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Kelly File

'The Kelly File: Face to Face With the Candidates': Ted Cruz

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 9, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, HOST:  Welcome to a special "Kelly File: Face to Face with the Candidates."  I'm Megyn Kelly.  We are coming to you tonight from Raleigh, North Carolina.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Where in less than one week voters right here will take place in the critical March 15th primary.  Can you see all the excitement in the room?  I'm here on stage at the Cavalry Baptist Church with Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

This is all part of a Fox News prime time lineup of town halls with the GOP candidates.  Greta Van Susteren interviewed Ohio Governor John Kasich earlier this evening.  Sean Hannity will speak with businessman Donald Trump.  And in a special airing of "The Kelly File" tonight --  

(CROWD BOOING)

-- at 11:00 p.m., yours truly will sit down with Florida Senator Marco Rubio.  But, first, at --  

(CROWD BOOING)

-- stake for the candidates in North Carolina, 72 delegates awarded proportionally.  Currently, the Real Clear Politics average of poll shows Donald Trump with a 10 point lead over Senator Ted Cruz who was in second
place --   

(CROWD BOOING)

-- but the last poll taken in this state was three weeks ago and a lot has changed since then.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Let's get right to it.  All right, Senator, thank you so much for being here.  Let's start with the obvious question which is, what are your predictions for North Carolina?

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Well, listen, I feel really good here in North Carolina.  We have an amazing team on the ground.  And we are seeing an energy.  We're seeing an excitement.  And, really what we are seeing in North Carolina is a continuation of what we have been seeing all across the country.  You know, if we step back a year ago, we had 17 candidates in the field.  I mean, it was a crowded field and it was a talented diverse field, a dynamic field.  Pretty striking contrast with the Democrats.  

(LAUGHTER)

You know, this whole year we have seen that field winnow and narrow.  And it's gotten narrower and narrower and narrower.  And then we saw last week, we saw on Super Tuesday and on Super Saturday two tremendous outcomes.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Where the voters have now made clear that there is only one campaign that has repeatedly beaten Donald Trump.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And that can and will beat Donald Trump.  And so what we're seeing is Republicans uniting behind our campaign.  

KELLY:  But what specifically is the path forward?  Right?  Because it takes 1,237 votes in order to become the Republican nominee and what the odds makers are saying is Ted Cruz would need to win 60 percent of the vote from this point forward in order to win straight out before we get to a contested convention.  And what those same experts are saying is, that's really mathematically impossible unless you win Florida, which even you concede is a long shot.  

CRUZ:  Well, listen, I understand that they experts are constantly saying, the conservative can't win at every stage, if it were up to the experts, we would not have won a primary yet.  So, I'm all right with the experts saying that.  

KELLY:  They say none of them can win except for Donald Trump straight out
before --   

CRUZ:  But it's funny.  Those are the same folks that put Donald Trump on
every TV station 24 hours a day and then once he is the nominee --   

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And nobody should be confused.  The network execs who give Donald hundreds of millions of dollars of free air time are all liberal Democrats.  They want him to be the nominee because they know Donald gets killed by Hillary and their plan is nominate this guy so they can obliterate him.  Donald may be the one person on the face of the planet that Hillary Clinton can beat in the November general election.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

But you asked path forward.  

KELLY: Yes.  What is the path forward?  

CRUZ:  So let's talk some real simple math.  It takes 1237 delegates to be the nominee.  I have just over 300.  Donald has about 80 more than I do.  Both of us are within 80 delegates of each other.  The path is simple.  We continue to narrow the field.  If you look at the other two candidates in the field, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, both good, honorable people.  But neither one of them has a path to winning the nomination.  They are far too behind in the delegate count.  They can't catch up.  The path is simple.  
We continue to narrow the field.  Head to head, not only do I beat Donald Trump but I beat Donald resounded.  Just today a new poll came out.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

That has me beating Donald Trump by 13 points head to head.  By the way, that same poll has Donald losing to Hillary Clinton and has me beating Hillary Clinton.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  He said he hasn't even started on her.  He believes his numbers against her will get better once he, quote, "starts on her."  But I want to ask you because you have talked about a broken convention.  

CRUZ:  Let's be clear the media hasn't started on him and she hasn't started on him.  He has had kid gloves for six months from the media and present company excluded.  

