Policy: Budgets & Deficits

Dick Cheney defends Ted Cruz and the Tea Party

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Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering,Republican Party,Tea Party,Ted Cruz,Budgets and Deficits,Dick Cheney

On NBC's "Today" show Monday morning, former Vice President Dick Cheney defended Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and the Tea Party.

"I think they've raised issues Americans care about," Cheney said, when asked about his opinion of the Tea Party. "We have terrible track records with respect to federal spending. Nobody seems to be able to solve the problem."

Cheney described the movement as an "uprising" within the Republican Party.

"I don't see it as a negative," Cheney said. "It's better to have that turmoil and change in the Republican Party than it would be to have it outside."

Cheney said that he wasn't a "card-carrying member" of the Tea Party but had a great deal of respect for the movement.

"These are Americans," he said simply. "They're loyal, they're patriotic and taxpayers, and they're fed up with what they see happening in Washington. I think it's a normal, healthy reaction and the fact that the party is having to adjust to it is positive."

When asked about his opinion of Ted Cruz, Cheney noted that Cruz was merely representing his state.

"I think he represents the thinking of an awful lot of people obviously in Texas," Cheney said, "But my own daughter is running for U.S. Senate in Wyoming partly under the concern that Washington is not working, the system is breaking down and it's time for new leadership."

When asked if he would have a role in his daughter's campaign, Cheney explained that he was part of the older generation that was getting challenged by the Tea Party.

"Probably the best thing I can do is stay out of the way," he said.

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