Senator John Cornyn Discusses ObamaCare and "The RINO in the Room"

Sen John Cornyn Announces Re-Election CampaignI recently had an opportunity to sit down with Texas senior U.S. Senator, John Cornyn for a two-part exclusive interview. In part one of the interview we discussed the calamity that is ObamaCare. Senator Cornyn took a lot of heat from many Texans for not supporting the tactics of the states junior Senator, Ted Cruz, so we also talked about "The RINO Factor".

As we all know, President Obama has been in the news a lot lately trying to keep ObamaCare from coming unraveled by everything that is going wrong with it. I asked Cornyn about Obamas recent speech where he is, once again, legislating from the Oval Office by changing the law without approval or consent from Congress.

"Well [Obamas speech] was an epic failure like Obamacare was," Cornyn stated, "and youre right, he cant change the law. He cant reinstate contracts that have already been canceled. Some 5 million insurance policies that people like have already been canceled thanks to Obamacare, and you know what, he knew it in 2010. The Democrats who voted against the attempt to provide more flexibility for grandfather provisions, they knew it as well. So this is really just the tip of the iceberg."

Congress seems somewhat reluctant to protect its legislative authority. This theme has played out many times during the Obama Administration and Congress seems to shy away from defending itself from his over-reaches of federal authority.

Cornyn replied, "I think its amazing how he comes out and wants to say, with a wave of a wand, that hes going to change existing contracts and the law thats been implemented over 3.5 years just because finally hes beginning to be held accountable for it. So I think he wont be able to change that. He may be able to persuade some insurance companies to reinstate some contracts, but as I said, this is just the beginning of the problems of the implementation of Obamacare, from cancellations to sticker shock. The website is the least of problems. Once they get the website fixed, and they will eventually, then people are really going to find out the flaws of Obamacare that are part of the features of Obamacare. In other words, thats they way it was designed."

Senators Cornyn and Cruz certainly seem to have different ideas about how to accomplish the goal of stopping and getting rid of ObamaCare before it destroys our economy. After Cruzs 19 hour talk-a-thon, Sen. Cornyn sought a different approach. It reminded me of WWII when allied Generals Patton and Montgomery both wanted to defeat Hitler, but both had very different ideas about the tactics that should be employed to achieve the desired objective.

Rick Perry introduces John Cornyn

Gov. Rick Perry introduces Sen. John Cornyn at his Re-Election Kick-off

Many have called Cornyn a RINO (Republican in Name Only) because of this. Personally, this is a term that I believe has become meaningless. It has become, "Well, if you disagree with me on one issue or one vote, then you are a RINO."  I asked the Senator to "talk about the RINO in the room".

After a brief shock from my question, Cornyn laughed and responded with a good natured reply. I asked if this were just a tactical difference between him and Sen. Cruz or if there was really a philosophical difference. "Theres no philosophical difference," Cornyn stated. "Ive been opposed to Obamacare since the beginning, and I voted for every attempt to dismantle it, repeal it, delay it, defund it. This is just merely a difference in the family on tactics. How do you accomplish that goal we all share in common. But you raise a very important point. I think the problem that we have to get beyond is name calling and divisions within the conservative cause."

"I read an interview the other day Peggy Noonan did with James Baker who asked what would Ronald Reagan do with the Tea Party," Cornyn continued. "He [Baker] said he would be right out front leading the charge, and what we need to do is channel all of this energy and enthusiasm that the Tea Party has given the conservative cause and many ways sort of reminded us of our roots and held us accountable for some of the mistakes that have been made along the way because only when were unified will we be able to win elections in November and will we be able to then save the country. Thats our goal, and that to me, cries out for unity not for division."

We concluded part one of the interview by talking about where ObamaCare is now and where do we go from here.

"I think theres some who say just get out of the way and let this thing collapse," Cornyn concluded, "which it will. I would say thats fine because we all believe we need to scrap Obamacare and then replace it with some things that make a lot more sense. That dont interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, that will actually bring down the cost and make health care more affordable to more people."

"Obamacare does none of those things. So at some point, we need to wait for the Democrats to come to us and say, you know what, we were big cheerleaders for this, but its not working. It may not be that they will do that. I think the vote today in the House is maybe the start of that, but not even thats going to fix all the flaws in Obamacare because its really baking the cake. I mean this thing was designed the way it is actually working, but the president and his allies just misrepresented it, and a lot of people believed it."

"So this is what we have to do. I think we have to sort of get out of the way and let the flaws be exposed, let people be held accountable who have mislead the American people, but at some point, we have to find a way to protect people from the hardship associated with this epic failure of this experiment in big government."

In part two of this interview, Sen. Cornyn and I discuss some of the other illegal issues that have been carried out by President Obama and his Attorny General, Eric Holder. These issues include the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in what became known as Operation Fast and Furious and the huge blunder that took the lives of four Americans in Benghazi. Watch for part two next week.

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW:

TexasGOPVote blogger and political analyst Bob Price: Were here this morning with United States Senator John Cornyn. John Cornyn is a frequent publisher on TexasGOPVote. We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us this morning. 

Senator John Cornyn: Thanks Bob, good to be with you. 

Bob Price: It is nice to be here in Austin as youre getting ready to kick off your reelection campaign. 

Senator Cornyn: Well, Im looking forward to it. Well be at Scholz Beer Garden with Governor Perry starting our campaign for reelection, and weve got several folks who are running in the primary. Thats what makes our country so great. Each of us have to make the case why we should be elected, and we will be doing that, but more importantly than just that, Im going to be doing everything I can to work with Governor Perry, Greg Abbott, and other Republicans to make sure we fight off this effort of Battleground Texas to turn Texas blue. I dont think it could happen in 2014, but if we dont pay attention, if we dont fight back, it could happen in 4-6 years in the future. 

