A closer look at Ted Cruz's campaign rollout

This is a rush transcript from "The Kelly File," March 25, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


MEGYN KELLY, HOST: The Guardian's declaring you are done 48 hours after you have declared. And to that you say?

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TX: Well, look, there's nothing like the warm embrace of the mainstream media. And I have to say.


KELLY: That was Senator Ted Cruz on the Kelly File last night. I asked him about his welcome from the mainstream media, which many have since noticed is very different from that that was given to then-senator, now-President Barack Obama when he first announced his run for the White House. Joining me now to discuss it, Marc Thiessen, Fox News contributor and former presidential speech writer for George W. Bush, and Katrina Pierson, former congressional candidate and Tea Party member who has worked for Senator Cruz. So let me start with you, Marc, that when Barack Obama announced he was running, I mean the Washington Post, they were so excited. They talked about how no matter what your political leanings are, you're likely to feel at least a twinge of excitement about him. But they didn't really feel that about...Ted Cruz


MARC THIESSEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH WRITER FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: ...running up your leg – as Chris Matthews had. Look, the left wing commentators have been having a field day with Ted Cruz's announcement. But it's not just the commentators. It's the straight reporting news media. Let me read you what the New York Times said about Ted Cruz announcement. This is how they reported it. Mr. Cruz, a first-term senator, "...is seen by Republicans and Democrats alike as a divisive figure, his tenure in Washington has been marked by accusations of demagoguery." That's the news story. Here's how New York Times reported Barack Obama's announcement in 2007 on its front page -- same newspaper. "Obama's launching a journey rich with historic possibilities and symbolism, speaking smoothly and comfortably, Mr. Obama offered a generational call to arms, portraying his campaign less as a candidacy and more as a movement." This is -- these guys are very similar in a lot of ways. The embrace of the mainstream media hasn't been the same.

KELLY: If you listen to the audio tape to the New York Times' story, it ended with hail to the chief, which is really like the one-two punch. It really helped him out. So, Katrina, let me ask you, you would think a publication like the Times would be celebrating, the first Latino president ever, same as Barack Obama as the first black president ever, and I don't really feel that when I read the coverage.

KATRINA PIERSON, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: No, there is some hypocrisy. But first, let me say, I've never worked for the senator, but I've been one of his big volunteers since the beginning. And here's the thing, over the last two years, liberals and Democrats have been championing people coming across our borders. And they say they want a better life. They're fleeing tyranny. They're fleeing oppression. And here you have a man that is a walking testament to immigrants who have fled their countries to seek freedom and have achieved the American dream. Megyn, where is the outrage?

KELLY: And what about -- here's some outrage for you. Over on another cable station today, Marc, this is how she's apparently the editor of Ebony magazine, described Cruz's statement about how he came to love country music after 9/11 because he liked the messaging he heard in country music. And here was her response.


JAMILLAH LEMIEUX, EDITOR EBONY.COM: Nothing says let's go kill some - - fight country music.

Fresh from Lynchburg, Virginia, somebody, obviously, who doesn't want to be a polarizing candidate to bring people together, obviously.


LEMIEUX: It's absurd.


KELLY: Something's absurd all right, so absurd that that network then had to come on the air a couple breaks later and apologize for her remarks, which I have yet to see her do.

THIESSEN: I think more people just saw it now when you broadcast it than when it was originally broadcast. But, look, liberal attacks like this help Ted Cruz. America hates Washington and Washington hates Ted Cruz. So that's not going to hurt him in any way to have MSNBC commentators attacking him. The difference though that he has to contend with is that unlike Barack Obama, he's taking friendly fire. A lot of the criticism of him is coming from the right. It's one thing to have the Washington Post and New York Times editorial page criticizing you. It's another thing to have the Wall Street Journal editorial page saying you're a polarizing figure and called an opportunist.


KELLY: But you know, Katrina, the response to that is that those are mainstream sort of yesteryear Republicans and not true conservatives.



THIESSEN: One of the original insurgents, they were the ones that backed Ronald Reagan and supply side economics against the GOP establishment.


KELLY: Hold on, Marc. I need to get Katrina in.


PIERSON: Well, and that's true, Megyn. It's some of the old school, good old boy network. But what they fail to realize and why it's happening from the right and left is that Ted Cruz actually can bring people together. He did it in Texas. I was with him in the beginning when he was in negative in the polls and told you guys are working for a candidate. It's never going to happen. And guess what? We went out there and he went and talked to the American public bypassing the mainstream media as well as the establishment. And the senator can sell freedom and freedom is a winning message.

KELLY: Once again you can cue a little song here. Great to see you both. Thank you for being here.

THIESSEN: Thanks, Megyn.

Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.