(LAUGHTER)

KELLY:  Thank you.  Let's talk about contested convention and whether that's a likelihood.  Because I know you have said openly, this could be enormous mistake for the party.  And obviously the party would have to be very divided for it to arrive at a brokered convention in July.  But those who want it, some of your backers who don't see an easy path forward for
1237 for you say, I have no problem with the contested convention.  I would rather see that, they say, than to see somebody get the nomination who only has a plurality, who doesn't have 1237.  So if it has to happen ugly, it happens ugly.  

CRUZ:  Look, there is difference between a contested convention and a brokered convention.  A brokered convention is the fevered dream of the D.C. establishment.  

KELLY:  Mitch McConnell.  

CRUZ:  That everyone is divided and then suddenly the D.C. establishment swoops in with their white knight and they're mad at the voters because the
voters --   

(CROWD BOOING)

That's the reaction of the voters.  I think it would be absolutely catastrophic to have a brokered convention where they try to parachute in some D.C. establishment candidate.  You would see an open revolt.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And it would all but concede the election to Hillary Clinton.  The voters need to decide this.  And that's why our strategy is very simple.  We intend to beat Donald Trump.  But the way to beat Donald Trump is beat him at the ballot box.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  And you haven't yet amassed 1237 and neither has he, let's say it's a two man race at that point, you are okay with the, quote, contested convention where then it goes to a balloting system and it's still decided by the people.  

CRUZ:  A contested convention is a different thing where you go if no one gets 1237 and you have got two frontrunners.  Look, Reagan and Ford battled it out at contested convention.  That's what conventions are for.  If you are fighting between the candidates who have earned the votes of the people, and it's the delegates at the convention who have been elected to do that, that's the way the system works.  And that's perfectly appropriate.  But I will tell you I don't believe we are going to need that either.  I believe our path is very simple.  We're going to continue to narrow the field.  When we get head to head with Donald Trump, we are going to beat Donald Trump over and over and over again.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  How does it happen though?  Because what the analysts say is that -
- and what you heard Marco Rubio say is that your path will get harder from here.  They points to states like New York and California and Florida, New Jersey, which might not be Ted Cruz territory.  

CRUZ:  Well, let's talk about those.  California, the last field poll that was done, I was in first place in California.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  I think they like you.  

CRUZ:  Well, North Carolina is God's country.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

But, you know, there is always an analyst saying well, well, there is no way for the conservative to win.  That is what the talking heads always say.  Going into Iowa.  Every pundit says on every show Trump was going to win.  We won an overwhelming title wave landmark victory.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Then on Super Tuesday.  Super Tuesday Donald was supposed to sweep all over the country.  We won a tremendous victory in Oklahoma.  We won a tremendous victory in Alaska.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And we won a landslide, historic turnout victory in my home state of Texas.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And then let's go to Super Saturday.  Super Saturday was supposed to be a great day for Donald Trump.  The pundits, those experts who say we don't have a path, they said Donald was going to sweep all four states.  He had a decisive lead everywhere.  Well, it's interesting.  Kansas, the day of the Kansas caucuses, Marco Rubio had spent the whole day campaigning in Kansas.  
That morning, Donald and I were both at the same Kansas caucus site.  We spoke back to back to the same group of voters.  All of the pundits had predicted Donald is going to win Kansas.  Not only did we win, but we won with a landslide nearly 50 percent of the vote in Kansas.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  What the polls showed was that you started really surging later in the week.  

CRUZ:  Yes.  

KELLY:  And that Trump has started to haven gone down a bit since last week's debate and over the past few days.  To what do you attribute that?

