this obscure blogger that was attacking me and said, “Cruz just doesn’t understand the difference between Marxist and Marxian.” (laughter)
I confess that is correct. I have utterly no idea what the difference is between Marxist and Marxian. And I would welcome anyone to make that argument to the American people.
I want to thank you all for being here. I want to thank you all for being engaged in the fight to turn our country around because it is — we are facing enormous perils. We are facing enemies abroad and at home.
And everyone’s here because we love this country. We love what the United States of America has meant for the world. And we are committed to doing everything we can to preserving this nation as a bacon — beacon of freedom to the world.
What I want to talk to you all tonight about is three different things. Number one, defending national security. Number two, preserving US sovereignty. And number three, restoring growth and opportunity.
Let’s start with national security. The major focus of this gathering. We have all sorts of challenges. We have a challenge that you all have done a terrific job examining. The challenge of radical Islamic terrorists.
And what a sad statement that we are living in a country where the president of the United States is unwilling to utter the words radical Islamic terrorist. You’re not going to win a war on terror if you’re not aware you’re fighting a war on terror.
And we have perils across the globe. We have number one the nation of Iran which I think may well pose the greatest national security threat to this entire country as Iran is proceeding by all appearances headlong towards developing nuclear weapons capacity.
And a nuclear Iran poses, in my opinion, an existential threat to this nation and to the nation of Israel. And if there’s one principle we have learned from history it’s that bullies and tyrants don’t respect weakness. The only thing they respect and understand is strength.
And one of the things that is so concerning about this president’s foreign policy is that I think it is hard to imagine that the Iranian leaders are doing anything but scoffing at the prospect of any serious repercussions from their proceeding to gaining nuclear weapons.
That is extraordinarily dangerous not just for what it would do for the region. Because once Iran acquired nuclear weapons we would immediately see proliferation throughout the region. And that’s just what we need is a bunch of nations with unstable governments and major radical Islamic elements in their society have nukes throughout the Middle East.
But it also exponentially increases the chances that those weapons would tragically be used against the nation of Israel or the nation of the United States. There are only two places those weapons would be used.
A second threat that has been driven home recently is you look at North Korea. North Korea’s a nation that has nuclear weapons. It is a nation whose leader is explicitly and openly drawing up targeting plans to launch those nuclear weapons to US cities.
One of the cities they targeted was Austin. (laughter) I have to admit, I was speaking at a gathering in Austin and someone from Austin observed that it must’ve been a mistake. They could not have meant to target the People’s Republic of Travis County. (laughter)
But, you know, look it is easy to make light of this. Because we don’t think they have the technology to miniaturize their nukes and put them on an ICBM and get them here. So they probably can’t do that. Isn’t that comforting?
Although, again, our intelligence services are disagreed on that. So some of our intelligence services think in fact they can do it. Others in the intelligence community think they can’t. So there’s a reasonable disagreement.
But think of the consequence. We have an unstable new leader who we don’t understand publicly declaring hostilities and an intention to target and potentially fire nuclear weapons at US cities. These are dangerous times.