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OTR Interviews

Bob Dole doubles-down on Cruz criticism: 'He's a radical ... a Republican in name only'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 21, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: All right, panel. Senator Bob Dole, the 1996 GOP nominee making big headlines by saying that nominating Senator Ted Cruz would be, quote, "cataclysmic" for the GOP.

Just moments ago, he called in to ON THE RECORD and he did not budge. He doubled down on those comments about Senator Cruz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Dole, nice to talk to you sir.

BOB DOLE, 1996 REPUBLICAN NOMINEE (Via-Telephone): Hey, Greta. How are you doing?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm doing very well. And, wow, you had some tough words for Senator Ted Cruz saying that if he is elected, the party would suffer cataclysmic and wholesale losses and even called him extremist.

Is that how you feel?

DOLE: He is an extremist. Do you ever hear him use the word "Republican"? It's always the word conservative. And I always thought I was conservative. And I'm a Chuck Grassley Republican. And Senator Cruz, I watch all the news and I rarely hear him use the word Republican. So I think he's a Republican in name only.

My candidate is Jeb Bush, and he remains my candidate. And I'm supporting Jeb Bush. But if it comes down as Donald and Ted Cruz, I'm for Donald Trump. I think he's got a lot of ability. He knows how to bring people together and negotiate and he would get things done in Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: A.B., the 1996 Republican nominee, boy, he sure doesn't like Senator Ted Cruz.

A.B. STODDARD, THE HILL: Well, nobody does in the Republican conference, in the House or the Senate. That's on the record and it's public information. Ted Cruz is running on that. That he doesn't have any friends in the Washington cartel. Having Bob Dole say this is the best thing that could happen to Senator Cruz.

It's actually an interesting moment for Donald Trump, because Ted Cruz is trying to paint Trump now as the establishment. He's going to beat him up saying Bob Dole wants him, because he's going to make deals which means he's going to sell out.

And, Republicans, you know, are not shy about the fact that they believe that Senator Cruz, if he is president, can't work with the Congress and can't get anything done.

JACKIE KUCINICH, THE DAILY BEAST: The other thing to remember, Ted Cruz went after Bob Dole during one of his CPAC speeches. He was rattling off, all the Republican nominees that didn't work and he said Bob Dole.

And there was -- I remember talking to people at that time. There was a little bit of a gasp on some of the establishment because this is a war hero we are talking and he was sort of dismissing him.

So, yes, there is a lot of animosity toward Ted Cruz. And so, you know, they are saying, are we going to go with a guy that we absolutely despise or are we going to go with Donald Trump?

VAN SUSTEREN: But if Senator Ted Cruz is sort of appealing to the tea party segment of the Republican Party, now he's lost Governor Sarah Palin. I mean, she still has support.

KUCINICH: She does. She does. But he -- and that was a big blow for him. It really, really was.

STODDARD: I think if Mark Levin is bashing Trump on Cruz's behalf and Glenn Beck is supporting him, he has enough supporters. He has endorsements coming. He's not going to suffer because he lost Sarah Palin. He has a lot of other people on his side.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think people in my hometown, it's not Iowa, it's Wisconsin. But I don't think they care if Mark Levin and Glenn Beck are fighting over this.

STODDARD: You know what, it was the conservative Senator Cruz who is trying to organize caucus goers in Iowa. A very conservative one.

KUCINICH: And they listen. They listen to talk radio and dig deep also in Iowa. It's Ted Cruz --

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: So that fight matters between Glenn Beck and Mark Levin to voters?

KUCINICH: Absolutely.

VAN SUSTEREN: Wow. I don't know. Maybe they should -- I think they should look at everybody's record. Stop listening to what everybody is saying and look at the record. See if they have done anything and if you like what the person has done. And see if the person has accomplish anything.

KUCINICH: It's so simple.

VAN SUSTEREN: So simple. Anyway, I'm not voting in Iowa.

Anyway, A.B., Jackie, thank you both.