Conversation with the Candidate: Cruz

Olivia Zink on June 08, 2015
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz responded readily to an AFSC question about ending crony capitalism at last week’s WMUR-ABC “Conversation with the Candidate.” "Taking on crony capitalism is critical," Cruz said.

MINUTE 23.58

Olivia Zink: Giant corporations have seen unlimited access to buy insider access and influence to Congress.What will you do to prevent crony capitalism from corrupting our government and economy?

Ted Cruz: Look that is the fabulous question and you are exactly right. I talked before about the bi-partisan corruption and it’s a real problem. We are having a debate over the Ex-Im Bank. I thought that it was interesting that Hillary chose to come to NH and declare her support for the Ex-Im Bank, which is a crony capitalist exhibit A of a government program that benefits a handful of giant corporations that have lots of lobbyist and support politicians. I do not think that makes any sense, one of the reason that there has been rocks thrown at me from both Democrats and Republicans.

Look here how Washington works, you want to cut a bi-partisan deal, you sit down in a room and we say will spend for your project, your project, your project, your project a trillion dollars and we are done. That’s how you get an 18 trillion dollar debt. I think we have to fundamentally change it and taking on crony capitalism is critical.

Let me give you an example, of that a couple of months ago I was in  Iowa, you all have heard Iowa has a role in this process as well. There was an Agriculture summit, huge summit about 1,000 people and most of the Republican candidates came there and the central purpose of the summit was to ask everyone their views on ethanol mandates. And every single Republican candidate that was there pledged their support for federal ethanol mandate, except me. I said, listen, I support ethanol. I support bio-fuels. I think we should have all of the above when it come to energy but it shouldn't be the federal government picking winners or losers. It shouldn't be the federal government picking one player over another and I filed legislation to phase out the federal ethanol mandate.

Now when I said that I didn’t know if I would be booed and they would throw tomatoes at me. This was a gathering of the largest ethanol producers in the state.  What I went on to say is, listen, I recognize that a lot of you are would much rather I said something different on this. A lot of you would rather I said, I am for the ethanol mandate forever and ever amen. But every one of us has seen politicians who go to one group and tell them one thing and go to another group and tell them another thing and we know what happens, they go to Washington and don’t do what they said they were going to do. And I told them, just like I told you all a few minutes ago, the two things you can count on from me is that I am going to tell you the truth and I am going to do what I said I am doing to do. The room burst out in applause and when I left the stage I got a standing ovation, from the biggest ethanol producers in the state, and the reason is people are fed up with the corruption and crony capitalism is the direct result of that, and the only way to stop it is to move the power in Washington back to the people, and that is fundmentally what this campaign is trying to do.

When we launched, the New York Times said Cruz cannot win because the Washington elites despise him. I kind of thought that was the whole point of the campaign. Listen if you think Washington is going great that everything is going fine and we just need someone to fiddle around the edges, not really change anything, keep the crony capitalism, keep growing government, keep the debt. If you think it is going well in Washington then I ain't your guy. But if you think we need fundamental change to break power out of Washington and back to we the people. That is what is at the heart of this campaign, so thank you for the question.

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