tv Conservative Political Action Conference - Sen. Ted Cruz CSPAN February 23, 2018 4:30am-4:53am EST
and north korea we could've touched on so many things. i want to thank our panelists for laying out the core national security threats for the united states. and thanks to all of you for supporting. my thanks to ambassador bolton, ser.lle davidson and dr. jas >> the conservative political action conference continues at secretaryeastern with perry, secretary zinke he. and here on c-span, we will join president trump when he
addresses the conference along with kellyanne conway. can join our live coverage starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> texas senator ted cruz addressed the conference. he addresses legislation he cosponsored that he says would reduce gun violence. he also offered advice for expanding free speech on college campuses. this is 20 minutes.
>> all right. hello, cpac. >> and i love feedback. -- cpac. [applause] >> i want to thank you for taking the opportunity to talk to us. i know you are a big fan of the simpsons. >> we are immediately starting with deep policy. >> i believe you can learn about the policy by using the simpson's. for instance, when homer and lisa were having a conversation about gun rights in america. homer points out that guns are used for protecting your family and making sure that king of england does not push you around. lisa's responses, it is actually a relic of the revolutionary war era and it does not mean anything anymore.
what do you think? >> i think the democrats of a -- i think the democrats are the party of lisa simpson and the republicans are happily the part -- party of homer, bart, maggie, marge. [laughter] >> the left today says the king of england does not going to come around and push us for there is no threats from tyranny. we do not have the kind of threats whether in the old west or something like that that we experience anymore. why cannot somebody do some thing for the children? that is essentially what we saw last night on cnn and what we have seen in the conversation about the guns. >> you mean last night's cnn infomercial? >> it was quite an effective one. >> it is an amazing thing and it is tiresome. every time you see a horrific crime, people in the media and
democratic politicians try to leave on it to advance their agenda. their agenda is to strip second amendment rights from law-abiding citizens. diane feinstein was very candid saying, "if i can say mr. america give me your guns, i will." that is where they want to end up. one of the biggest cheer lines last night was about confiscating guns. that is where they want to end up. it is profoundly unconstitutional but it also does not work. every person who saw the shooting in parkland, it is horrifying. if you are a parent, it is nothing more horrific than imagining some madman hurting kids.
but it is perfectly reasonable to have a conversation -- what can we do to stop this sort of mass crime? that is a good conversation to have. the left's answer is always, always strip the second amendment rights for law-abiding citizens. here is one of the many problems, it does not work. if you look where cities have the highest gun control laws, they also have the highest murder and crime rates. you want to see crime take off? disarm law-abiding citizens. on the flipside, if you want to stop crimes, target violent criminals. going after them like a town of bricks and putting them in jail -- that is what we need to be doing. [applause] >> i am not on twitter right now but i do wonder if the five minutes we have started, chris, has tweeted whether you are afraid to come on his talk show. >> i'm quite certain in the history of the universe, nobody
has ever been afraid of chris cuomo. [laughter] >> i do want to ask you. the president has proposed a ban or re-categorization of bump stocks and also those teachers who choose to carrier have a military background, etc., there are more than 60 million americans with a concealed carry permit, they are to -- they ought to be about to carry in the classroom. what do you think? >> i think it makes perfect sense that if teachers want to exercise their right to keep arms, it will only make schools safer. i do not think you should make teachers do that, but if a teacher is comfortable, that is
a good thing. [applause] >> there is a lot we can be doing. this pattern plays out. we are in washington, lots of politicians want to do something. whenever something bad happens, there is an urge to do something but there's very little focus on what the something is. when i was elected in 2012, i showed up in 2013 and shortly after we saw the horrific shooting in newtown, connecticut. it was horrifying. republicans were falling all over themselves scared and you had chuck schumer and democrats saying, now we are going to pass massive gun control legislation. we beat that. i was a brand-new senator and happily led the fight against that but we did not beat it with nothing. we beat it with an alternative.
