February 20th, 2014
02:58 PM ET
9 years ago

Cruz jokes Washington would need a whole lot of 'Alka Seltzer' if he became president

Beaumont, Texas (CNN) - Can Ted Cruz imagine being in the Oval Office in 2017?

He didn't say no, but he did pause to acknowledge how much heartburn that would cause the people he likes to call the Washington establishment.

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"I think you'd probably have to - to buy some Alka Seltzer for an awful lot of people in Washington, if - if 2017 occurred and that happened," Cruz said with a chuckle.

Cruz's light hearted response quickly turned serious – since he was responding to a question about Ukraine – what he would do if he were in commander-in-chief and Kiev was burning.

"Let me answer it this way. Whoever is president in 2017, I very much hope Kiev is not still on fire. What is happening in Ukraine right now is both incredibly heartening and incredibly tragic," Cruz told CNN in an exclusive interview.

"It is heartening to see thousands upon thousands of protesters standing up for freedom, standing up braving the brutal cold; standing up facing violent opposition, facing kidnapping, facing torture, facing murder; and standing up because they want to stand with the West. They want to stand with America. They want to stand with Europe."

Cruz also advocated sanctions as a tool for the U.S. now.

"We should be imposing sanctions on the government officials in Ukraine right now who are oppressing, who are torturing the protesters," said Cruz.

He also pushed for a free trade agreement with Ukraine to help them develop energy infrastructure, "so that they don't have to rely on Russia for gas and be blackmailed, but instead, we can export our abundant resources here to them."

"That's the sort of positive foreign policy that protects our interests that the United States ought to be producing under President Obama and Secretary Kerry and Secretary Clinton before him," said Cruz.

Cruz doesn't stand with Rand – on making issue of Bill Clinton as a "predator"

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a potential Cruz rival for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, has been making an issue of Bill Clinton's affair while president in the 1990's with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, calling the former president a "predator" for taking advantage of a 20 year old intern.

But Cruz didn't follow Paul's lead on that line of attack.

"I'm a lot less concerned with Bill Clinton's escapades decades ago than I am with - with Hillary Clinton's, uh, consistently wrong record when it comes to foreign policy, when it comes to domestic policy," said Cruz.

Instead he took the opportunity to assail Hillary Clinton, who is seriously considering another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"The people who are getting hammered under the Obama economy, they're young people, they're Hispanics, they're African-Americans, they're single moms.  And throughout her tenure, Hillary Clinton has embraced the same far left agenda before ObamaCare, there was HillaryCare.  And that agenda hurts people who are struggling," said Cruz.

With Ted Cruz, there is none of the usual feigning or pretending about his presidential ambitions. He openly nods, and smiles, when asked about the subject.

Still, Cruz may not be coy about having presidential ambitions,  but he is – dare we say – a traditional politician – on the question of when he'd make it official.

"You know, my focus and - and you've heard this before - is on the Senate," said Cruz, pointing to the debt ceiling fight last week he waged against his own party in the Senate.

We asked if that was part of your 2016 campaign,.

"No, that was part of doing the job I promised Texans I would do," said Cruz.

Filed under: 2016 • Bill Clinton • Hillary Clinton • Rand Paul • Ted Cruz • Texas
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Alka Seltzer is not going to help the brain dead who would vote for this crazy right wingnut.

    February 20, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Mark

    First of all, I don't know if he can be President, as he wasn't born in this country. Second, I think he has a warped idea as to how much power the President actually has. Third, we need a President who can read beyond Green Eggs and Ham, which he didn't even finish.

    February 20, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    Well luckily we'll never have to find that out.

    Oh yeah Rafe, where's your long form birth certificate? And why aren't your supporters who were so vocal in condemning our duly elected and reelected POTUS, asking YOU this???

    February 20, 2014 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    The Washington area might need Alka-Seltzer if he's elected president, but if this happens the rest of the nation will need to have their heads examined. Where did this egomaniac come from? Oh that's right, Canada. Wish he'd make the trip back home, and never return.

    February 20, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. TONE

    This illegal senator is going to need a lot of the same thing if an investigation is started on his immigration status at the time he became senator.

    February 20, 2014 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    NEVER EVER EVER gonna happen Joe McCarthy. However we'd love to have you as the GOP sacrificial lamb du jour in 2016.

    February 20, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    This delusional guy isn't even an American citizen and for that reason shouldn't even be in the senate, much less the highest office in the land.

    February 20, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. TONE

    In order for you anyone in the US to be privy to classified information they must become a citizen of the US first. I think cruz is not a ligitmate senator.

    February 20, 2014 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Bill

    Don't worry Teddy Boy, that is one dose of Alka Seltzer that we will never have to take because I stand a better chance of being president than you do. But keep the comedy rolling, it only highlights what a clown you are!

    February 20, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    Tone, I've been saying that for months.......

