Senator Ted Cruz offered an interesting window into how he thinks about his role in Washington on Meet the Press this morning, telling host David Gregory that he considers former senator Phil Gramm a role model for Gramm’s role in killing “Hillarycare” in the Clinton years:
There were a lot of Republicans who came forward with what I called at the time as “Hillarycare lite” — we’ll partially socialize healthcare. It was because Republicans were convinced ‘we can’t stop this.’ And then Phil Gramm strode out there, and he said — and I know you’ll remember this – and he said ‘this will pass over my cold dead political body.’ And a whole lot of Republicans who were scared, they looked over, he wasn’t killed, they ran behind him and they said ‘yeah, yeah! What he said!’ Look, the power of leadership can change debates.
Cruz went on to say that he had reviewed American history over the centuries — including during the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War II, going to the moon under President John F. Kennedy, and winning the Cold War — and that each major challenge prompted doubts, as the battle over Obamacare now does.
“At every stage there were voices of conventional wisdom who say, ‘this can’t be done.’ And at every stage the American people rose to the occasion,” Cruz said.