Ted Cruz's post-debate response

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 16, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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CRUZ: This deal on its face will send over $100 billion to the Ayatollah Khamenei, making the Obama administration the world's leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism. This deal abandons four American hostages in Iran. This deal will only accelerate Iran's acquiring of nuclear weapons. You better believe it. If I am elected president, on the very first day in office, I will rip to shreds this catastrophic Iranian nuclear deal.


O'REILLY: In the personal story segment tonight, let's bring in Senator Ted Cruz, one of the debaters this evening, coming to us from Simi Valley, California.

I had the timing here. And you came in 8th out of 11. With 10 minutes, 37 seconds air time. And Trump was the leader, 18:30. Bush was second, with 15:36. And then, down the line.

So first, I want you to grade yourself in the debate. What grade would you give yourself?

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: Look. I thought the debate was terrific. I was very happy with where it went. I would have liked more air time. This is the second time in a row. Fox did the same thing where they did not ask me a whole lot of questions. But you know what, the reason I am encouraged, if you look at the first debate we had a month ago, our momentum exploded coming out of that debate. We had in the first 100 hours after that debate we had over $1.1 million as people all over the country went to tedcruz.org, contributed online. I am hopeful we'll see the same thing after the debate this time.

O'REILLY: But you didn't answer my question. What grade would you give yourself, for the way you answered the questions and conducted yourself this evening? What grade?

CRUZ: Well, listen. The grading is going to be done by the American people. But I can tell you why I was happy with my performance. Because I think what the voters are looking for, I think they are not interested in the back and forth, the schoolyard insults that a lot of the debate focused on. They're interested in substance. And there is a real difference in the records of the different candidates. On this stage, there were an awful lot of what I call campaign conservatives. People who talk a good game, but they haven't walked the walk, and I think people are looking for a consistent conservative, someone who has been the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And I think in this debate, people were able to see a stark difference between my record and the record of the other candidates, whether it was on amnesty, they supported it. I have opposed it. Whether it's on Obamacare. I've led the fight to stop it, others have not. Or whether it's the Second Amendment and religious liberty. I think Republican primary voters are looking for a consistent conservative who they can trust to do what he said he'll do.

O'REILLY: Do you think because you're a hard right guy, that you are being ignored by the debate people? I mean, you mentioned Fox didn't give you that much time. CNN didn't give you that much time. Do you think your conservative stance offends them, so they don't want to hear from you?

CRUZ: Look, a classic example was when there was a question asked about global warming. And the moderator asked a couple of folks who basically ran away from the issue and were afraid to take it on. I tried to jump in and say hey, you want as you put it a skeptic, I'll happily be one, and the moderator didn't want me to answer that. When it comes to global warming, to use that as an example, we ought to follow the evidence and we ought to follow the data. The truth is, the evidence and the data don't support global warming.

O'REILLY: But we can't get to the bottom of that.


CRUZ: Hold on a second, this is important. For the last 18 years, the satellite data demonstrates no significant warming whatsoever. That is an inconvenient fact for the advocate of big government policy that drive up your and my electric bills.

O'REILLY: What I'm trying to get at is that there is a political correctness that surrounds the national media. Certainly CNN is part of that. This program isn't. I can't speak for anyone else on the Fox News Channel, but certainly CNN, and NBC and ABC and CBS are part of that political correctness. Tonight you're telling me that you're getting jobbed in these debates because that political correctness doesn't want to hear from you.

CRUZ: Well, look, I will note you said I got the 8th most time. Nationally, I am polling fourth now. I am third in Iowa. Our support on the ground is enormous. We've raised more money, more hard money than any candidate in the field. And yet, if you look at the data, the data show for example on Twitter, in the first debate, our campaign, I was the most- googled candidate in the first debate, and yet got among the least air time. So you are right. Look, the media interviewers don't like focusing on substance. They like the back and forth bickering.

O'REILLY: There is no question about that.

CRUZ: And there are people who are hurting across the country that aren't interested in a bunch of school children, they are interested in real positive solutions and a proven record. I think that is why so many people across the country are going to tedcruz.org. Are signing up, are volunteering, are contributing, because they want a proven conservative.

O'REILLY: Now you know I gave you three plugs for your website. You know that, Senator, you understand that?

CRUZ: I do. And I have --


O'REILLY: -- the exact amount of time you spent plugging. So you owe me now. Next time I call you -- he gave me three plugs. All right, Senator Cruz, everybody.

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