    February 20, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Alka Seltzer won't cut it. I'd just kill myself.

    February 20, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. drake mallard

    Um, Ted Cruz's father was not American at the time of his birth. He was Cuban. That's right... who happily fought alongside Fidel Castro as a teen TED CRUZ's FATHER IS A CUBAN. Rafael Bienvenido Cruz, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, told NPR that though he came to the country legally, he essentially bribed an official to get out of Cuba so he could come over.In an interview near his home outside Dallas, the elder Cruz says that as a teenager, he fought alongside Fidel Castro’s forces to overthrow Cuba’s U.S.-backed dictator, Fulgencio Batista. He was caught by Batista’s forces, he says, and jailed and beaten before being released. It was 1957, and Cruz decided to get out of Cuba by applying to the University of Texas. Upon being admitted, he adds, he got a four-year student visa at the U.S. Consulate in Havana. And his mother was an American. And he was born in Calgary Alberta. I don't know how having a Cuban father makes you more American than Obama somehow.

    February 20, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    I've been saying that for months now Tone.....

    February 20, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    ...what he[Cruz] would do if he were commander-in-chief and Kiev was burning.

    "Let me answer it this way. Whoever is president in 2017, I very much hope Kiev is not still on fire. ..."
    TRANSLATION: "I don't know, and so I don't have to answer your question." So, he makes a joke out of it.

    The reality is simple, folks. America has fought two costly wars for over a decade. We lack the resources, on multiple levels, to continue on being the globe's peacekeeping force. Anyone who thinks that America is still the most dominant force on the planet, like it was in the 1950s and 1960s, is living a faded dream.

    America was powerful, both economically and militarily, in the first decades following World War II for one simple reason. Every other major economy and military had been severely beaten, if not destroyed, on their home turf. America was the leading manufacturer and supplier for the entire world for a good two decades. All of that began to change as the world's other economies recovered and began to make inroads and economic niches of their own. America is not in the postion that it used to be in, folks. Those are the outright facts.

    February 20, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Chris-E...al

    DO you all remember when dictator 0bama got caught whispering on a open Mic telling russian dictator Putin 'Wait till after the election an we will talk about missile placement' Moral of that story ! NEver trust Dictators !

    February 20, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. tom l

    So much racism and it all comes from liberals. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Bad behavior does not excuse bad behavior. Your overt racism against him is palpable and way more prevalent than the idiot birthers in the repub party.

    February 20, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Dallas

    Is he delusional? There is no way that a majority of the people in this country are going to elect this man to anything. I'm still trying to figure out how he won his senate seat. I don't know a single soul who voted for him. I have enough faith in America that this horror show will never happen!

    February 20, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. tom l

    It was inane when repubs were saying Obama wasn't eligible to be president because it was obvious he was due to his mother being an American citizen. It is even more amazing to me to see the idiocy on these boards. Why do you think it's ok to say the things you do?

    February 20, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    drake mallard

    Um, Ted Cruz's father was not American at the time of his birth. He was Cuban. That's right... who happily fought alongside Fidel Castro as a teen TED CRUZ's FATHER IS A CUBAN. ... ... ...
    That has nothing to do with the facts. His mother was an American, but he was born in Canada, which makes him a Canadian citizen that is automatically ELIGIBLE for U.S. citizenship, PROVIDED that it is applied for. Cruz has claimed that he's never applied because he doesn't have to. His mother automatically makes him a citizen.

    Cruz is wrong. If he was born in Canada, then there is no U.S. record of his birth, which means he's not a citizen. He could have gained official citizenship, had he applied for it. Cruz has bragged that he's never applied. I wonder how his renouncing of his Canadian citizenship is coming along.

    February 20, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. salty dog

    I need it now .

    February 20, 2014 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. freedom

    He's brilliant, has guts, morals, is a patriot, and isn't intimidated by democrat (or republican) nonsense. He's a real man. He would be a noble president.

    February 20, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. TONE

    @Wake up People!

    I join the US military as a permanent resident, and was subjected to the rules of the US gov, and it reads that only US citizens in the military can have access to classified info so i had to become a US citizen. Senators on the other hand as you rightly said wake have to be a citizen before they can become a senator.

    February 20, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. CATX

    I see the same unemployed libs are out in droves again today!

    February 20, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    No, Ted Cruz. I'm not biting. You, $arah, and Nugent have had your (media) drama for the week. It takes a special type of person to create the buzz you three have pulled yourselves into.

    It takes a certain type of media to hype the hype as well.

    Enjoy. Or whatever.

    February 20, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Chris-E...al

    Google – Bill clinton passed on killing Bin Laden factcheck . 0rg -An while your there do – Hillary heard voices in the W.H. – An do Obama told more lies than any prez ever ! do it thx . it was not tora bora .t t go back few years bud win clinton fail america big time ! it cost us 1000's of lives an BILLions in treasure !

    February 20, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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