Sen. Cruz: Joe Biden Caused the War in Ukraine

10 Mar 2022

CLAY: We are joined now by Senator Ted Cruz of the great state of Texas, where Buck and I were just down almost in your backyard, Senator. We had a huge event in Houston, number one in the market there, and we had an awesome time. And I understand you’re in D.C. right now with people who are continuing to protest — the truckers — against all these ridiculous covid restrictions.

And I want to start with this question ’cause I’m sure you saw it, Senator. How ridiculous is it that the Biden administration has extended for another month the requirement that people have to wear masks in airplanes, on plane flights, on trains, on all different sorts of transportation across the country?

SEN. CRUZ: It’s completely asinine. It makes no sense whatsoever, and it continues the covid theater we’ve seen from Biden and this administration. You know, I’ll suggest a real simple rule. How about we follow the same mask policy that members of Congress followed at Biden’s State of the Union address last week? Out of 535 members of Congress, I don’t think there were five wearing masks in the entire chamber.

It ought to be up to you. If you want to wear a mask, knock yourself out! Wear a mask for the rest of your life. That’s fine. But we are beyond the point where it makes any sense at all to be mandating masks, and we need to end these mask mandates. They’re wrong, and a long time ago I filed legislation to end these government mask mandates.

BUCK: Senator Cruz, it’s Buck. The inflation numbers that came out today, 7.9%, we’re basically at 8% inflation, four-decade-high inflation number.

SEN. CRUZ: Yeah.

BUCK: This is obviously something that’s going to hurt a lot of folks who are just trying to pay bills, just get through their day-to-day. And based on the commentary from the Biden White House, it seems like they’re not learning any of the lessons of mistakes they’ve made. Instead, they’re going to double down. So is it your expectation that inflation is just going to get worse throughout this year and we might even be headed into a recession under the Biden presidency?

SEN. CRUZ: I think there is a real risk of that. I’m concerned that we are headed towards stagflation that we had under Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. And you know, you look at a lot of young people. A lot of people in their twenties and thirties have never lived where inflation was a real factor in life, and it is cruel. It hits people. It is effectively a tax increase on everybody, but especially seniors, especially people on fixed incomes.

It is a viciously cruel tax because everything you do — whether it’s paying your rent or paying your mortgage or filling up your car with gas or buying food or heating or cooling your home, all of them are much, much more expensive. And Biden is doubling down on the same policies. In fact, I think they’ve cynically decided, their new strategy is blame everything on Putin.

So they’re claiming now that all of this inflation — the massive increase in gasoline prices — they say is a hundred percent because of Putin. And that’s just a flat-out lie. We had galloping inflation long before Putin invaded Ukraine, and it’s a result — with gas in particular — of the Biden administration’s assault on domestic energy production, which is driving up the cost of gasoline.

CLAY: Senator Cruz, you represent Texas, which is the forefront of oil and gas all over the nation. And I’m sure as a result, you talk to a lot of oil and gas executives. What do they tell you we should be doing right now in order to maximize domestic oil and gas production? What should we be doing based on what you’re hearing from your constituent companies and your constituents?

SEN. CRUZ: We should get back to the policies that we know work, and the policies that were in place just over a year ago under the Trump administration. You know, in 2019 America became energy independent. We were the number one producer of oil, the number one producer of natural gas in the world. We were net energy exporter. We were producing more oil and gas than we consumed.

Last year in 2021, under Joe Biden, we lost that status. We’re now a net energy importer. And the reason is simple: Biden, when he came in, literally the first day in office, he shut down the Keystone pipeline. That destroyed 11,000 high-paying jobs and it destroyed 8,000 union jobs with the stroke of a pen. At the same time he also on that first day, froze all new leases on federal lands, both onshore leases and offshore leases. That had a profound effect.

On top of that, he also halted development of ANWR, a very small section of Alaska that has massive petroleum reserves. He shut it down and said (summarized), “We don’t want those petroleum reserves, we don’t want more oil, we don’t want more gas.” Well, you know, if you shut down — and the result of all of this is the rig count plummeted dramatically. We began drilling much less, and this was their stated intention.

It’s what Biden told the radical left he wanted to do if he was president, and it’s what he’s done. The answer, we should step up and be producing — producing here at home. And, by the way, one of the first places to start is the Biden administration has six different applications pending to export liquid natural gas. At the State of the Union address, I pulled aside Tony Blinken, the secretary of state, I told him, “If Biden really wants to do something to stick it to Putin, he ought to today approve all six of those applications! We ought to be exporting the oil and gas we’re developing. We ought to be drilling more and producing more.” That’s how you drive down gasoline prices.

BUCK: We’re speaking to Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. Senator, war in Ukraine is getting more destructive, more violent, and the Russians seem to be gaining ground slowly but gaining it nonetheless. There was some discussion about MiGs being transferred to U.S. custody to then be transferred to Ukrainians to fight. What do you view as the proper role of the U.S. in all this, and what do you think should be done differently than what we’ve seen so far from the White House?