i offered legislation that was known as the grassly-cruz legislation. it targeted bad guys. on school funding, grassly-cruz had $300 million for school safety funding. the obama administration of cut -- had cut millions of dollars from school safety. be had 52 senators -- we won 9 democrats but harry reid and the democrats filibustered grassly-cruz so i did not pass. -- so it did not pass. they demanded 60 votes. if that had been there, that might have resulted in an armed police officer at the parkland high school which could have made a difference in intercepting that madman and stopping before he murdered those teens. [applause] >> this is a question not so much about guns as government competence. one of the lines we use a lot in the federalists is considered
the possibility that we are led by idiots. >> more than a possibility. [laughter] >> talk to me for a moment about our nation's law enforcement particularly the fbi. we had multiple reports, clear, convincing things that should have been looked at both by local law enforcement and by the fbi that should have triggered a response before this happened. do we have a basic competence problem with anything agencies and how can we solve it? >> there were a lot of red flags in a row and a lot of warning signs. there were calls after calls and reports after reports in both local law enforcement and the fbi failed to act on the information. law enforcement has a hard job. we have seen in terrorist attacks in the past when there's a lot of information on the front end. i will give you an example. a few month ago, texas suffered our own mass murder in
sutherland springs. it is the worst church shooting in the history of the country. i was down the day after the shooting. i stood in the sanctuary. the sanctuary is not much bigger than this stage. it is a small country church. that madman fired over 450 rounds -- you had shattered glass, shattered wood, your church pews overturned, the most horrific thing i've ever seen. if you look at sutherland springs, say how can that stop from happening. the shooter there -- it was illegal for him to buy a gun -- twice over. he was a convicted felon and the convicted of domestic violence. both of those make it illegal. why's that he had those weapons?
because the air force under president obama did not report his conviction to the database. you cannot run a background check. the grassley-cruz legislation i introduced would have directed the attorney general to make sure they report criminal convictions, get them in the database, and not only that, when the shooter and sutherland springs went to buy his gun, he lied on it twice. he checked that he had no felony convictions and no domestic violence convictions. both of those lies were crimes. those are separate felonies. the department of justice did not prosecute felons and fugitives who lied on their forms and try to illegally by guns. in 2010, 48,000 felons and fugitives try to illegally by guns. the obama administration prosecuted 44 of them.
what did grassley-cruz do? it created a gun crime task force in the doj, it said that you are prosecute or put him in jail. that law would have been on the books, the conviction would have been in the database and the women prosecuted and in federal prison -- he would have been in the database and prosecuted in federal prison. we can stop these by going after criminals. [applause] >> the new york times this past week had a piece about people who were squeezed by all gone -- by obamacare. one of the things they were talking about were, on the one hand, we have these people who cannot afford the premiums because they are making too much money to be on medicaid and then we have these people on medicaid who are forced to go to the equivalent of nick riviera. [laughter] you have tried the best, now tried the rest. what can be done in the circumstance to actually provide
some relief to the families given that apparently, the republican promise about repealing and replacing obamacare is not something they are interested in living up to? senator cruz: few things have been as frustrating as republicans coming short on obamacare. we had a lot to be gratified for. when we started the year with a republican president and majorities in both houses, the four big priorities were tax reform, regulatory reform, obamacare and judges. tax reform in december was phenomenal. cutting taxes. we have seen over 4 million people getting pay raises and bonuses. the economy is moving forward in an unambiguous way. regulatory reform has been one of the greatest successes of the trump administration. almost every agency lifting job killing regulations. i hear every day from small
business leaders. another tremendous success. obamacare remains the biggest unfinished commitment but it is worth noting two things. number one, as a part of tax reform, we appealed the obamacare individual mandate. [applause] that is a big deal and back in atober of last year, i and handful of conservatives began urging the senate as part of tax reform, let us take out the individual mandate. when we started, we had virtually no support. maybe a half-dozen senators. republicans said -- we tried with obamacare and we came up short so let us not muck up tax reform by bringing up obamacare. i understood that sentiment. we made the case that the every year the irs fines 6.5 million