CRUZ:  What I see happening is Republicans are consolidating around us.  
Sixty five to 70 percent of Republicans recognize Donald Trump would be a disaster.  If he is the nominee, Hillary wins.  Now, Donald's friend has been division.  He wants this field divided.  As long as that 65 to 70 percent is split up among two, three candidates, that helps Donald.  What happened after Super Tuesday is the folks who want to stop Donald Trump had begun uniting around our campaign, and we are welcoming people who are supporters of Jeb Bush, of Chris Christie, of Rand Paul, of Dr. Ben Carson.  
We're welcoming.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

We're welcoming people right now who are supporting Marco Rubio or supporting John Kasich, both, good, honorable men.  But neither one of them has a path to defeating Donald Trump.  And if you want to defeat Donald Trump, I would say to you come join us and if we stand together, we'll see the results.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  Stand by.  Stand by because we did take some questions from the audience and we will have some of that coming up with Senator Ted Cruz, including a question about how you work in Washington without losing your soul.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  How is he going to get stuff done without losing his soul?  How is he going to get stuff done but still stand for the principles that all of us believe in?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY:  That was a supporter of Senator Ted Cruz asking the question we have heard from a lot of Republican voters.  Live here in Raleigh, North Carolina, how do you get things done without giving up your values?  And we're back now with Senator Ted Cruz.  That's the question.  They love that you stand on principle.  

CRUZ:  Right.  Right.  

KELLY:  They believe you.  And they believe you are a constitutionalist and you mean it and you are not going to betray those values.  But they want things to get done if they send you to Washington.  

CRUZ:  Absolutely.  And the stakes too high.  The problems are too big for us not to fix them.  

KELLY:  How do you do it?

CRUZ:  Well, you know, you think about it.  A president really has three levers of authority.  Three levers to change the direction of the ship of government.  The first is executive power.  Now, that's been the one that Obama has abused so mightily.  

(CROWD BOOING)

The silver ling to that is everything done with executive power can be undone with executive power.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So, for example, I have pledged on the very first day in office to rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action taken by President Obama.  

KELLY:  Do you see the presidency as the weakest branch of government as the one that's supposed to be the smallest?

CRUZ:  It is not the weakest branch of government, but it is circumscribed by the constitution and its authority.  And so, when you look, when the President illegally grants amnesty as he has, that is contrary to the law.  
It's contrary to the constitution.  But, with the stroke of a pen, that executive amnesty will be gone.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  What are two and three?

CRUZ:  Also on the first day in office, I pledge to direct the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Planned Parenthood and to prosecute any and all criminal violations.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Also on the first day in office I intend to direct every agency of the federal government that the persecution of religious liberty ends that day.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  My question to you is, while they clearly like what they are hearing, what about the day-to-day management of the government and getting deals done?

CRUZ:  Well, you are talking about change.  Also on day one, I will direct the Department of Education, common-core ends today.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Now, you want to talk --  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Well, you know, under common core we have 11 days in a week.  So, that -- we have a long time until Election Day.  

(LAUGHTER)

Look, all of those are actions that a strong principled conservative president can do and could do immediately and I will do.  The second lever of presidential authority and change is foreign policy.  And foreign policy can change overnight.  I mean, it's worth remembering in 1981 Iran released our hostages the day that Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  But, if I could, I think what this is going for is the things that cannot be done simply by the executive office.  The stuff like entitlement reform was one of the things that I was asked about.  

CRUZ:  Megyn, I'm starting more broadly because what the media tells us is you can't fix this.  You can't change that.  And it isn't true.  On foreign policy on day one I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Also on day one, I will begin the process of moving the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem --  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Now, let's focus on the third area which is where you want to go, which is legislation.  Legislation is the hardest lever to use because right now Congress is fundamentally broken.  It is dysfunctional.  I am campaigning based on two big legislative policy initiatives.  Number one repealing every single word of ObamaCare.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And number two, passing a simple flat tax and abolishing the IRS.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  Control of the House and the Senate and the Republican Party if you want to get that done.  

CRUZ:  Now, listen, you are right.  And neither of those are easy.  I am not remotely naive or Pollyannaish.  

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We're behind you, Ted.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

CRUZ:  That's actually the key.  Listen, could I get either of those done in this current Congress?  Not a chance.  Because right now the Washington cartel, all of the lobbyists, all of the special interest, they depend on the status quo.  The IRS tax code, the reason it's so long is that's where all the carve outs, all the subsidies, all the handouts are buried in that tax code.  How do you change it?  You know, if you look at the last time we broke the Washington cartel, it was 1981.  It was the Reagan revolution where Reagan took it to the people and there was a tidal wave from the people.  The way we get that done is I intend to make 2016, the general election against Hillary Clinton they referendum on repealing ObamaCare and abolishing the IRS.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  How about immigration?  That was another question somebody had about what you are going to do to secure the southern border and how quickly and I said is that a big issue for you?  And she said I'm worried about ISIS coming across the border.  

