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[00:00:00]

President Biden promised us unity and healing, a lot of people expected moderation, circumspection from good ol sleepy Joe. Instead, what we have gotten is the most radical agenda of any presidential administration by my lights in American history. And we are not even halfway through the first hundred days. This is verdict with Ted Cruz.

[00:00:30]

Welcome back to Verdict with Ted Cruz, I'm Michael Knowles, thank you all for being with us. It is good to be with you again. Thanks to everybody who has subscribed on Apple podcasts, on Spotify, on YouTube, if you haven't already. We would very much appreciate your doing that as everybody is getting canceled these days up to and including Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, we fear that big tech could clamp down. So it'd be great to be with you and have you subscribe as well.

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Senator, I have to tell you, I wish I had a happy outlook on the first hundred days of this administration. It kills me to say this. I think we were right when we discussed on this show why people ought to fear the worst from President Biden.

[00:01:13]

Yeah, these have been dangerous times. But let me first of all say welcome back. It's been too long since we've done a better verdict. It's been too long since I've seen you. We had intended to do one last week. But but unfortunately, we discovered there are no TV studios in Cancun.

[00:01:30]

You know, Senator, I wasn't going to bring it up because some people have said that you ought to apologize. And I do think that you ought to apologize to me for not inviting me to Cancun. I'm very upset, but I'm sure that we'll be able to move on from this.

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Well, and as you know, in Cancun, smoking Cuban cigars is legal.

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So I owe you a double apology for leaving you where the products from from my family's homeland are prohibited.

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Yes, but I'm glad we could clear the air here, because it is it is very good to be back with you, even amid all this crazy turmoil here in the United States. There there actually, I don't want to just be too doom and gloom here. Yeah, because there actually has been some good news in some ways. I know that you and your colleagues have been stymieing some of the worst impulses of the Biden administration, particularly on the nominations.

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But I want to get the bad news out of the way first. Just even one single piece of legislation that's made its way through the House. The Equality Act seems to me that maybe the single most radical piece of legislation ever in American history. Am I wrong? Am I overreacting here?

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Well, give them time. They will pass even more radical stuff. And, you know, if I were to sum up the first 50 days of the Biden administration with three words, those words would be boring but radical. So so I think what Joe Biden is doing, that's smart. Is not making news. He's dull, he doesn't say much of anything and listen, after four years of of every day, Donald Trump driving the news 24/7, the latest tweet, the latest reporters breathlessly grasping their pearls.

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You know, I do think people kind of breathe a sigh of relief that that you don't wake up and wonder, what did the president say today? And I think Joe Biden is leaning into, say, as little as possible, be as boring as possible. But but that is very much a mask. It's a mask that is designed to hide the really radical agenda they're moving forward.

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If you look at the nominees they're putting forward, you look at the secretary of Homeland Security, Mayorkas, who said just a couple of days ago said there is no crisis at the border, none whatsoever, right in the midst of they're projecting over one hundred thousand unaccompanied children being detained at the border.

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And there is no crisis, no crisis because they've gone back to catch and release. And their view is, what's the crisis? We're letting everyone in. We're just not enforcing our laws. We're seeing that pattern replicated over and over and over again. The Equality Act would be profoundly damaging, damaging to Christian schools, damaging to churches, the government forcing anyone, regardless of faith, regardless of belief, to to.

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Embrace the left's definition of gender or rather lack thereof, and to do otherwise is to face serious and crushing legal penalties.

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That is, yeah, that that would be a profound transformation and a harmful transformation of our country. And yet it's all silently moving forward. You know, we're sitting here. It's it's Wednesday night when you and I are recording this.

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And tomorrow we're going to be taking up the so-called stimulus bill now the stimulus bill. Actually has nothing to do with stimulus, and it's a title that might as well have been picked out of the air, it's one point nine trillion dollars.

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Nine percent of which has to do with covid, nine percent, ninety one percent is not health spending concerning covid.

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And, you know, you think about last year, last year, we passed five different covid relief bills.

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Every one of them was bipartisan. Every one of them Republicans worked with Democrats, rolled up our sleeves, said, all right, let's work together on on assistance for health care workers.

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Let's work together on assistance for small businesses. Let's work together on vaccinations.

