Cruz, R-Texas, who was among several Republican lawmakers who spoke at Turning Point USA's AmericaFest in Phoenix this week, declared Big Tech "the single greatest threat to free speech" and "free and fair elections in America."
"Big Tech, they are hard left. They're not just Democrats. They're to the left of the Democratic Party. And they're trying to drive the Democratic Party left," Cruz told Fox News Digital on Monday. "And, you know, listen, I'm someone who believes in free speech."
"Something went wrong. Please try again," Siri interrupted from inside Cruz's jacket pocket.
"Well, Big Tech is getting mad," Cruz quipped while holding his iPhone. "Siri just said, ‘Something went wrong. Please try again.’"
"I'm actually perfectly happy that Siri got mad. Sorry there, Siri," the Texas senator jokingly added.
Cruz expressed his support for free speech including for "people who disagree with me" and said "the left doesn't believe in free speech anymore."
"When we have hearings, I've chaired multiple hearings on Big Tech censorship. Democrats show up, number one, they say it doesn't happen, that it's simply not occurring. But number two, to the extent they engage, they lean in and say censor more," Cruz said. "I think Democrats were furious with Big Tech. 'How the hell did Donald Trump get elected in 2016? How did you let any conservative speak over Big Tech?' And the almost uniform message from Democrats is censor more, silence every view we disagree with."
"So what they call ‘misinformation’ is all of Fox News. That's misinformation. By the way, Gigi Sohn, who Biden has nominated to the Federal Communications Commission, calls Fox News ‘misinformation,’" Cruz continued, referring to the president's liberal nominee. "When they say ‘misinformation,’ they mean 'we don't agree with it, silence it.' ‘Extremism.’ What they mean by ‘extremism’ is every Republican in America. That's what they call 'extremism.' You know what? They probably mean Joe Manchin is ‘extremism.’ I mean, they mean everyone except the hard left."
Speaking of Manchin, Cruz praised the West Virginia Democrat for blocking Build Back Better from being passed on Capitol Hill.
"I think Joe's decision was the right decision. I think it's a really big deal," Cruz told Fox News. "The Build Back Broke Bill was a disaster. It was a train wreck. It was Bernie Sanders' socialist budget. It was trillions in new spending, trillions in new debt, trillions in new taxes, it would have driven inflation through the roof. We've already got inflation exploding across the country. And it was reckless and irresponsible. And you know what, the people of West Virginia don't want it. Manchin did the right thing. He actually represented the men and women of his state."
Cruz slammed how "nasty" and "vicious" many Democratic lawmakers have been in response to his opposition to President Biden's signature legislation and how their demonization of him could backfire on the entire party.
"A lot of folks ask, 'Well, gosh, is Manchin going to become a Republican? I hope he does. I've asked him to. I think every Republican senator has made that case a dozen times to Joe," Cruz said. "I will say, I think it's a tough hill for him to climb. He's just culturally, he's a Democrat. He's been a Democrat his whole life, and he's really the godfather of Democrats in West Virginia. So I get why switching parties, that's hard. That being said, if they're nasty enough, the best thing that could happen is they could drive him over to the Republican Party, and we would welcome him."