CRUZ:  Yes.  Absolutely.  

KELLY:  Now, I asked you this at the debate but we didn't quite get an exact answer.  What about the Jeff Sessions factor.  Because people for whom immigration is a big issue, they like Jeff Sessions.  You have stood shoulder to shoulder with him.  

CRUZ:  I like Jeff Sessions.  He is a friend --  

KELLY:  But he endorsed somebody else.  He endorsed Donald Trump.  So what message do people take from that?

CRUZ:  You know, I actually trust the voters to make their own determination.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

In 2013, when Marco Rubio was standing with Barack Obama and Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and pushing the massive Gang of Eight amnesty bill.  

(CROWD BOOING)

I stood with millions of Americans and led the fight against amnesty.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And we defeated it in Congress.  

KELLY:  Does President Cruz build a wall?

CRUZ:  Yes.  But let me point out -- let me finish with 2013.  At that time Donald Trump not only was nowhere to be found.  He was funding the gang of eight.  He gave $50,000 to five of the eight members of the Gang of Eight.  
And let me say to folks at home.  One of the most ominous words that was repeated over and over again in that last debate was flexible.  

(LAUGHTER)

Donald said that over and over again.  Flexible.  He was going to be flexible.  Now you know in D.C., flexible is code word for they are getting ready to stick it to you.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And let's be really clear what Donald was being flexible on.  One of the most striking moments of that debate, Megyn, is when he turned to Marco Rubio and said, Marco, I agree that you were being flexible and it was a good thing when you negotiated with Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid on the Gang of Eight.  That was a good thing and I agree with it.  

(CROWD BOOING)  

I almost fell over.  I thought lightning was going to come down.  I mean, Donald Trump has claimed to base his entire campaign on immigration on debate stage, he ran away from it and embraced the compromise that led to the Gang of Eight amnesty bill.  And, as you know, Donald Trump told the "New York Times" editorial board everything he said on immigration is just empty campaign rhetoric.  He doesn't plan to build a wall.

KELLY:  Well, that's not what he said.  That it was an empty campaign rhetoric.  

CRUZ:  How do you know that?  

KELLY:  Well, what I know is the "New York Times" came out and said there was nothing so shockingly newsworthy and it would change the dynamic of the campaign.  

CRUZ:  So, we should take the "New York Times" word for it.  

(LAUGHTER)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  Well, on that note, I need to stand you -- on that note, I'm going to stand you by because we have much more with Senator Cruz coming up right after this break.  Don't go away including feedback.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Social Security is over $800 billion.  Medicare and Medicaid funding is over a trillion dollars and the Congress has said that these are untouchable, that these are nondiscretionary.  How can we break the gridlock and get through the establishment because quite honestly these are unsustainable programs?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY:  Joining me again, Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  Great to see you.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So people are worried about Social Security and Entitlement Reform.  We talked about that.  I want to get quick answer on how on earth you would tackle that.  You say, the will of the people.  Can you get any more specific?

CRUZ:  Well, listen, when it comes to Social Security.  I think Washington right now is being reckless and irresponsible allowing Social Security to careen toward insolvency.  For a long time Social Security has been treated like the third rail of politics.  If you touch it, you get electrocuted.  
Not only am I touching it, am I campaigning on it.  I intend to strengthen and preserve Social Security.  And let me tell you exactly how.  

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Four principles.  For seniors -- for those on Social Security and near retirement, there should be no changes, none whatsoever.  We have made promises.  People have ordered their financial affairs.  They need to be able to count on those.  

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.  

CRUZ:  But for younger workers, look, you know, I'm 45.  It is hard to find someone my generation who thinks Social Security will be there for us.  
That presents a real opportunity for reform.  For younger workers we should follow three principles.  Number one, gradually raise the age of retirement for younger workers.  Give them time to plan and save accordingly.

Number two, change the rate of growth of benefits. For younger workers so that it matches inflation instead of exceeding inflation. Those two changes alone bring social security into solvency. But the third one is critical.

Allow younger workers to keep a portion of our tax payments in a personal account like a 401K that we own, we control, and we can pass on to our kids and grandkids.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  Let me get to a couple of other questions that the good people have and go through a few of them. Senator, this is sort of related to the one we discussed but it's a little different. They're worried about the bad people in Washington.

CRUZ:  Oh, yes.

KELLY:  You know how your mom tells you don't surround yourself with unhealthy people because they can rub off on you. They are worried but losing your soul when you go there. And one of the specific questions was, what will you do to hold on your to your faith and who you are?

CRUZ:  Well, look, I mean, a lot of it is being grounded in knowing who you are, starting with a foundation. I'm a Christian. My faith is in the rule of...

(APPLAUSE)

And I can think of no job for which a relationship with God and a reliance on prayer is more important than serving as president with the responsibility that that position entails.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, I am blessed with an incredible family. You have gotten to know Heidi and the girls. But by the way, my girls think Megyn is a total rock star.

(APPLAUSE)

At the debate, I'm there, Caroline and Catherine are like yes, yes, dad, whatever, blah, blah, blah, where's Megyn? I mean, they are so excited to see you.

KELLY:  It's mutual. You tell them it's mutual.

CRUZ:  It's a great grounding. It is a wonderful -- all right, I will tell a Caroline story. So, every child is different. Catherine, our baby is 5.
She is sweet, sweet, sweet. She hugs on you.

KELLY:  She takes after Heidi.

CRUZ:  She does. She does. And Caroline, who is 7, she is a rascal. She takes after her daddy, poor girl. But you know, she -- her attitude in this campaign is yes, yes, whatever, dad, OK, fine.

But there was one moment right before Super Tuesday when Heidi was at home and Caroline was sitting on the couch and was watching, I don't know, may have been Fox News, was watching TV and some commentator was saying well, every -- it would be a disaster for Cruz if Donald Trump wins the State of Texas.

And Caroline, my 7-year-old who has no interest in politics jumps up on the couch, sticks both fingers in her ears and goes "not going to happen. Not going to happen."

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  And she was right.

CRUZ:  And Heidi called to tell me that story and I doubled over laughing.

KELLY:  You're grounded.

CRUZ:  Beyond grounded.

KELLY:  They keep you grounded. I've seen them with all the debates. And I've seen you playing with your girls in between the debates. That must be your secret sauce right there staying connected to them.

Another question from one of our attendees today. There is a gentleman here who is a police officer who was injured in the line of duty. And he said he was either too proud or too stupid to take the disability benefits offered to him in the wake of that and then he has struggled ever since.

But he has a different perspective on it and he wonders how we can create a mindset among Americans to not -- to not abuse these social net programs...

CRUZ:  Yes.

KELLY:  ... you know, safety net programs.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ:  Well, let me say first of all to the officer who was here who was injured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I'm here.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ:  Thank you.

KELLY:  Standing ovation.

CRUZ:  Thank you, sir. And thank you to every one of the officers who is here who risk your lives every day to keep us safe.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ:  We are grateful for what you do. And I will tell you this. One of the most disgraceful things of the last seven years has been the treatment of cops.

(APPLAUSE)

The demonization, the vilification, coming from the president, coming from the attorney general it is absolutely unacceptable. I give you my solemn promise that will end on January 27th.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  Does he -- yes, to sum it up, the mindset.

The question about the social safety net, it's an incredibly important one. My view is the social safety net should be a trampoline and not a hammock. That the entire purpose.

Listen, everyone gets down on their luck. Everyone faces hard times. And we need to help people when they are -- when they are in hard times. But the critical object of the welfare programs should be to get people off of the welfare programs.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, you look at one of the most successful public policy innovation of modern times it was welfare reform in the mid-90s, where millions of people who had been on welfare when they put a work requirement in went out and got jobs.

And here is the critical thing that the left doesn't understand, you're not helping anyone by making them dependent. By strapping them in dependency on government.

(APPLAUSE)

And I believe we need to champion every able bodied adult ought to be working or actively looking for a job and the entire purpose, every one of the welfare programs, even disability programs, people with disabilities are still capable, in many, many cases of doing meaningful work. Maybe not heavy manual labor.

