HH: On the night of the State of the Union, drama developing today as two Navy boats have ten American sailors in the custody of, you got it, the Iranians... What do you think the President should say about these Iranians and these sailors tonight?
TC: Well, Hugh, great to be with you, and Happy New Year to you as well. This is obviously late-breaking, and we’ll still seeing the developing facts. Certainly, our prayers right now are with the sailors and the families of the sailors. And I think what the President should say is that the sailors are coming home, and they’re coming home right now. Now I don’t know that he will say that. And the fact that Iran feels emboldened enough to capture two U.S. Navy ships and to take ten sailors into custody is really a demonstration of the unbelievable weakness of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy. We have a commander-in-chief where the bad actors in the world have learned that he will not stand up to them. Remember, this is the same Barack Obama who has sent Iran, or is trying to send them $150 billion dollars. And when you follow the path of appeasement, it only emboldens the bad actors. And our prayers are that these sailors are released, and they’re released quickly.
TC: (laughing) Well, listen, it is not a surprise that liberal Democratic activists, well, Laurence Tribe is a liberal Democratic activist. He is a hard-core Hillary Clinton supporter.
And suddenly, Hillary Clinton supporters are rushing out to support Donald Trump’s attacks directed at me. And it starts to make you think, gosh, why are Hillary’s strongest supporters trying to prop up Donald Trump? You know, the last couple of elections, we’ve seen that the Democrats have gotten the candidates they wanted to run against in the general election.
And right now, Donald is losing to Hillary by a pretty significant margin in the national polls, and I’m beating Hillary. And so we should expect liberal Democrats to continue echoing Donald’s attacks. I’m not going to engage in the back and forth, the insults.
On the merits, the legal issue, is straightforward. A child of a U.S. citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen. And the reason these attacks are happening is because other candidates, especially the Trump campaign, are getting nervous that conservatives are uniting behind our campaign. The campaign is turning more and more into a two person race between Donald and me, and they don’t like the fact that conservatives are coalescing, Evangelicals, libertarians, conservatives are all coalescing behind our campaign. If that keeps happening, if conservatives unite, we win...
...Under American law, I was a citizen the instant I was born. My mother was a citizen at birth. She was born in Wilmington, Delaware. And it is the act of being born that made me a U.S. citizen. I’ve never breathed a breath of air on Earth that I wasn’t an American citizen. I’ve never been naturalized. And when American soldiers are abroad, and they have children, their children are natural born citizens. That’s why John McCain was a natural born citizen, even though he was born in Panama. When American missionaries are abroad, their children are natural born citizens. That’s why George Romney, Mitt’s dad, was a natural born citizen, even though he was born in Mexico. And he ran for president in 1968. And likewise, Barry Goldwater, who was born in Arizona before Arizona was a state, was a natural born citizen, because his parents were citizens. And that’s American law under the Constitution and under federal statute. And as a legal matter, that’s the end of the matter.
HH: It is, and I want to repeat my challenge. There is not one single legal scholar of any reputation or status who has written in a peer-reviewed journal in a serious scholarly way anything other than what Senator Cruz just said. It is a non-issue. I’ll ask Reince Priebus about that later. Let’s get to some serious things. The State of the Union, Senator, we will hear the President talk about guns like we did last week.
...HH: Did the President reassure you that he understood either the Heller or the McDonald decision last week? Or will he tonight?
TC: Not remotely, and this is a president who has been the most anti-gun president we have ever seen. This is a president whose prior attorney general, Eric Holder, said he viewed his job as brainwashing Americans to oppose guns. And I’ll tell you, if Hillary Clinton is elected president, the next president will get one, two, three, maybe even four Supreme Court justices. If Hillary Clinton is president, the Supreme Court will reverse Heller, and the result of that will be they will conclude that no American has any individual right to keep and bear arms whatsoever.
As you know, the dissenters in Heller didn’t say that some gun control was permissible. They said that no individual has any right whatsoever, and the consequence of that is either any state or the federal government could make it a crime, a felony, for any law-abiding citizen to possess a firearm.
That’s where the Democrats want to go. It’s where Barack Obama wants to go. It’s where Hillary Clinton wants to go. And I’ll tell you, I’ve been proud to defend the 2nd Amendment. There’s a reason Gun Owners of America has endorsed me in the presidential race. There’s a reason the NRA gave me their Carter night freedom fund award for being one of the leading defenders of the 2nd Amendment in the country, which is that I have a proven record of defending our right to keep and bear arms, and that’s exactly what I’ll do as president....
...HH: Let me conclude our last couple of minutes, Senator Cruz, on national security. At the last debate, I was able to ask Donald Trump and Marco Rubio about our nuclear deterrent, and the fact that it’s a three-sided triad... Where would your priority be when it comes to strengthening those legs of that triad?
TC: Right, well, there’s no doubt that strengthening the nuclear triad is critically important. It was a very good question. I was glad you asked it, Hugh. Listen, all three legs of the triad are important. You rightly noted that our long range bombers are so old that if they were people, they would quality for Social Security. But I think of the three legs, the most important is our subs, the Ohio Class subs that are within a decade of ending their useful life. The subs are the most important for projecting power. They’re the hardest for the enemy to take out. And we need a replacement for the Ohio Class submarine. You’ve been really leading on this issue a long time, Hugh. And we need to improve all three legs of the triad, but if you were to pick a top priority of the triad, for me, it would clearly be our subs.
HH: And do you think this is an issue on which you will see daylight between you and Donald Trump as to capacity and ability to earn votes?
TC: Well, I do think the most important determination that the voters are making is who is prepared to be commander-in-chief, who has the knowledge, who has the experience, who has the judgment and clarity of vision and strength and resolve to keep this country safe. And it is certainly relevant to voters. Does a potential commander-in-chief know what the nuclear triad is, much less is he or she prepared and able to strengthen it and keep this country safe? And it’s certainly relevant does a commander-in-chief understand who our enemy is, radical Islamic terrorism, understand how to defeat it not just based on what’s said on Sunday shows on TV, but actually understanding the nature of the threat and what is required to defeat it? And I believe that’s one of the reasons why support has been growing behind our campaign is that more and more Americans are looking for a commander-in-chief who’s prepared to keep America safe. And as president, there will be no higher responsibility that I would have than to keep America safe.
The next presidential election will be about policy and, most importantly, the replacement of Supreme Court Justices.
I like Mr. Trump. I would support him if he were our candidate. But, unlike Mr. Trump, Ted Cruz has been a defender of the Constitution since his teenage years. When it comes to our Constitution, he is an originalist.
If you want to protect your Second Amendment rights, I'd highly recommend you consider Mr. Cruz. He's the only candidate who's advocated -- without ever wavering --- for our liberties since he was a very young man.
Hat tip: BadBlue News.