msnbc | February 18, 2013
>> commitment has never been stronger.
>>> ted cruz is quickly lining up criticism on both sides of the aisle. last week during the armed services committee vote on chuck hagel 's nomination as defense secretary cruz suggested hagel may have cozy relationships with some of america's enemies.
>> we saw with his nomination something truly extraordinary which is the government of iran formally and publicly praising the nomination. in my view if chuck hagel is confirmed it will make military conflict in the next four years substantially more likely.
>> joining me now is contributor and president of vote latino marisa cue more and also joining a former senior advise to her president bush . great to have you both here. maria therese , i want to start with you. there are two opinion pieces out today going hard at ted cruz . here is a small heart from ra?l reyes saying he exemplifies the worst of republican obstructionalism and his extreme positions are at odds with latino voters. it is time the gop presses the cruz control button. is he hurting republican efforts to remake the party especially when they're trying to be bigger tent on immigration reform and entice latino voters
>> he absolutely is. i think ra?l hit it on the head. not only is he against pathway for citizenship, he doesn't believe in the dream act . he also doesn't believe in the violence against women act . he voted against it. when you are trying to be the republican party of rebranding, trying to bring in not only a bigger tent for latinos and also for women, he is basically -- he is going in the opposite direction. what i really -- when you start looking at where he is from, he is from texas and texas , robert , if you can believe, he has 2.1 million unregistered latino voters. when you went to the polls, 25% of latino voters voted for cruz . actually, he got less than the last senator cornyn, so he will have a latino problem within texas if he keeps up his shenanigans
>> one thing we see, robert , is the fact his shenanigans is drawing the attention of democrats and republicans concerned he might be pushing it too far. take a look at john mccain 's reaction to cruz 's performance.
>> he is an honorable man and served his country and no one on this committee at any time should impune his character or integrity.
>> okay. so no one can impune his integrity unless you have been elected a lot to your seat apparently because as a freshman is that the biggest thing going against ted cruz . john mccain can take on hagel but not a freshman senator.
>> i think it is bigger than that. senator cruz reminds me of the new kid on the block, the bull in the china closet. every new freshman member that comes into the senate that does not do their homework typically likes to shake things up and throw grenades out and reminds me a lot like senator santorum in terms of the restless energy if will you and history has proven to us that new senators often kind of temper their remarks, tend to be a little about it more conservative, lower case c, once they understand the roles and the procedures and also the respect of the senate so i would suspect that once senator cruz tempers down a bit we'll see a different 2.06 version of him if you will in the next couple of months simply because republicans and democrats are trying to teach him in order to be effective here in washington , d.c. you need to be taken seriously and in order to be taken seriously you need to do your homework.
>> when we look at what he voted on, no several times on violence against women act , aid for hurricane sandy victims, against the confirmation of john kerry as secretary of state and said i made promises to the people of texas i would come to washington to shake up the status quo and that is what i intend to do and it is what i have done in every way possible in the responsibilities that have been granted to me. so, maria therese , do you think we're seeing the best of so far as a freshman senator this is what he has gone to do, it is basically to stand in the way of any type of progress?
>> i think what robert said earlier is true. i think i would take -- it is not very often the republican party comes out so publicly against one of their own, especially a junior senator who they're hoping to groom because in large part because he is latino and he is from texas . so what i would encourage him to do is basically get his feet wet, learn a little more before he is outside so publicly. what he is going to do is burn bridges within the republican party and that's not going to be good for him when he runs for re-election.
>> are there big hopes , robert , for cruz within the republican brand itself?
>> i think there are. it is an open secret the republicans have a latino problem, they have a brown people problem so he is bilingual, from texas , good looking, there is a lot of things on paper one could make the argument, not good looking from a physical standpoint, i want to clarify that and from a reliability standpoint one can make the argument he is a very attractive candidate. let me go back for a second. he is a united states senator elected from texas . he deserves the right constitutionally to be able to speak up and vote against the issues that are important to him. so even though we can disagree with his positions, he has the right in texas reaffirmed that right by sending him to washington , d.c. we can question whether or not why he voted against something or not, but that is his right constitutionally.
>> and physical attractiveness is not bad for elected leaders, you know. maria therese and former adviser adviser, and my thanks