KELLY:  This man who has six replaced disk in his neck is chopping firewood right now for a living. Unbelievable.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ:  And when big government traps people in dependency, it saps them of their self-respect. It saps them of the dignity of work of coming home and looking your kids into the eyes and providing for them. And that is integral to achieving the American dream. And it's one of the tragedies of the Obama economy is that so many have been trapped in.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  All right, Senator Cruz, stand by. Because we have some personal stories and pictures. You have got to see these pictures you have never seen before. Stand by. We are with Senator Ted Cruz on "The Kelly File." Live from Raleigh.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KELLY:  Welcome back, everyone, to our special "Kelly File." (Inaudible)

(APPLAUSE)

(CROWD CHEERING)

Back now with Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Where there is a lot of enthusiasm for you in this room.

I want to take you back to last week's debate that we had in Detroit.

CRUZ:  Yes.

KELLY:  And the negative feedback that a lot of voters had to it not exactly the moderators, more the candidates and the dialogue that we saw out there, the nature of the discussion. You said the campaign has gone to the gutter. What do you make of it?

CRUZ:  Well, listen, I think everyone is fed off with personal insults, with just add homonym attacks. Listen, I have no views whatsoever on any part of Donald Trump's anatomy.

(APPLAUSE)

I frankly could not care less. And I don't think the voters care either. If other candidates decide they want to just engage in name-calling and insults that's their prerogative, they can choose to do so. But I'm not going to respond in kind. I'm going to keep the focus on substance, on issues, on the problems taken in this country and on solutions. (Inaudible)

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  You had a statement about, you know, children watching that debate and some of the references that were made. And you said we shouldn't be in a position where we feel embarrassed by our president.

Now, Trump, in particular, has come out and said I will not be like this as president. You know we are in a rough and tumble campaign. And I know how to behave.  

CRUZ:  You know, actions speak louder than words.

(APPLAUSE)

And Donald has also told us that he will be someone totally different as president. He said he can be the most politically correct person on earth.
You know what?

Let me talk to a minute - talk for a minute to the folks who are supporting Donald. I understand why people are supporting Donald. You are angry. Look, I'm angry. We are all angry. We are angry at Washington. We're angry at politicians who lie to us. Who lie to us over and over again. They make promises and they don't do what they said they would do.

(APPLAUSE)

And I understand if you're angry that Trump is the loudest, angriest voice so that feels like a vessel to express that anger. But Donald has, number one, been intricately involved in the corruption in Washington for 40 years.

(APPLAUSE)

If you're fed up with Washington corruption, you don't support someone who has been supporting liberal democrats from Jimmy Carter to John Kerry to Joe Biden to Harry Reid, to Chuck Schumer, to Hillary Clinton making multiple contributions to her presidential campaign.

(APPLAUSE)

And, Megyn, the corruption is bipartisan. You're right. He has supported the Washington establishment both the democrats and republicans. He has funded open border democrats for 40 years.

But also critically, if you're tired of politicians lying to you. If you think Donald, quote, "tells it like it is," he is telling us he is lying to us.

(APPLAUSE)

He is saying the day after he is elected he would be someone exactly different than he is. I will tell you, Megyn, the day after I'm elected president, I will be the exact same person I am today.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  I got to ask you one question. I have got to ask you one question on that. Because he comes after you as you know as, quote, "lying Ted." Right, he is calling you lying Ted. And one of the things that you come under fire for is what happened in Iowa with Dr. Ben Carson and that whole thing. Bu there's a report...

(CROWD BOOING)

There is a reason I'm bringing it up. But there is a report today in Hawaii something similar is happening with your supporters and Marco Rubio in an ad that's gone out that says wasted vote.

And Rubio's campaign is accusing you of disgusting tactics because the -- because the e-mail says multiple media reports say Marco Rubio is being pressured to drop out before Florida and his campaign denies it.

(CROWD SHOUTING)

Do you stand by that? Do you call for that to be pulled?

CRUZ:  Well, look, the nature of politics is that when a campaign is flailing, they attack. And they attack other candidates, and they attack their integrity. This particular e-mail apparently came from a volunteer in Hawaii. Not affiliated with the campaign. Not working for the campaign. Not under authorization from the campaign. We have over 200,000 volunteers across the country. I cannot control, nor I do want to control what 200,000 volunteers do.

KELLY:  You don't stand by that.

