On FNC's Kelly File, Ted Cruz Welcomes 'Warm Embrace' of Hostile Media

Appearing on Fox News's Kelly File Tuesday night, Texas Senator Ted Cruz mocked the virulent media coverage of his newly-announced presidential campaign: "Well, look, there's nothing like the warm embrace of the mainstream media."

He told anchor Megyn Kelly that he even welcomed the animosity from the press: "I think one of my favorite comments was The New York Times said in the last day that, 'Cruz cannot be nominated because the Washington elites hate him.' And I have to admit my immediate thought was, 'Holy cow, do I have to disclose that to the Federal Elections Commission as an in-kind contribution?' I mean, I can't think of a better summary of why I'm running."

He added: "If you're looking for a candidate embraced by the Washington political elite, I ain't your guy."

Kelly led the show by describing the "media firestorm" sparked by Cruz's announcement and fueled by "Critics determined to dismiss his chances and his candidacy." She observed: "The first-term senator laid out a vision consistent with his conservative beliefs, and the media pounced, questioning him and his viability as a candidate."

Starting off with a series of newspaper headlines, Kelly summed up the media vitriol: "From the Washington Post, 'Ted Cruz: Principled or smug know-it-all?' In the New York Times, 'Why Ted Cruz is Such a Long Shot.' And even overseas, Britain's The Guardian saying, 'Ted Cruz is one US presidential hopeful we can write off now.' Thanks for that, Guardian."

She continued: "And that was nothing compared to what's been said on television. Watch."

A montage played of TV news outlets denouncing Cruz as "scary," "dangerous," "slimy," McCarthy-like, uncompromising, and a "hardline conservative."  

Here is a transcript of Cruz's March 24 exchange with Kelly:

9:00 PM ET

MEGYN KELLY: Breaking tonight, his presidential campaign is less than forty-eight hours old, but already Texas Senator Ted Cruz finds himself at the heart of a media firestorm. Critics determined to dismiss his chances and his candidacy. And tonight, right here, he responds. Welcome to The Kelly File, everyone, I'm Megyn Kelly.

It was early Monday morning, Senator Cruz first announced online and then told a jam-packed crowd at the Christian Liberty University that he is running for president. The first-term senator laid out a vision consistent with his conservative beliefs, and the media pounced, questioning him and his viability as a candidate.

From The Washington Post, "Ted Cruz: Principled or smug know-it-all?" In The New York Times, "Why Ted Cruz is Such a Long Shot." And even overseas, Britain's The Guardian saying, "Ted Cruz is one US presidential hopeful we can write off now." Thanks for that, Guardian.

And that was nothing compared to what's been said on television. Watch.

DONNY DEUTSCH [MSNBC'S MORNING JOE]: I think he's scary, I think he's dangerous, I think he's slimy. I think he's brings no fresh, new ideas.

CHRIS MATTHEWS [MSNBC'S HARDBALL]: I have a problem with Cruz, because I am old enough to remember, even though I was a kid, what McCarthy was all about. Now, he was Mr. Division. He accused people of being Communist. Here's this character accusing Chuck Hagel of taking 200K from the North Koreans, accusing Obama, the President of the United States, of being under Communist influence because he went to Harvard Law.

MATT LAUER [NBC'S TODAY]: In your short time in the Senate you've developed a reputation as a guy who does not back down, who will not compromise. Will you bring that brand of no-compromise to the White House, if you're elected?

JON KARL [ABC'S GOOD MORNING AMERICA]: How are you with that hardline conservative message gonna appeal to moderates and independents?

KELLY: Joining me now, Texas senator and presidential candidate, Ted Cruz. "Scary, dangerous, and slimy." The Guardian declaring you are done, forty-eight hours after you have declared. And to that you say?

SEN. TED CRUZ [R-TX]: Well, look, there's nothing like the warm embrace of the mainstream media. And I have to say – I think one of my favorite comments was The New York Times said in the last day that, "Cruz cannot be nominated because the Washington elites hate him." And I have to admit my immediate thought was, "Holy cow, do I have to disclose that to the Federal Elections Commission..."  

KELLY: Right, "I'm in."

CRUZ: ...as an in-kind contribution?" I mean, I can't think of a better summary of why I'm running. If you're looking for a candidate embraced by the Washington political elite, I ain't your guy.

(...)

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