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Republicans are eager to do that again. Look, this covid crisis is real. You could easily achieve a bipartisan bill if the Democrats wanted to.

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But it says something about Joe Biden, zero interest in anything bipartisan. I think what we're going to see tomorrow is their intention is to ram this through with 50 Democrats and Kamala Harris breaking the tie. They don't want a single Republican vote. They probably won't get a single Republican vote.

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Because the bill is just a whole series of liberal wish lists that have nothing to do with covid, it's just pent up desire and in particular desire to take care of their political allies.

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And I think that's a cynical way to approach it.

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Senator, do you do you think, though, that Republicans are going to face any backlash knowing that the Democrats control the media? Do you think they're going to face backlash for not voting for a covid relief bill? You know, they're letting people hang out to dry amid this unprecedented crisis. I mean, will the Democrats succeed in any way at manipulating Republican voters, even if, you know, 90 percent or 90 percent plus of this bill is just pork for Democrats?

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Do you think that message will be effective at all?

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We'll see. There's no doubt the media will relentlessly shill for the Democrats because that's what they do now. They don't pretend otherwise.

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I do think you will see Republicans voting for significant covid relief tomorrow in the form of this is being brought up through the process called budget reconciliation, which we've talked about before.

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It it's it's the main exception to the filibuster rule. It's the main way you can pass legislation where you don't need 60 votes in the Senate. You can just do it with 50. One aspect of budget reconciliation is vote arama.

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We talked in an earlier verdict about Motorama unlimited amendments. That's by statute. And so normally the majority leader can shut down amendments. And we've seen, sadly, majority leaders in both parties do that. If you're using budget reconciliation, you can't shut down amendments. I expect a lot of amendments tomorrow night. I think it is likely we will go all night. I think we may go into the morning. We may even go further than that into Friday.

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I think there is a real anger among Republicans in the Senate at this bill, at you know, Joe Biden gave an inauguration speech talking about unity and bipartisanship. And he starts his administration by saying to half the country, go jump in a lake. Today, he called the twenty nine million people in Texas. He called us Neanderthal's. He's mad that Texas is open and so, you know, he just apparently we're cavemen, we're like in the Geico commercial and we're just we're just cavemen, you know, that's, you know, great job.

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They're unifying, you know? I mean, it it's it's reminiscent of Hillary calling calling half the country deplorable.

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It's it is a level of condescension. And if you look at this bill. All right.

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So the bill that passed the House had Chuck Schumer's bridge to Canada. Because apparently that somehow will help us defeat covid, the bill in the House had Nancy Pelosi's tunnel of love a tunnel in Silicon Valley.

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Do I want to know what that is? I don't this doesn't sound. It's not X rated. It's just it's just a boondoggle pork project that that Pelosi wanted to bring back to Silicon Valley has zero to do with covid, nothing at all. And actually, even with the media shilling for it was interesting. Pelosi blinked last night and pulled it out.

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So so it's interesting with just the tiniest bit of attention, you know, there's a provision in this bill that forgives loans.

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Two farmers from historically disadvantaged races now. It is explicitly race tied. And it has no income test, so if you are a rich farmer who happens to be African-American, happens to be Hispanic, happens to be Asian, your loans will be forgiven.

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If you are a poor white farmer. No soup for you. Of course, you're too privileged, but it's worse than that, it is explicitly race based. Not only are they forgiving it, the loans, do you know what? What rate? They're forgiving the loans at one hundred and twenty percent. That's literally written into the bill. One hundred and twenty percent if you are from an historically disadvantaged race or ethnicity. Look, we were talking about this at lunch and I turned around Johnson.

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I said I got to get me a farm.

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You know, I'm Hispanic. Hell, if they're if they're going to like a hundred and twenty percent, like I mean, it is laughable and indefensible. And the bill is filled with garbage like that.

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I want to get to just on this point, Senators, something you mentioned because I hadn't heard it put this way before, but I think it sums it up boring but radical. And it seems that the way that Joe Biden has gotten away with this kind of stuff is he doesn't really hold press conferences. He was asked today about the briefing he had on the border and all these migrants who are coming over. They said, were you briefed on the border?