(CROWD SHOUTING)

CRUZ:  Not only that, our legal counsel sent them a letter saying take that -- take that e-mail down. One volunteer sent out. And, by the way, they forwarded a CNN story that was the lead story on Drudge is what the volunteer did.

Now, we asked them to take it down anyway. Why? Because we knew that other campaigns would seek to make political hay out of it use it to try to attack my integrity because the volunteer forwards a story that's the lead story on Drudge to other voters.

And we knew that reporters would do what you're doing which is ask doesn't this prove you're unethical that voters are forwarding links to news stories.

KELLY:  That wasn't exactly how I phrased it.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ:  I have no idea if the story is true or false. I have no idea. But this is the way -- this is the way politics is played. Where if you have a campaign, where the Rubio campaign they don't want to focus on the issues.
They want to talk about Donald's hands. You know, how about focusing on how we solve the problems.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  And that's exactly where we are goings to pick it up, right after this break. Don't go away. Some stories about Senator Cruz you have never heard with some pictures you have never seen but you need to.  

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  And welcome back to our special "The Kelly File: Face to Face With the Candidates." (Inaudible)

Senator Ted Cruz is with us. (Inaudible) Now one very important subject and that is family.

So, we went back and found some old pictures of you, Senator. Your campaign was good enough to provide us with a couple of these. You haven't even seen this yourself. But I take you back to Princeton. It was late '80s, early '90s? So, a boy from Houston makes into Princeton University, his father told him he went there on missionary work, right?

CRUZ:  That was true.

KELLY:  And they say nobody like Ted Cruz back -- no one has ever like Ted Cruz, they didn't like him back in college. I ask you how a conservative like you could ever have been liked at Princeton University.

CRUZ:  Well, listen. You know, it's -- there are some loud mouths to like to throw insults. I tell you I had an incredible time in college. I was very, very active on the debate team.

KELLY:  Did that help you now?

CRUZ:  Sure. And it was great fun. I mean, to be honest, I think I probably learned as much if not more from debate as I did from my studies and had a lot of close friends on the debate team. I was active on student government. I was the chairman of the university council. And I had wonderful friends.

But listen, I'll admit Princeton was a daunting place. I mean, it -- you know, I came from a family where my mother was the first in her family to go to college.

KELLY:  Here's your debate team.

CRUZ:  You know, my dad came from Cuba with nothing as an immigrant. And I didn't come from money. Listen, Princeton, a lot of the kids are rich.

KELLY:  Right.

CRUZ:  They come from privilege. Their families are masters of the universe. I graduated from Second Baptist High School, a little bitty Christian school in Houston, Texas.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  You must have had some amazing grades.

CRUZ:  My graduating class was 43. No one from the high school that ever gone to any Ivy League School before and we didn't know anyone who had ever gone to an Ivy League School.

KELLY:  This is great. Can you see this? Put that back up so he can see it.
There's a lot of hair. Yes. A lot of hair.

CRUZ:  Yes. That was the unfortunate -- you know, look. Teenage years.

KELLY:  It was the '80s. Early '90s.

CRUZ:  Yes. My hair actually got down to my shoulder blades for a little while. It was a...

KELLY:  And you decided to take that look to Harvard law school. And he hadn't had enough to Princeton. He decided to go on to Harvard Law School.

CRUZ:  But thankful I cut my hair by then.

KELLY:  OK. And joined up for the Bush v Quayle. We have a picture of the cigar and the t-shirt.

CRUZ:  Well, and that was actually election night party in 1994 when republicans took Congress.

KELLY:  Not Bush v Quayle.

(APPLAUSE)

CRUZ:  And that '94 we set up, you can see on the back of the wall there, we had all of the outcome state by state and putting check marks up. You have to understand, Harvard Law School is packed with liberals.

Now there were bunch of us that were conservatives. Those are couple of good buddies in mine and we're celebrating the party. And we're just rocking the dorm and you can hear all of the liberals just -- I mean, weeping and gnashing their teeth.

(CROWD CHEERING)

That was a good night.

(APPLAUSE)

KELLY:  And then you went on to meet your beautiful wife Heidi, married, two beautiful girls, and now serving your country for many years. Thank you very much for your time.

CRUZ:  Yes. Thank you. Thank you, Megyn.

KELLY:  And thank you, Raleigh! Thank you all. Thank you.

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