WASHINGTON — Rising Republican star Ted Cruz made his first visit to the Capitol as senator-elect from Texas on Tuesday, telling reporters that he is willing to find common ground with Barack Obama if the president is genuinely “serious about solving the deficit and the debt and that he wanted to get people back to work.”
“On the campaign trail, the president said that he wanted to bring people together, that he wanted to get serious about solving the deficit and the debt and that he wanted to get people back to work,” Cruz said after meeting with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. “And if he’s serious with that, then I think and believe that Republicans are ready to work with him.”
Asked where he sees common ground with Obama, Cruz responded: “It depends if we have the president from the campaign trail or the president from the last four years in office. I can tell you, speaking personally, and I obviously can’t speak for anyone other than myself, if the president is serious about tackling the grave fiscal and economic challenges in this country, about reducing our debt and deficit and getting people back to work, I will happily work with him.”
“On the other hand,” Cruz continued, “if he insists on continuing down this same path of more and more spending, more and more debt, higher taxes and more regulation, than I intend to work day and night to stop us from continuing down that path because I think that path has been and would be deeply damaging to the economic strength of our nation and deeply damaging to the millions of Americans trying to find jobs.”
Cruz made the comments after appearing with two other Republicans elected to the U.S. Senate — Jeff Flake of Arizona and Deb Fischer of Nebraska — for a photo-op in McConnell’s office on Tuesday morning.
“The election is behind us, we’re ready to get started,” McConnell said.