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He said, yes. They said, what did you learn? He said a lot. And then he just kept walking and wouldn't answer.

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So it's very effective if you can have covered by the media and you can just sort of push these things through. People aren't going to look at it and you'll be able to get your agenda. But there have been times, as you note, where the minute that a little light is shed on this, in the case of Pelosi's pork spending or in the case of the nomination of Neera Tanden, a particularly radical nominee, Joe Biden's nominee for the Office of Management budget, the minute a little bit of light is shined on, all of a sudden Joe Biden has a much harder time pushing this agenda through.

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Well, so I actually take a different lesson from Neera Tanden. So Neera Tanden was nominated to be the head of the Office of Management and Budget. It's a cabinet position, very important cabinet position. And and I don't know Neera, but but apparently she was an activist and outspoken and led this political think tank shop. And she had this habit of tweeting hard partisan attacks at senators. And it seemed that she had criticized just about every senator. One of the senators she criticized all the time was Bernie Sanders, because she was a hardcore Hillary supporter.

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So she blasted Bernie constantly.

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She blasted Republicans. Mitch McConnell, I think she called Mitch Voldemort, which is pretty funny. She blasted Susan Collins. I mean, she she, you know, said Susan Collins is the worst.

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And and apparently she has nine pages of tweets about me.

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I knew she was not a fan of yours, Senator, but I. I didn't know it was quite that extensive, her commentary.

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So my first reaction is she's really not very good at Twitter because I don't think I've ever read a tweet she sent about me.

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And so and I'm on Twitter a lot. So so it says something like the only one I know the content of which Rob Portman, senator Republican from Ohio, read it at her hearing where she tweeted that that vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz. And so I hadn't seen it when she said it. But when Rob read it at the hearing, I laughed out loud not and I jumped on Twitter and said, you know, why is she being so mean to vampires?

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Yeah, that's outrageous. But what's interesting, what she went down for was not being radical. What she went down for, she'd criticized a bunch of senators, right? She'd sent some mean tweets. It is interesting, last week I did Hugh Hewitt's radio show. And you know, Hugh, he's a good guy. He's a friend. And interesting, it surprised me. Hugh pushed me on this and pressed me really hard to vote for Neera Tanden.

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And I was like, Really? Why? Like, what? What? And he was and he's like, well, the standard can't be that mean tweets makes you unconfirmable. And I actually had a bit of a constitutional debate with you where I said, you know, you're a constitutional scholar. You the the constitutional system provides for executive nominations to be made by the president, confirmed by the Senate. And it has been true since the very first Congress.

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That if you attack and blast a bunch of senators, you won't get confirmed like it's real simple. This is not actually a Twitter phenomenon. I promise you, in the George Washington administration, if you wanted to get nominated to the cabinet and you attacked a bunch of senators, they're going to vote against you that that you pressed me on.

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He said, well, she's not the worst of Biden's nominees. And I actually agree in terms of substance, Mayorkas, the DHS secretary, was much worse. He's been a radical. He's pushing for open borders. And I think the most indefensible nominee is Javier Becerra, who's been nominated to lead HHS Health and Human Services. And he agreed with me on that. And he said, well, maybe you should go to Manchin because the reason she went down is Joe Manchin said he wouldn't vote for Neera Tanden and he said, we'll go to Manchin and you and Joe together announce you're going to support Neera Tanden and he'll save her nomination and convince him to vote instead against Basara.

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I said, I'll tell you what, you if you can get Manchin to vote no on Basara, sure. I'll vote for Neera Tanden. That and here's why. Let's let's stop for a second on Basara, because I think it's likely to be a party line vote right now. I think it appears every Democrat will vote for him and every Republican will vote now. Basara is the attorney general, California, the long time congressman, he's been nominated to be the secretary of Health and Human Services.

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He's not a doctor, he has no scientific background, he has no medical background, he has no background in health care administration, he has no background in virology and vaccines. He has no background even in logistics. HHS is right now in the middle of the largest vaccine distribution effort our country has ever seen.

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Joe Biden has nominated a trial lawyer who's a radical leftist, as far as I can tell, his only experience with health care.

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Is suing the Little Sisters of the Poor, which he denies during during his testimony, he said, I never sued the nuns.