Bob Price: Well in some counties, particularly in Harris County, and some of the others where the margin is so slim, Wendy Davis bringing out an extra 5% of the youth vote or the single women vote could really make a huge difference. So leadership from the top is going to be very important in this election. 

Senator Cornyn: Well, you make a very important point. I ran versus a district judge in San Antonio, Bexar County, and what weve seen over time is the cities like Dallas, San Antonio, certainly Austin, and hopefully not Houston, theyre right on the bubble, and some of them have gone red like Dallas, just ever so slightly. Youre right. We need to fight now only in the suburban areas and rural Texas but in the urban area too because theyre definitely going to make their gains there, and we need to stop them. 

Bob Price: Absolutely. President Obama has been in the news a lot lately on this Obamacare issue. The other day he came out again, and is basically what I call, legislating from the oval office. Hes taking existing law and just saying well were not going to do this part, were not going to do that part. What do you think of his little speech yesterday? 

Senator Cornyn: Well it was an epic failure like Obamacare was, and youre right, he cant change the law. He cant reinstate contracts that have already been canceled. Some 5 million insurance policies that people like have already been canceled thanks to Obamacare, and you know what, he knew it in 2010. The Democrats who voted against the attempt to provide more flexibility for grandfather provisions, they knew it as well. So this is really just the tip of the iceberg. Obama not so much because hes not running for reelection, but the Democrats who are up for reelection in 2014 are panicked and looking for a way out, and hes trying to provide them cover. 

Bob Price: Now what can the Congress do to get him to not be just changing the law, well hes already made several changes putting off the large company implementation for a year, but the law doesnt let him do that. What can Congress do to uphold its authority? 

Senator Cornyn: Well he cant do, youre right, and he wont be able to do it. I think its amazing how he comes out and wants to say, with a wave of a wand, that hes going to change existing contracts and the law thats been implemented over 3.5 years just because finally hes beginning to be held accountable for it. So I think he wont be able to change that. He may be able to persuade some insurance companies to reinstate some contracts, but as I said, this is just the beginning of the problems of the implementation of Obamacare, from cancellations to sticker shock. The website is the least of problems. Once they get the website fixed, and they will eventually, then people are really going to find out the flaws of Obamacare that are part of the features of Obamacare. In other words, thats they way it was designed. 

Bob Price: Lets talk about the RINO in the room. Its a word I dont really like. Its been so abused by people. If you find one little thing that you disagree with somebody on, no matter how conservative their record is, theyre a RINO. They need to be eliminated from the face of the Earth, but seriously, the difference in the debate over defunding Obamacare between you and Senator Cruz. In World War II, General Montgomery and General Patton had very different ideas with what tactics and what strategies should be used to win the war, but both of them wanted Hitler eliminated, they wanted the war to end, and they wanted to stop that. Is that whats going on here. Is there just a different of opinion in tactics and strategy, a philosophic difference. 

Senator Cornyn: Theres no philosophical difference. Ive been opposed to Obamacare since the beginning, and I voted for every attempt to dismantle it, repeal it, delay it, defund it. This is just merely a difference in the family on tactics. How do you accomplish that goal we all share in common. But you raise a very important point. I think the problem that we have to get beyond is name calling and divisions within the conservative cause. I read an interview the other day Peggy Noonan did with James Baker who asked what would Ronald Reagan do with the Tea Party. He said he would be right out front leading the charge, and what we need to do is channel all of this energy and enthusiasm that the Tea Party has given the conservative cause and many ways sort of reminded us of our roots and held us accountable for some of the mistakes that have been made along the way because only when were unified will we be able to win elections in November and will we be able to then save the country. Thats our goal, and that to me, cries out for unity not for division. 

Bob Price: You know its interesting. If Ronald Reagan was running for office today, I think some people in the Tea Party would call him a RINO. 

Senator Cornyn: Yeah, Im not sure the name calling is really particularly constructive. Im with you on that. 

Bob Price: Clearly you have a conservative record, theres places Ive disagreed with you in the past, but... 

Senator Cornyn: My wife doesnt agree with me all the time.  

Bob Price: I dont even agree with myself all the time. But the key is we have an important battle here in Texas, and from the top down on this ticket, we have got to focus on winning the battle and working as a team to stop the blue wave from coming in. 

Senator Cornyn: Couldnt agree more. 

Bob Price: So back onto Obamacare. Where are we now on this process. What will Congress do from here forward, and what can the House do, and what will the Senate do. I know your hands are pretty tied. 

Senator Cornyn: Well you know, I think theres some who say just get out of the way and let this thing collapse, which it will. I would say thats fine because we all believe we need to scrap Obamacare and then replace it with some things that make a lot more sense. The dont interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, that will actually bring down the cost and make health care more affordable to more people. Obamacare does none of those things. So at some point, we need to wait for the Democrats to come to us and say, you know what, we were big cheerleaders for this, but its not working. It may not be that they will do that. I think the vote today in the House is maybe the start of that, but not even thats going to fix all the flaws in Obamacare because its really baking the cake. I mean this thing was designed the way it is actually working, but the president and his allies just misrepresented it, and a lot of people believed it. So this is what we have to do. I think we have to sort of get out of the way and let the flaws be exposed, let people be held accountable who have mislead the American people, but at some point, we have to find a way to protect people from the hardship associated with this epic failure of this experiment in big government.

 

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