Chuck Todd Presses Cruz on Claim Conservatives Are Uniting Behind His Campaign
TODD: "Senator, I’m going to play that press conference clip to you because to me contrasts from what you just said. Here it is."
CRUZ: "Donald has had a long career of using get wealth and power trying to bully others. Whenever anyone points to their actual record, the response of both Donald Trump and Marco Rubio is to yell the word liar. Whenever anyone does as this ad does plays the actual words of Donald Trump on national television, his response is to yell louder. Their strategy is simply to yell liar, liar, liar."
TODD: "You did an entire press conference. It was some 30 minutes on Wednesday. You weren’t talking about the issues that you normally do talk about on the trail. You weren’t the happy warrior that you just described yourself as being. It seemed as if you allowed yourself to essentially let trump and Rubio so get under --"
CRUZ: "Oh, listen, chuck, I was then your skin that you focused on them and you’ve lost focus on your own message. and am now very much a happy warrior. Very much joyful. That press conference was simply to discuss the facts, was laying out the actual facts. Not engaging in character attacks myself, just putting out here are the facts, here are the evidence, and I noted, for example, that both of them were relying on fabrications. For example, Donald Trump tweeted out to the world a quote allegedly from senator Tom Coburn impugning my honesty. Within hours he came out publicly and said that quote was an utter fabrication. I said it’s really remarkable to see two candidates, trump and Rubio, making things up and putting things out for which there is no evidence and no basis. But listen, chuck, the important thing is we had an incredible evening last night. Last night what we saw happen in South Carolina, particularly when you put Iowa, new Hampshire, South Carolina together, two things have happened. Number one, there is now only one strong conservative in this race who can win. And we see conservatives continuing to unite behind our campaign. But number two, for anyone who doesn’t believe that Donald Trump is the best candidate to go head-to-head with Hillary Clinton in November, and that’s about 70% of Republicans nationwide who don’t think Donald Trump is the right guy, our campaign is the only campaign that has beaten Donald Trump and that can be Donald Trump. So what we’re seeing is we’re seeing Republicans coming to us in incredible numbers to go —"
TODD: "Senator, wait a minute, you finished third in a state with the highest evangelical turnout that we’ve seen yet. And you finished third. That sort of doesn’t support what you just said, that conservatives are coming together and rallying to your cause."
CRUZ: "So, chuck, our path to victory from the beginning was always do well in the first four states and then have a strong, strong night on super Tuesday coming up on March 1st. In Iowa everyone in the press said we couldn’t win, we won overwhelming victory in Iowa. In New Hampshire everyone in the press said a conservative couldn’t do well in a moderate new England state. We won a strong third there. And then in South Carolina we were effectively tied for second. A week ago Donald was 20 points ahead, we closed that gap. And what we saw there there were a number of very encouraging things, for one thing, we won young people in South Carolina. Our campaign was in first place with young people. By the way, we won young people in Iowa as well. And we were in second place with young people in New Hampshire. One of the things we’re seeing is young people who are optimistic who want a future, who want our constitutional rights, are coming to our campaign. And if you want to beat Donald Trump, you know, one of the clearest indications of who can beat trump is Donald spends every waking moment attacking me. He doesn’t attack other candidates because he E his campaign views us as the only real threat to him. And that’s why we’re seeing so many people come around and say, listen, we want a real conservative. We don’t want a Washington dealmaker who will support Democrats and cut deals to grow government. And give into the cronyism of corporate welfare."