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If you're having to explain why you didn't technically sue nuns, that's a problem.

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You're not in a good position. Right. But, you know, just on the merits of it, pause and think about what the reaction would be if a Republican president nominated as secretary of HHS, someone with zero medical experience, zero health experience, zero experience with anything related to HHS in the midst of a global pandemic.

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When HHS is incredibly important, this guy is wildly unqualified. But why did he get the nomination? Number one, the Democrats, it's a box checking exercise.

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And so he's Hispanic. That fits that fits their desire to check that box. But number two, he's been a radical and so they want want him for his political positions. I think we actually ought to have someone running HHS who I don't know knows something about viruses. I mean I mean, is that is that asking too much? And Biden claims claims his priorities defeating covid and yet he nominates someone with no medical experience and mind you, at the same time saying follow the science, except write the person he's putting there doesn't know anything about science.

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Well, of course. And the Basara nomination especially is someone who fled the Republic of California, Mussolini's dictatorship of California, as some of us call it. I remember Basara is a very radical guy. But but to your point earlier of of boring but radical, you know, I expect radicalism from someone like Basara. I expect radicalism from someone like Neera Tanden. But you made the point, I believe, this week that even the so-called moderate nominees, people like Merrick Garland, who's nominated for attorney general, he's supposed to be the moderate guy, supposed to be maybe the most moderate person that Biden puts up.

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He would appear to be just as radical as everybody else from his testimony.

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Maybe so when Biden nominated Merrick Garland, my initial reaction, I was relieved because there are a lot of radical partisan lawyers that could have been nominated as A.G., for that matter. Javier Becerra is actually qualified to be he's not qualified for HHS, but but he is, in fact, an attorney general. But there is a rabid partisan. So he would have been a much worse attorney general on the face of it than Merrick Garland. Merrick Garland spent 23 years as a court of appeals judge.

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He's a Democrat. He was in the Clinton administration, but he hasn't built a reputation as a hard partisan. He his reputation as a judge has been one of integrity, and he hasn't been seen as as overly partisan.

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I was gratified my reaction was, you know what, this may be about the best we can hope for from the Biden administration. I think there were a number of Republicans on Senate Judiciary that were initially inclined to vote for for Merrick Garland.

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At his confirmation hearing, it was remarkable because he refused to answer essentially anything know mean he was asked question after question after question and he just refused to answer them. So a lot of the questions concerning John Durham. Now, John Durham is the special counsel that was appointed to investigate the abuse of power Operation CROSSFIRE Hurricane and the extent to which the Obama Biden administration broke the law in targeting Donald Trump. Very important investigation. Merrick Garland was asked by me and others, are you going to fire him?

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That is a really important question if you're going to have any semblance of integrity and rule of law at the Department of Justice right now, when Bill Barr was nominated, he was asked the same thing about Bob Mueller. Are you going to fire? And Barr said he said he would only fire him for good cause, and so that was during his confirmation hearing. Barr said absent good cause, no, he wouldn't fire and he didn't. He let Mueller complete his investigation, submit his report.

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Barr kept his word on that.

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Garland refused to make that commitment. We said, how about you hold to the same standard, Bill Bartlett? Would you agree only to fire him for a good cause? Nope. Can't do that. I don't know anything about it. Just just don't know anything about it. And I'm not going to make the commitment. And he did that over and over and over again. And then I actually submitted a lot of senators submitted questions for the record in writing, and he would see in writing he refused to take a position.

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He was asked, will DOJ prosecute people across the border illegally? He said, I don't know. I can't tell you that that shouldn't be complicated.

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The Constitution obliges the president to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. He said, I can't tell you if will prosecute people who cross the border illegally.

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I asked him if if the Department of Justice would urge the courts to overturn the Heller decision, which which upheld the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

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He wouldn't tell us that one after the other after the other, where he refused to answer even the barest minimum of questions.

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And I got to say, it was sad that after all of that, after essentially telling the senators, go jump in a lake, I'm not going to answer any of your questions. All the Democrats voted for him and a bunch of the Republicans voted for him. Yeah. And you kind of throw your hands up in the air. I still don't know if he will be a hard partisan as attorney general. He is very likely to be confirmed. But I have no reason to think that he will have any willingness to stand up to the hard partisans that will surround him based on his performance at his confirmation hearing.

