Firebrand Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is not in favor of same-sex marriage, and he thinks healthcare should be reformed in the United States, but that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is the wrong way to do it.
Cruz made his comments on these and other subjects on Friday night’s “Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” one of those rare occasions in which Leno interviews a newsmaker who is not drawn from the world of show business.
Cruz made headlines last summer when he waged a battle to defund the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. In the fall, he took his campaign to “gut” the ACA to the floor of the Senate, delivering the fourth-longest speech in the history of that legislative body — 21 hours and 19 minutes. His insistence that ObamaCare be defunded as part of a Senate bill to continue funding the federal government was widely credited with (or blamed for, depending on your point of view) leading to the recent government shutdown. Outside of his base of supporters, Cruz was widely criticized for his rigidity.
Leno asked him about that: “I’ve been reading a lot about you lately, and they describe you as aggressive, arrogant and abrasive. Accurate?”
To which Sen. Cruz replied: “Well, I don’t know that you can believe everything you read!”
“All right. Any one of those? Can you believe any one of those?” countered Leno.
“Ah, you know, what I’m trying to do is do my job,” Cruz said. “And occasionally people don’t like that.”
On ObamaCare, Cruz said his opposition stems from the opposition he detects from his constituents in Texas.
“We don’t want ObamaCare,” he said of his fellow Texans, “because it’s taking away their healthcare.”
“But 25 percent of the state doesn’t have any healthcare anyway,” Leno said. “So ObamaCare would help them, wouldn’t it?”
“Well, it wouldn’t, number one, because it’s taking away a lot of people’s health insurance,” Cruz said. “And number two, because it’s killing jobs. And look, I’m a big believer in healthcare reform. … I think we ought to reform healthcare so that it’s personal, it’s portable, it’s affordable. We ought to empower patients, rather than government bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor.”
As for gay marriage, Cruz favors leaving the issue up to individual states, since opinions and views on the issue differ so widely in various parts of the country.
“I support marriage between one man and one woman,” Cruz said, “but I also think it’s a question for the states. Some states have made decisions one way on gay marriage; some states have made decisions the other way. And that’s the great thing about our Constitution — different states can make decisions depending on the values of their citizens.”