Senate Candidate Ted Cruz on ABC's Top Line

Candidate likens his Senate race to Sen. Marco Rubio's 2010 election.
3:00 | 10/31/11

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Transcript for Senate Candidate Ted Cruz on ABC's Top Line
Protect cruise cruise former solicitor general in the great state of Texas current candidate for the Republican nomination -- percentage. Mr. Crist thanks for joining us on top line. Great to be with you John. So Republicans have I shot probably a very good shot taking over the -- If you get if you win this nomination you'll be -- to be part of a new Republican majority house Republican majority and he definitely gonna -- -- him. And -- this operating interview one of those -- that kind of you listens to leadership and kind of goes along Emanuel will see you do something a few years it. Well John you put your finger on exactly what the question is here in Texas in the primary. -- is almost certain the next senator from Texas will be a Republican. And the main difference between me and my principal opponents -- lieutenant governor. He is whether the next senator from Texas is a strong conservative -- fighter which I -- Or whether the next senator is going to be another go along to get along establishment Republican. In my view the stakes are too grave Texas needs to be leading the fight and that's exactly what I'm running for not to play quietly and sit in the back row. But to help lead the fight to dramatically shrink the size power and spending of the federal government and to stop the Obama agenda. Now -- And -- started -- reach out to some of these other folks elected in 2010 from the Tea Party whether it's likely your Marco Rubio. Those -- to say. It'll get together and be something about. Of a -- on this. Well I I have -- right now in the US senate I think the four strongest conservatives in the US senate. Our senator Jim DeMint and senator Mike Lee and senator Rand Paul and senator Pat Toomey. And and I am incredibly honored and humbled. To be the only candidate in the country that all four of them have endorsed and and the reason the four of them have endorsed me. Every one of them said we need reinforcements we need a strong fighter and what's happening nationally 2010 was the first part of it. 2012 is the second part of it is a battle. For the heart and soul of the Republican Party are Republicans. Going to stand for free market principles and limited government the constitution. And I think we're seeing a new generation of leaders rising up in the Republican Party that are doing just that. Well let me ask you -- on the question about Rick Perry. He's she -- for president. Some conservatives. Raised questions about his record down in Texas weather beyond immigration. Are on the -- PV vaccine -- -- on taxes being somebody who voted for the largest tax increase in Texas history back when he was a Democrat. -- what what's your sense is is is Rick Perry one of those real true. To the core conservatives is what what do you make his record. Well I am enthusiastically. Supporting Rick Perry for president the day he announced I endorsed him. And and the reason I -- -- and am now supporting him is because I thought and think he's the strongest conservative who can win the nomination. -- the last few weeks there have been some challenges but in any campaign they're going to be some challenges and I continue to support my continued also think. That Republicans are unified in wanting to find the strongest candidate. To stand up. Against. President Barack Obama and to defend. Free market principles limited government and the constitution. Won't. Mr. President we he -- challenges but this isn't simply hit the -- is that he's had -- with some of his debate performance as we're talking about real substantive policy issues. The immigration issue being one of those can you tell us how -- she plays in Texas is this something that you would supported mainly this is. Allowing. Undocumented immigrants. Access to higher education -- the levels in state in state tuition to something that you support and how do you think this plays out nationally. For a candidate who's running in a conservative primary. Sure. That there are a number of issues on which I disagree with Rick Perry -- in state tuition for illegal immigrants is one of my I don't agree with him on that. And and I think most Texans don't agree with him -- right I think that's a position where. To my mind we have a crisis with the illegal immigration we need to get serious about securing the border and it doesn't make any sense. To give special preferences and privileges. To those who are here illegally. Now also note my principal opponent the lieutenant governor made news. By publicly criticizing Rick Perry for instate tuition. What lieutenant governor Dewhurst didn't mention is that before it was against in state tuition for illegal immigrants. He was for -- he's been on both sides of that issues just like he's been on both sides of taxes and spending and of a host of issues. And that's exactly why. People are tired of candidates that -- that put their finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing people are looking. Four strong principled conservatives who are ready to fight. And that's -- Actually why I'm running. When -- -- the four top. Conservatives in the senate he didn't mention Marco Rubio but what looked I've wanted to ask you you're. You're sometimes compared to Marco Rubio. Local people have families came over from Cuba before the other 59. Revolution. What what is your sense of this latest story in the Washington Post story that has suggested that. He then you know basically fabricating his family background -- calling himself the solemn -- Well -- I think the Washington Post piece was a hit piece and I think it was silly and it was predictable. It in my opinion Marco Rubio selection in 2010. Was the most important election the country in 2010. And in fact a great many people have been comparing the Texas senate race between -- and David Dewhurst to that race. In 2010. When Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist both of us had parents who fled oppression who came here with nothing. Seeking the American dream. You know it's interesting just like the post -- -- hit piece the Dallas morning news this past week has been going after me on the exact same issues. And for what -- reason it seems. Establishment moderate candidates. Hand in hand with some of the mainstream media like to go after -- strong conservative Hispanic. Senators are candidates. And and right now David Dewhurst is pushing this story that is attacking my dad and the reason is. Our campaigns getting extraordinary momentum and he doesn't want the scrutiny on his own record of flip flopping and not standing for conservative price. All right well thank you very much -- for joining us we look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail seeing you back on top line. And it's great being with.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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