Sen. Ted Cruz slams Obama's State of the Union talking points

Lawmaker sounds off on the president's address


This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," January 20, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST: Our next guest made headlines this past weekend with his responses to government as usual in Washington.

Joining me now with his first reaction to President Obama's State of the Union Address, Senator Ted Cruz. Senator, good to see you tonight.  And your thoughts on the president's message this evening.  

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Well, Megyn, it's always great to join you.  I thought the speech tonight was really disappointing. You know, the president had an opportunity to be magnanimous, to be gracious, to recognize that just two months ago, the American people voted overwhelmingly rejecting the current path we're on. And he could have said I hear you. And we will work together. We'll get back to where we should have been in the first place. We should have been focusing on jobs and economic growth and opportunity. But instead the president didn't do that. He didn't listen to voters who are hurting right now. Instead, he just doubled down on the same failed policies of the last six years, more and more taxes and spending and death, and it's not working. And it really was disappointing to see the president refusing to acknowledge the overwhelming sentiment of the American people that we want a different path, we want robust economic growth, we want people to be able to achieve the American dream and that's getting harder and harder right now.

KELLY: He says it is working. He calls it middle class economics and says the verdict is in, it's working. Some of the stats offered by the president and in some of the news reports today -- unemployment down to 5.6 percent. Gasoline prices down. Stock markets are up. Economy grew by five percent in the third quarter of last year, it's fastest rate in more than a decade. How can you hit him on the economy?  

CRUZ: Because, the facts are we're facing right now a divided America when it comes to the economy. It's true that the top one percent are doing great under Barack Obama. Today, the top one percent earn a higher share of our national income than any year since 1928. The sad reality is, with big government, under the Obama administration, the rich and powerful, those who walked the corridor of power in the Obama administration have gotten fat and happy. But working men and women across this country, we have the lowest labor force participation since 1978 the reason the unemployment rate keeps falling is millions of people keep dropping out of the work force all together. So, they're not counted in that number.

And I'll tell you, wage stagnation. For over a decade now, median wages have stagnated and this is an administration that benefits those with connections to Washington with influence and hardworking men and women are finding it just harder to make ends meet. We need to fight for working men and women, not those with power in Washington.

KELLY: The president says he wants to work with republicans and yet came out tonight and know in certain terms, really threatened at least four vetoes on several matters from the roll back of its immigration policies, to Iran sanctions to Keystone Pipeline, and on it went. ObamaCare changes and so on. Do you think his offer to work with the Republicans I guess outside of those issues is in earnest?  

CRUZ: Look. The only area where I saw any genuine interest in working with Republicans is perhaps on free trade although he's got a problem with his own party. An awful lot of Democratic members of the House stayed sitting and didn't applaud then.

On everything else, he had rhetoric of inclusion in between threatening to veto over and over and over again, common sense bipartisan legislation. You know, the Senate is getting ready to pass the Keystone Pipeline. We'll pass it with a bipartisan super majority and yet the president has said, he'll veto it even though an overwhelming majority of Americans want those jobs, want the energy independents recognizes it as a common sense step.

Iran sanctions is another example, there are enormous threats. The greatest threat to our national security is Iran acquiring a nuclear weapons capability. And yet, the president is dug in on a negotiation strategy that is making it more likely that Iran acquires nukes.

KELLY: Last question quickly on this. Do you think that the president was setting the stage for the next Democratic presidential candidate?  

CRUZ: Oh, I think he was trying to. And I think he hopes the next candidate engages in the same far left policies. This is a man of the left. You know, it reminds me of the classic "Saturday Night Live" skit with Christopher Walken, where if you remember there is a band playing and his solution to every problem is more cow bell, more cow bell. Well, for President Obama, more cow bell is more taxes, more government, more taxes, more government.

KELLY: The audience knows. The focus group is familiar with this skit.

Sorry. Go ahead, finish your point, sir.

CRUZ: Well, look, it's the same failed policies that don't work.  And we ought to come together. Economic growth should be a bipartisan objective. And I think Congress needs to lead. If the president is not going to lead it's incumbent on us to lead and listen to the American people, and to work to bring back economic growth, and jobs

KELLY: Senator Ted Cruz, great to see you.

CRUZ: Great to be with you.

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