SEN. CRUZ: Well, we should be doing a lot differently. And let me start by pointing out, this war didn’t have to happen. This war is the cause of serious mistakes from Joe Biden. Two mistakes in particular caused this war. Number one, the disastrous withdrawal and retreat from Afghanistan. That caused every enemy of America to look to Washington to take the measure of the man in the Oval Office and to conclude that Joe Biden was weak and feckless and ineffective.

And at the time, I said, “The odds of Russia invading Ukraine have increased tenfold, and the odds of China invading Taiwan have increased tenfold.” But secondly, very specific mistakes Joe Biden made with respect to Russia and Ukraine. Putin didn’t wake up yesterday and decide he wanted to invade Ukraine. He’s wanted to invade Ukraine for decades. He wants to reassemble the old Soviet Union — and in fact he did invade Ukraine in 2014.

He marched Russian soldiers into Crimea, the southern part of Ukraine. But why didn’t he invade the rest of the country? And the answer is that Russia’s major source of revenue is selling oil and gas, and the natural gas pipelines run right through the middle of Ukraine. And if he invaded Ukraine, he risks damaging or destroying those pipelines, which would make it impossible to get his gas to Europe.

Well, the next year, Putin began building a pipeline, a pipeline called Nord Stream 2. It’s an undersea pipeline that goes directly from Russia to Germany, and it skips Ukraine. The reason Putin began building Nord Stream 2 was so he could invade Ukraine. In 2019, I authored sanctions legislation to shut down Nord Stream 2. My legislation passed Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.

It passed the Senate, passed the House. Donald Trump signed it into law. Putin stopped building Nord Stream 2 literally the day that President Trump signed my sanctions legislation into law. For over a year, the pipeline was dead. For over a year, Putin did not invade Ukraine. Then Joe Biden becomes president on January 20th, 2021. Four days later, Putin resumes building Nord Stream 2 with deep sea construction.

He did it because Biden was weak, and just a few months later Biden formally waved the sanctions on Nord Stream 2, giving in to Russia and Putin. He allowed him to build the pipeline. That is why Putin invaded Ukraine. This last weekend I had a video conference call with President Zelensky in Ukraine. He told me and the other 99 Senators, he said, if Biden had imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2, Russia would not have invaded Ukraine.

So the Biden White House’s weakness caused this war, and you asked what they should do differently. We should be doing two things: Providing lethal military weapons to Ukraine to let the Ukrainians defend themselves — not American soldiers, the Ukrainians — to defend their own homeland. And number two: Using energy offensively to take away the ability of Putin to fund his war machine. We ought to be exporting oil and natural gas to Europe, taking away his customers. If you take away his revenue, you take away Putin’s ability to wage war.

BUCK: One more for you, Senator Cruz: A no-fly zone. Do you support this or do you think it’s a bad idea?

SEN. CRUZ: I think it’s a terrible idea. A no-fly zone would be an enormous mistake. Why is that? Because you’d be putting American pilots in the air in a combat situation with Russian pilots, and the last thing anyone should want to see is a shooting war between America and Russia. That is a bad, bad idea. What we should do — and you mentioned these MiGs.

So we talked to President Zelensky; what he said he needed more than anything else is he needed fighter jets and he said he needed fighter jets because the Russians have superiority in the air. And a natural place to turn to is Poland, which has a number of MiGs, old Soviet MiGs from when they were all behind the Iron Curtain. And the Ukrainian pilots are trained on the MiGs. So they know how to fly them.

Poland was happy to send the MiGs to Ukraine to let the Ukrainians use them. They wanted the Biden administration to commit to helping them backfill and making in F-16s available so that Poland was not left defenseless. The Biden administration didn’t want to do that. So they started playing political games, and what the Biden administration said is, “Well, it’s up to Poland whether or not to send the MiGs.

“We have no view on it. It’s up to Poland. Poland’s a sovereign country. They can decide whether or not to send the MiGs,” and what Biden was doing was blaming Poland for not sending the MiGs. Well, Poland, day before yesterday, called Biden’s bluff and just flew the MiGs to a U.S. Air Force Base. So now the Biden administration has the MiGs — and within hours, the Biden defense department said, “Nope! We’re not giving the MiGs to the Ukrainians.”

That was what happened when Poland called Biden’s bluff. I think we ought to give those MiGs to the Ukrainians. We ought to… The Ukrainians should come in and Ukrainian pilots should fly those MiGs out — and the Ukrainian pilots, if they engage in combat with the Russians, they’re at war with them. They can engage in combat. But we ought to be helping provide the weapons to enable them to fight to defend their nation.

CLAY: Senator Ted Cruz, we appreciate the time, and we’ll talk to you again soon.

SEN. CRUZ: Thank you, gentlemen. God bless.

CLAY: Thank you. That is Ted Cruz.

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