people because they cannot afford health insurance. a million of those roughly are themxas and roughly 50% of earned $50,000 or less. you are a single mom, working two jobs and you're not even making $25,000 a year. you cannot afford health insurance because premiums have skyrocketed. and to add insult to injury, the irs finds you. tois what led bill clinton call obamacare one of the craziest things in the world. about the only time i agreed with the clinton, other than about hillary. [applause] i am going to get in trouble for that one. >> you just might. [applause] >> repealing the individual mandate provides real tax relief for the 6.5 million people being
find by the irs. i am committed to continuing to roll up my sleeves and working to get 50 republicans together on the same page and honor our promise and repeal the disaster that is obamacare. [applause] did -- bill clinton clinton did want to go to wisconsin and she did not listen to him them. -- to him then. when it comes to looking at the state of the conservative movement after the first year of this president, one of the things i am curious about from your perspective is how much conservatism is healthy versus sick. the hit that i heard from a lot of people, many of who might be here today, up against president trump, before he became president was that he was going to reduce conservatism to the smallest portion.
he will not the governing that way. you might even use sideshow bob's tagline. he will rule you like a king. why do you think it has turned out differently? do you think conservatism now is healthier than it was a couple of years ago? truth isruz: i think eternal. i think freedom is always right. is one have seen in 2017 substance, the record of delivering has been remarkable. [applause] last were long periods year, in the summertime and spring when all of us were frustrated -- are the clowns that call themselves republicans going to manage to get their act together and do anything?
there was a good chunk of last year where the clear answer -- where the answer was not clearly yes or no. by the end of the year, you look at the tax reform bill, the individual mandate, regulations, judges -- neil gorsuch is a home run. [applause] 12 federal court of appeals judges, the most in the first year of a presidency in history. [applause] barack obama had four. we had 12. and for all of us that cherish the constitution and the bill of rights, the first amendment, the second, the fundamental liberties of americans, judges are front and center. one of the great victories of the tax reform bill was expanding college 529 savings plans so you could also say for
k-12 education. -- save for k-12 education. when you walk down the halls of the capitol, reporters inevitably inundate you and their questions are never about substance. i have a standard rule of thumb. i will not comment on tweets and i have nothing to say about the scandal du jour. you want to talk about policy, second amendment, judges -- and a substance but i will not worry about the political circus that is washington and i think the american people are very happy with the results we are getting and we need to keep producing those results. think there is an interesting experience that i am sure a lot of people in this audience have had, particularly
the younger people, those going to college currently. it is very difficult in this day and age to live boldly, as someone who is a conservative believes, within the public square. if you could come up if some advice to those folks in the audience today who have to endure the air rose -- the arrows of those around you. what helps you in that environment? senator cruz: i love cpac. what i love the most is all of the young people. cpac is about young people. why is it that so many young people come to cpac? because it is about liberty. i called young people generation freedom. everyone who is at some college that is run by a bunch
of 1960's hippies who are imposing some draconian speech code -- [applause] [cheering] senator cruz: let me say to all of the young people, speak the truth, spread the fire of liberty. what young person with any sense wants to live with big government with washington controlling everything about you? what we are about is liberty. we believe you should have the right to decide. what school you go to. what dr. you go to. what health care you have. the internet should be free. no taxes, no regulation. that is a message that resonates with young people. freedom works.
applause]d >> thank you, everyone. [applause] >> the conservative political action conference continues at 8:35 a.m. eastern with rick , and, ryan zinke congressman mark meadows. we will bring you those comments live on c-span two. and we will join president trump as he addresses the attendees along with kellyanne conway, linda mcmahon and occupied. you can join our live coverage starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.