Ted Cruz speaking to Tea Party Express supporters at a rally in Austin, Texas. Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.
Ted Cruz speaking to Tea Party Express supporters at a rally in Austin, Texas.
Photo by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz on Sunday told a gathering in Dana Point of some of the nation’s wealthiest conservatives that the existence of global warming is not supported by facts.

Cruz, a U.S. Senator from Texas, was one of five GOP White House hopefuls who spoke during the two-day private Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce summer meeting at the St. Regis Monarch Beach resort.

His question-and-answer session was sandwiched Sunday by interviews with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina were interviewed at the forum on Saturday.

Taking aim at President Barack Obama’s energy policies, Cruz drew laughter and applause when said he would use a different word than “exaggerating” to describe the climate change picture painted by the nation’s chief executive.

“Listen, facts matter,” he said while insisting that satellite gathered over the last 18 years do not support the evidence of global warming.

Scientists are essentially cooking numbers to support their flawed computer models, Cruz said.

“You know, Enron used to do their books the same way,” he said, referencing the failed Texas-based energy company whose executives were convicted of fraud.

He accused Obama, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and potential presidential rival former New York Senator Hillary Clinton of siding with “California environmentalist billionaires” over hard working American men and women whose livelihoods are threatened by Democrats’ efforts to impose onerous regulations on some industries.

Asked if he was willing to engage in another budget debt ceiling fight in an effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood, which is under fire after videos emerged of abortion providers discussing the selling of body tissue from aborted fetuses to researchers, Cruz flipped the question, saying Democrats should be asked if they are willing to force the nation into a debt default over their insistence that Planned Parenthood should continue to receive taxpayer funding.

He called the videos “horrifying,” and decried images of abortion providers “swilling chardonnay laughing while they are bartering and selling the body parts of unborn children.”

Cruz also said as president he would stop illegal immigration by directing sufficient resources to secure the nation’s borders and that he supports cutting federal funds for so-called sanctuary cities.

On the illegal immigration front, Bush said he would work to dramatically expand cooperation between states and the federal government, something he did as Florida governor, and suggested that having more border protection agent closer to the border would help curb illegal crossings as well as gangs and drug trafficking that now plague such regions.

He noted that “one particular candidate” has tapped into Americans’ anger over the issue — an oblique reference to rival candidate Donald Trump, but said a plan is now required to return the rule of law and reverse “cultural changes” that have become a cause of concern.

Bush said the U.S. economy should be growing about 4 percent per year, adding that Democrats seem satisfied with growth at half that rate. To achieve that, he said he would overhaul the tax code, dismantle the current system of regulation that has killed the country’s dynamism and embrace the energy revolution unleashed by such new technologies as fracking.

“I think what people are desperately looking for is a leader and I hope you are looking at him,” Bush said.

Rubio led off today, calling attention to his humble beginnings in South Florida.

“It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago my father worked at events like this as a bartender,” Rubio said, relating that growing up in America gave him a chance to succeed not available in his father’s native Cuba. “I’m running for office so (America) can be that kind of country for more people than ever before.”

He touched on the need to help curb student debt, “We need to create alternatives for loan (repayment),” and also took a swipe at what he said was President Barack Obama’s penchant for making executive orders in a bid to bypass Congress.

“I’m not going to use the pen and the phone like this president does,” Rubio said. “I think he has overused (his) executive action. An executive order is designed to implement the law that Congress has passed.”

In response to the 17 candidates vying to become the Republican nominee for president, Rubio took a positive spin.

“I like everyone that is running for president,” the 44-year-old Rubio said. “We could probably live with half as much doing it,” but “we’re going to have a stronger nominee. The other 16 will be working hard to get (the nominee) elected.”

Rubio also noted that Donald Trump has struck a nerve with the American public regarding illegal immigration.

“I doubt that anyone likes the way immigration is today,” he said. “We must enforce our immigration laws to prove to voter that the federal government has illegal immigration under control.

Rubio told the crowd that American’s immigration system “should be based on merit and not just because you have a relative living in America.”

As for rumors of Vice President Joe Biden mulling a run for the Democratic nomination for president, Rubio said, “I like him as a person,” (but) “electing Joe Biden would be like electing Hillary Clinton.”

Freedom Partners is a free-market advocacy nonprofit founded by billionaire conservative activists Charles and David Koch.

The meetings are private, but the media was invited to view a live webcast of the event to pull back the curtain on the secretive gatherings.

At this weekend’s gathering, themed “Unleashing A Free Society: Expanding Opportunity for All Americans,” Politico’s chief White House correspondent, Mike Allen, hosted 25-minute policy discussions with each of the invited presidential hopefuls.

Although he was a topic of discussion by the candidates, Trump was not invited to the meeting.

He issued a tweet Sunday that read: “I wish good luck to all of the Republican candidates that traveled to California to beg for money, etc. from the Koch Brothers. Puppets?”


City News Service

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