(CBSDFW.COM) – Ted Cruz made national headlines when he beat Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican run-off for U-S Senate here in Texas.
Now, he will be in the national spotlight during prime-time tonight when he addresses the Republican national convention.
In a satellite interview, Mr. Cruz told me his message will be directed to everyone, not just Republicans. “That message is that our country this November faces a fundamental choice. A choice between continuing down the road of Obama Democrats more and more spending, more and more debt, and more and more government control of the economy in our lives, or getting back to the founding principles of our country to limited government to free enterprise.”
JACK FINK: “What do you think Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan need to do to connect with voters out there, not only Republicans and conservatives, but undecideds too?”
TED CRUZ: “I think what Governor Romney and Paul Ryan need to do, I think what they are doing is focusing on the economic and fiscal challenges facing this country. The sad truth is the Obama policies don’t work. They’ve left 23 million people out of work, they’ve left crushing debt that threatens our kids and grandkids. Americans love freedom, they don’t want a hand out from government. They don’t want to be dependent on government. They want to get government to do its fundamental responsibilities, and other than that, stay out of the way and allow the private sector, allow small businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive.”
President Obama has, in turn, called Republicans extreme, on everything from taxes to illegal immigration.
JACK FINK: “Since your victory over Lt. Governor Dewhurst, Texas’ Democratic Party chairman called you the anti-Latino Latino. How do you react to that?”
TED CRUZ: “It is not surprising that the other side is going to throw every insult they can. They can level all the vitriol they want, really. That’s been the pattern of this election. That’s a pattern with the Obama Democrats. They want to divide us. They’ll attack, they want to be divisive and the reason is they don’t want to talk about the challenges this nation faces.”
JACK FINK: “Many Republicans though say in fact the Republican party needs to be more welcoming to Latinos if the party wants to continue to thrive in the future. What do you make of that, do you agree with that?”
TED CRUZ: “I think that is simply not the case. I don’t doubt that Democrats in Texas and nationally, are going to try to do everything they can to frighten the Hispanic community. What I can tell you is the Hispanic community is profoundly conservative. The values that resonate in our community are faith, family, values, patriotism, hard work, individual responsibility, the American dream. And those are conservative values.”
Mr. Cruz says after his bruising primary, he has had “terrific conversations” with Dewhurst, and Governor Rick Perry who supported Dewhurst.
He says he has also spoken with Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison who is retiring at the end of the year and whose seat will open.
Cruz says the Republican Party in Texas and nationally is coming together saying, “Because at the end of the day, the stakes are too high to do anything else.”
Cruz says it’s crucial that Republicans at the convention and in Texas unite –the stakes are too high, he says, not to.
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