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It was the Sergeant Schultz defence, I see nothing, I know nothing, I mean, that that is essentially what he was telling us, because what you would hope from the so-called moderate nominee, I shared your relief, actually, when when it was reported that Garland was going to get the nomination over some of the radical people. But you would expect from the so-called moderate nominee to give you some answer, to give you some reason to have confidence in their moderation.

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We didn't get that. But you're seeing this as part of a broader strategy from the White House. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, was asked, will Joe Biden force doctors to violate their conscience and performed abortions? She couldn't give an answer on that. Jen Psaki was asked about a possible world in which Mexico sends 600 to 800000 migrants to the United States to work. She was asked for comment on that. She said she couldn't possibly comment on that.

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This this just quiet dismissal of questions and the kind of boring radicalism that we're getting is is pretty worrisome.

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And, you know, I have to bring it up because you're probably the most famous reader of Dr. Seuss in the entire country, outside of politics, outside of the government, you're seeing private companies cancelling Dr Seuss, taking the spuds off of Mr. Potato Head and now taking very ordinary mainstream scholarly books off of Amazon largest bookseller in the world because they contradict left wing orthodoxies, it feels as though the liberal establishment is colluding and closing in on us.

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It is the Death Star and they're trying to eliminate all their enemies like Hasbro.

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You mention Mr. Potato Head. They dropped the mister. It's now just Potato Head. It's not Mr. Potato Head. It's not Mrs. Potato Head. It's just Potato Head.

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So much for preferred pronouns. And by the way, among the attachments on the potato head, I don't recall many that actually distinguished male and female. I'm glad for that. We didn't need to get that quite anatomically specific drove through.

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You know, the Dr. Seuss thing is just moronic.

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And the president removed Dr Seuss from, I don't know what is it, national reading week or something? I don't remember exactly what it is. Some celebration of reading the Dr. Seuss has usually been a part of that. Biden pulled it out of. You know what's amazing? I looked today on Amazon. I was actually checking my own book, One Vote Away, and, you know, periodically seeing or by the way, if you haven't gone and bought one, but vote away, go on Amazon, you should buy it.

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It's a great book. Now's the time to do it, too, before it gets canceled. Well, there is that.

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And I was checking it. And do you know? The author of the top eight best selling books on Amazon today, No. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven and eight.

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I'm going to guess Dr. Seuss. And actually, of the top hundred, more than half of the top hundred were Dr. Seuss. It's really funny. I have never seen on Amazon anything like this as people are going on. So I jumped on Twitter. I tweeted out a screenshot of that and said, you know, who knew Joe Biden was such a great bookseller. Right. You know, I asked him if he could try to ban my book.

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I mean, let's go back to number one on Amazon. We'll we'll we'll take it. But but it is. And actually, the even more the Dr Seuss thing is, is idiotic. It's asinine. The even more dangerous thing is Amazon now. Taking down books it disagrees with, right, because Amazon has a near monopoly on book sales.

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Well, I do want to pause you there, Senator, because this is an argument I hear from left wingers a lot when we decry cancel culture and Amazon taking down a very humorously titled but actually scholarly book from Rinty Anderson, which is called When Harry Became Sally. That's sort of the book at issue here.

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They say, Michael, this isn't cancel culture. This is a private company that wants to take take out a product that they don't agree with that's absolutely within their rights. Stop complaining. This is just the free market at work. Well, and that's the argument they use on social media and big tech generally. They just say, go build your own. By the way, Parler did build, build their own and big tech colluded to take them down and destroy them.

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And so they want no competition. It has long been US laws that monopolies cannot abuse monopoly power. Amazon and Google are the two most powerful companies on the face of planet Earth. And when it comes to books, actually you're in. My mutual friend Ben Shapiro has been really good on this topic and I've been retweeting him a lot this week because, you know, you think about Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic dystopian novel for fifty one being the temperature at which paper burns.

