Conservatives might say Sen. Ted Cruz did well today in his debate with NBC’s David Gregory, the “Meet the Press” host. It sounded like a debate, not an interview. In his most obnoxious sentence, Gregory lectured Cruz that his 21-hour speech was a complete flop: “You haven’t moved anyone.”
This, from the man who is so talented at persuasion that The Huffington Post reported “a trying few months for David Gregory's show, which has been seeing some of its lowest ratings in decades.” Gregory would not accept the idea that Democrats have taken a hard line and refused to negotiate. He lectured Cruz with a smirk and a raised eyebrow:
GREGORY: You make this argument as if there’s no broader context here. Obamacare has been legislated. It has been adjudicated. And it has been tested to the political system, and so let’s go through that. We had an election, where I heard the standard-bearer of the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, say Obamacare should be repealed. All the Republicans already voted against this thing when it ultimately passed. The Supreme Court upheld it.
And then you and your colleagues said, “Look, let’s have a strategy here of defunding Obamacare,” and you had people who signed a letter, and they said they joined you in that fight. But here you are now, you don’t even have the same number of folks who signed the letter, who voted with you in this effort. There are not protests in the streets arguing to do away with this law in the way that you’d like. Fifty-six percent in one poll this week, New York Times-CBS, said let’s uphold the law. So I’m focusing on results. Your goal, and results. Where have you moved anything?
CRUZ: Okay, look. The facts are becoming more and more clear, that Obamacare isn’t working. Every day that becomes more clear. There’s a reason the unions are jumping ship. One union after another is saying ‘let me out.’ There’s a reason James Hoffa, the president of the Teamsters, said he was writing on behalf of millions of working men and women – and he used millions, not hundreds, not thousands – and he said Obamacare was destroying their health care. Destroying is his word. Now why is it that Harry Reid and the Democrats are not willing to listen to millions of working men and women whose health is being destroyed.
GREGORY: You’re a terrific lawyer. You’re making an argument. I asked you a specific question based on the facts on the ground. You’ve made all these arguments. My goodness, you went and spoke for twenty-one hours to make these arguments. You haven’t moved anyone.
CRUZ: The American people overwhelmingly reject Obamacare. They understand it’s not working. The only people who aren’t listening to the argument are the career politicians in Washington. It’s Harry Reid, who wants to use brute political force.
And the great thing about the Constitution is it creates a system of checks and balances, and each branch has the ability to check another. President Obama, sadly, in implementing Obamacare, has over and over again disregarded the law. When he granted an exemption for giant corporations, that was contrary to law. When he granted an exemption to members of Congress, that was contrary to law. Right now, we have a system where the rich and powerful – those with connections to the Obama administration – they get spared some of the burdens of Obamacare. But those who are struggling – single moms, young people, and people who are just trying to make it – they don’t get the same treatment.
Gregory and his media buddies can’t like the spin that liberals are granting “giant corporations” and politicians breaks that the little people don’t get.