CNN's Baldwin Presses Another GOPer to Speak Against 'Far Right' Cruz

As former House Majority Leader and Jeb Bush supporter Eric Cantor appeared as a guest on Tuesday's CNN Newsroom, host Brooke Baldwin was at it again fishing for a negative critique of GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz after failing to produce results on Thursday in an interview with Marco Rubio supporter and Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

At one point, Baldwin even admitted "I come back to this point with folks" as she fretted over Cruz's lack of endorsements from fellow Senators, and she ended up lumping Cruz and Donald Trump in with a "far right" movement that helped sweep former Rep. Cantor out of office.

As she turned to the subject of Senator Cruz's likeability, Baldwin played a clip of Cruz sounding sympathetic toward those who voted the Virginia Republican out of office in his 2014 GOP primary as if to remind the former Republican Congressman that the two have had a history of being on opposing political sides. She then posed: "Listening to him, Congressman Cantor, what is your personal opinion of Ted Cruz?"

Unlike Rep. Chaffetz, who brushed aside the chance to jab the Texas Senator in spite of siding with one of his opponents, Cantor recalled differences with Cruz. Cantor:

Listen, I have the experience of working with Ted Cruz. He obviously takes a very different posture in terms of whether one should try and get something done, put conservative principles to work to produce results or whether you want to just obstruct and just say no. And again, I know that-

After Baldwin jumped in to ask, "What side of that does he fall on?" Cantor continued:

Well, I mean, I think it's pretty apparent what side he falls on, you know, and all of us on our side of the political aisle are very frustrated with this President and his disregard for the law and his overreach in terms of executive orders and philosophically how we differ so much from him.

At the end of the day, what we want to do is we want to increase the appeal of conservative philosophy. And I think the test is: Can you put it to work to achieve results? In the time that I had spent with Senator Cruz, it wasn't necessarily evident to me that he shared that aim, which is to produce results.

The CNN host then followed up:

What does it tell you -- I come back to this point with folks -- what does it tell you that not a single Republican Senator has publicly said, "Ted Cruz is the man who should lead this country"?

The two continued:

ERIC CANTOR: Well, I mean, I guess you can draw the conclusion that you're inferring-

BROOKE BALDWIN: Which is what?

CANTOR: -that those that know him best are not supporting him. So, you know, again, I think what voters will look to -- and I think it's less important in terms of, you know, that fact, but what voters are going to look to in the end in this process is: Who is the best position with the track record, with the demonstrated temperament to be commander-in-chief? That is the test. That is why I'm supporting Jeb Bush.

Baldwin brought up the "far right" label as she continued:

Talk about the far right, I mean, here you were, House Majority Leader, you were a Republican star, years on the Hill, here comes this economics professor associated with the Tea Party, unseats you, shocks everyone. Something tells me you are not surprised by this - I don't know if you want to call it a movement or just anger -- kicked up by both Trump and Cruz.

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Tuesday, February 2, CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin:

2:11 p.m. ET
BROOKE BALDWIN: I have to move on because I want to play this sound -- we dug up some sound from Senator Cruz reacting to your shocking loss in 2014 when you lost to a Tea Party upstart. Here you go.

SENATOR TED CRUZ (R-TX): Eric Cantor is a good man, he's a hard-working man, he's a smart man. But the voters of Virginia have spoken loudly, and I think they have expressed a sentiment that is present across the country, which is that people are frustrated. They're frustrated with politicians in Washington in both parties who aren't listening to them.

BALDWIN: Listening to him, Congressman Cantor, what is your personal opinion of Ted Cruz?

ERIC CANTOR, FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Listen, I have the experience of working with Ted Cruz. He obviously takes a very different posture in terms of whether one should try and get something done, put conservative principles to work to produce results or whether you want to just obstruct and just say no. And again, I know that-

BALDWIN: What side of that does he fall on?

CANTOR: Well, I mean, I think it's pretty apparent what side he falls on, you know, and all of us on our side of the political aisle are very frustrated with this President and his disregard for the law and his overreach in terms of executive orders and philosophically how we differ so much from him.

At the end of the day, what we want to do is we want to increase the appeal of conservative philosophy. And I think the test is: Can you put it to work to achieve results? In the time that I had spent with Senator Cruz, it wasn't necessarily evident to me that he shared that aim, which is to produce results.

BALDWIN: What does it tell you -- I come back to this point with folks -- what does it tell you that not a single Republican Senator has publicly said, "Ted Cruz is the man who should lead this country"?

CANTOR: Well, I mean, I guess you can draw the conclusion that you're inferring-

BALDWIN: Which is what?

CANTOR: -that those that know him best are not supporting him. So, you know, again, I think what voters will look to -- and I think it's less important in terms of, you know, that fact, but what voters are going to look to in the end in this process is: Who is the best position with the track record, with the demonstrated temperament to be commander-in-chief? That is the test. That is why I'm supporting Jeb Bush.

BALDWIN: Talk about the far right, I mean, here you were, House Majority Leader, you were a Republican star, years on the Hill, here comes this economics professor associated with the Tea Party, unseats you, shocks everyone. Something tells me you are not surprised by this - I don't know if you want to call it a movement or just anger -- kicked up by both Trump and Cruz.

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters