'This Week' Exclusive Interview With Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz responds to Ambassador Rice, and discusses his recent trip to Israel and Ukraine
9:43 | 06/01/14

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Transcript for 'This Week' Exclusive Interview With Sen. Ted Cruz
I think where we are today is uncannily like the late 1970s, by the way, one person on Earth happy about the job president Obama is doing is jimmy Carter. That's senator Ted Cruz lighting up a conference yesterday, he won their presidential straw poll after that speech. Senator, congratulations for that. Thank you, George. First, let's get your reaction to the bergdahl deal. Well, look, all of us celebrate with sergeant bergdahl and his family. Look at his parents there, that's emotional and powerful. At the same time the terms of the deal are very troubling. Why? Well, for one thing, how many soldiers lost their lives to capture those five Taliban we capture those five Taliban we just released. Ambassador rice basically said to you, U.S. Policy has changed. Now we make deals with terrorists. The question going forward is, have we just put a price on other U.S. Soldiers? What does this tell terrorists? If you capture a U.S. Soldier, you can trade that soldier for five terrorists we have gone after. If you were the president you wouldn't have negotiated? I don't think the way to deal with terrorists is to release other violent terrorists. But what if that's the only way to get bergdahl home? It's not the only way. We can go in and use military force as needed to rescue our fallen come patriots. Sergeant bergdahl was fighting to capture these terrorists. Can you imagine what he would say to his fallen comrades who lost their lives to stop these people who were responsible either directly or indirectly for threatening or taking U.S. Civilian lives. The idea we're now making trades, what does that do for every soldier stationed aboard? It says, the reason why the U.S. Has had the policy of not negotiating for terrorists, once you start doing it, every other interrorist has the enessential tif to capture another soldier. No trades never? I think it's very disturbing that we're releases five acknowledged terrorists, Taliban leaders, in a deal with terrorists, that precedent and, you know, unfortunately, George, it's part and parcel with the pattern we have seen of the Obama administration across the board. Annd you saw ambassador rice's response to your criticism of that pattern. Your response to that? I just got back last week after traveling to Israel, Ukraine, Poland and Estonia. It was striking. One thing that ambassador rice said that's correct, that America is the indispensable leader. Was thing our allies are expressing is that our leadership is missing. And the most frequent thing you hear when you talk to an ambassador or foreign minister of our friends and allies, they pull you aside quietly in hush tones and say, where is America? When America's weak, when the American president is weak, it heaves our friends and allies vulnerable and it makes the world a lot more dangerous. You said you were in Ukraine, what would you have done differently there? There's a whole range of activity of what the president said at the west point. There's a whole range of intermediate steps. Number one, president Obama should have spoken out clearly in support of freedom and in support of the protesters when the protesters began in the square. I had the privilege of going through the square. Being led by a 16-year-old high schoolgirl. They continued to protest for freedom. America should speak out for freedom. Then after that, we should stand with our allies and not give in to Russia, we should, number one, right now, install the antiballistic missile batteries in eastern Europe. Scheduled to go in 2009. President Obama canceled in an effort to appease Putin. That didn't work. Number two, we should be using energy as a tool to help liberate the Ukrainian people and impose cost on Putin. There are over 20 applications to export liquid natural gas, bottled up in the Obama administration, he should approve that to free Ukrainian people from Russia. We saw first pages of Hillary Clinton's memoir, about benghazi. Pretty defiant chapter. She said -- I will not be a part of a political slugfest on the backs of dead Americans. It's just plain wrong. It's unworthy of our great country. Those who insist on politicizing the tragedy will have to do so without me. It sounds like she's suggesting that she's not going to testify in these new investigations. Should committees force her to testify? You know, the sad thing with secretary Clinton, it seems to be all politics all the time. From what we know about this book chapter, it's pure political spam. The truth shouldn't be partisan. And there's a pattern in this administration, the pattern is, when a scandal emerges to express outrage, we all remember president Obama during the debate with Mitt Romney, saying, no one is more upset about what happened in benghazi than I am. After that, after expressing outrage, they stowed along for months and years, they say it's old news. We need to get to the truth. Rand Paul disqualifying her from the presidency, do you agree? I think she has deliberately stone walled. We know Sharon mills went to leaders and said, don't talk to the press. Don't talk to members of congress. I had an exchange on the senate floor, for the senate to form a joint select committee with the house to get to the truth of benghazi. And senator bob Menendez of new Jersey stood up and objected. I laid out a dozen questions. His response was, he said, I have no idea, this is Menendez speaking, whether president Obama was awake or asleep when this terrorist attack was happening. It went on to say, I have no idea whether there was anything president Obama could have done to have saved those four brave Americans who died, but those questions aren't worthy of being answered. Listen, if the chairman of the foreign relations committee doesn't know the answers to those questions we're not getting the truth and we deserve -- the American people deserve the truth. Our men and women in harm's way deserve the truth. 30-second case against Hillary Clinton for president. Her policies, domestically and internationally, haven't worked. Domestically, the Obama economic agenda is the lowest. The lowest labor force participation. And internationally, obama/clinton foreign policy is a disaster. Every region of the world has weakened. America has weakened. Our enemies have been strengthened. We're in the middle of cutting a deal right now with Iran which I fear is repeating the mistakes of the Clinton administration in 1990. You took on what you talked the gray beards in the republican establishment. Yes at that republican leadership conference. Aren't factions of the republican party going to have to come together to defeat Hillary Clinton? Or any democrat in 2016? Look, there's a debate in Washington how republicans win. I think 2014 is going to be a fantastic year for republicans. I think we're likely to retake the senate. I think 2016 is going to be a very strong year for republicans. But the debate we're having right now is, how do you win? Some in Washington think the way you win is you put your head down, you don't rock the boat. You don't stand for anything. Every time we do that, George, we lose. The democrats have to be thrilled when republicans do that. In '06, it failed. In '08 failed. For that matter in 1980. Drawing a line in the sand. Standing for principle. Drawing a clear distinction and making the case to the American people that an election matters. So, for example, in 2014, we should be saying, a great many republicans are saying, we'll repeal every word of obamacare. Lot of republicans starting to run away from that. But you sound like you're ready to run for president. You know, what I'm ready to do is to make the case to the American people that the path we're on isn't working. The people who have been hurt the most by the Obama economy are the most vulnerable among us, the young, hispanics, african Americans, single moms. A few weeks ago I was in Nebraska, a single mom came up to rally in Nebraska, she hugged my neck, she said, I have six kids at home, my husband left me, my husband isn't paying child support. I'm working five jobs. Because of obamacare. I'm having a hard time even putting food on my table. I never see my kids. What we're doing isn't working. Those are the people that we need to fight for. So Americans can have a chance at the American dream again. We just heard a preview of the speech. Come back when you're ready to make the official announcement. Senator Cruz, thanks very much. Thank you, George.

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

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