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That's all about censorship and book burning. And today with Amazon, you don't actually have to burn the books anymore because if. Everything is becoming digital. Yeah, you can burn books just by hitting delete if Jeff Bezos gets to decide what books exist and what books don't. And, you know, sure, it's a defense. Well, maybe there's some bookstore in Peoria that has the book. But everyone gets their books from Amazon that is suddenly giving a tech overlord.

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The power to say here are the books that are now you are prohibited from reading functionally because our monopoly will not allow anyone to get them, because big tech is already controlling the flow of news throughout the Internet. I mean, they're controlling the the new public square. But but this takes that even further. Now, as you say, I think it's such an astute point when when all the books are digital, they can go back and control the flow of classical information.

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They can go in. And if some big tech oligarch wanted to delete that book from your E reader, it's one reason that I find myself now buying physical media much more so because it is a threat. And I think to throw our hands in the air and say, oh, there's nothing we can do, it's a private company. I think it totally disregards the enormity of the problem. This has been, I'm sorry to say, a little bit of a downer of an episode and a downer of a first forty two days of an administration.

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So I, I do want to end on a high note with a mailbag question. And this is a genuine haina. This question from NBA bubble question for Ted. How do you feel about Texas being reopened. Fantastic.

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It needed to happen. It is great.

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Look, Texans want to go back to work. We want to go back to school. And by the way, schools, we need to be talking more about schools. Yeah, I'll give you a stat that is really stunning. 40 percent of school kids in America are back in in-person school five days a week, 40 percent, less than half. That's staggering and. Democratic politicians do not give a damn. Because these kids, by the way, that are not going to school, it's now been been a year.

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It's been a year with no school, and these kids are falling behind, the dad are showing they're falling behind six months, falling behind a year, and you never get that back.

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That's just lost. Yeah, and we're getting a whole generation and it's not uniformly distributed. So so rich families are finding a way to to educate their kids, whether it's going to a private school, whether it is doing home schooling, whether it's hiring tutors.

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If you've got money, you're going to make sure your kids are being educated. But but low income kids, single moms, they don't have those choices.

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They don't have those abilities. And so if the local school isn't open, and in particular for single moms working a couple of jobs and being pulled nine different directions, that just means those kids are getting left behind. They're not learning to read. They're not learning to write. They're not learning the skills they need for life. It disproportionately harms African-American kids and Hispanic kids. And the Democratic Party doesn't care at all. They say, follow the science. The head of the CDC said kids need to be back in school.

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And they immediately said, oh, no, never mind, never mind.

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Not that science don't. Why? Because the teachers union bosses don't want the schools open. And it's this goes back to boring but radical Joe Biden made the determination he cares more about the money from and the campaign donations from the teachers union bosses than he cares about 50 million school kids in this country. And the proof is in the pudding because they're willing to do so. Gavin Newsom, the governor of your former state, was blasting Texas as its utterly reckless because you're opening businesses and opening schools.

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I say. I say. God bless freedom, by the way, the press went a little bit crazy because I did William Wallace's Cry of Freedom at CPAC and I think a bunch of reporters started having fits and tremors of rage that I that I would do such a thing. Oh, it was so awful. They couldn't bear the word. But you know what? Californians are coming to Texas. It's almost like vampires and sunlight to use a near intent in reference.

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But look, there's a reason why thousands and thousands and thousands of Californians are fleeing California, coming to Texas, because you can actually go to work, you can actually have a job.

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You can actually open your small business. You can actually have your kids in school. You can actually enjoy some freedom that that were not run by a bunch of nut bags. And by the way, New Newsome, what does it say that Newsom is so crazy that he's getting recalled in bright blue California?

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Right. That right. Even the left wing voters, they're like, whoa, dude, you shut the whole state down for a year. This is a problem. And that's what Biden wants to do. The country I know this is the glimmer of hope that I have to hold on to at least. And I think obviously we're going to see how this plays out. You're going to be up all night at the Senate. And voting on these sorts of things is if we can shed a little bit of light, then then perhaps we can call people's attention to this boring yet radical agenda.

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And perhaps when you call enough people's attention to it, perhaps we'll be able to stop it and fight for freedom.

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We'll have to leave it there. But there there will be much more to talk about next time. I'm Michael Noles. This is a verdict with Ted Cruz.