EXCUSIVE: Sen. Ted Cruz says corporate America is trying to use its “economic power” to “punish” anyone who disagrees with President Biden’s agenda, warning that corporations are “playing with fire” by wading into politics.
Cruz, who acknowledged he is “of course” considering a 2024 presidential run, vowed to stop taking money from corporate PACs — and urged his Republican colleagues to do the same. The Texas Republican is turning his back on a gift horse with the move, as corporate PACs have previously contributed more than $2.6 million to his campaigns.
“A whole lot of Americans are fed up at the rise of woke corporate America,” Cruz said in an interview with Fox News. “More and more, we are seeing giant companies who made a political decision to crawl in bed with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and to be the economic enforcers of the Democratic agenda.”
Cruz was referring to large corporations, like Major League Baseball and Coca Cola, who were critical of Georgia’s new voting law — which critics claim make it more difficult for minorities to cast their ballots.
“In most instances, those CEOs have never read the law in question,” Cruz said, adding they are “perfectly willing to lie” and use their “economic power to try to punish anyone who dares disagree with the agenda of the Biden-Harris administration.”
Georgia’s new election law requires voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification, limiting ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters, expanded early voting days, and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The legislation also barred outside groups from passing out food and water to those in line, which Republicans say can be used as a method to illegally influence people waiting to vote.
Following the passage of the law, the MLB made the decision to move its All Star Game from Atlanta, and instead, hold the game in Denver.
“Never mind that Atlanta is 51% African-American and Denver is 9% African-American. So the MLB showed they care about racial justice so much that they will take $100 million of business away from predominantly African-American small businesses in Atlanta and move it, instead, to lily White Denver,” Cruz said. “Which just shows just the utter hypocrisy at play.”
Cruz, in making the pledge, told Fox News that if companies are going to use their “market power not to provide the goods and services that your company is in business to provide, but instead to be radical enforcers for the radical left,” then he wants “nothing to do with that agenda.”
When asked if he was acknowledging that corporate donations have impacted policy decisions for Republicans and Democrats alike, Cruz replied: “Of course they have.”
“Washington is corrupt — there is a reason it’s called the swamp,” Cruz said, urging his Republican colleagues to follow suit in making the pledge to stop taking money from corporate PACs, saying he is trying to “root out corruption” in politics.
“My hope is that if more Republicans ween themselves from corporate cash, they might also be willing to stand up and say no when the big companies come with their hands out seeking special favors, subsidies, seeking mandates. Now, I’ve opposed those subsidies and mandates from day one, but there are a lot of Republicans who haven’t,” Cruz told Fox News.
“Cutting off the cash is one way to reduce that influence,” Cruz added.
But Cruz noted that his move is also “designed to disincentivize the next Fortune 500 CEO from going woke.”
“There is a popular hashtag online ‘go woke, go broke,’ and there needs to be a countervailing consequence for companies deciding they’re political activists instead of companies.” Cruz said.
“They’re playing with fire by being so eager to wade into politics.”
After Cruz made the pledge this week, his colleague, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., also agreed to stop taking funds from corporate PACs, telling Fox News in a separate interview Friday that corporations have “become too arrogant.”
“I don’t see any reason to help them in any way by giving them a voice in any matter,” Hawley told Fox News. “I hope it shows my absolute determination to stand up against woke corporations’ attempts to control politics.”
Meanwhile, Cruz said Democrats are the “party of big business.”
“And big business loves big government. Big business gets in bed with big government and enlists the government for corporate welfare,” he said.
Cruz said that “the more Republicans who say no to corporate PAC money, the more it lays naked that the Democrats are perfectly willing to abuse government power in favor of the giant companies at the expense of the little guy.”
Cruz declared that the Republican Party “is and should be the party of the little guy.”
“The party of small business and entrepreneurs, and blue collar workers and steel workers, and truck drivers and cops and firefighters, and waiters and waitresses — that’s who we should be fighting for — not the rich and powerful denizens of the swamp,” Cruz asked.
When asked whether his move was a hint at his presidential ambitions for 2024, Cruz said that his decision is in line with his “intention to stand up for individual liberty, to stand up for free enterprise against woke corporate America, which is trying to undermine our freedoms.”
But when pressed on whether he is seriously considering to run for president in 2024, Cruz replied: “Of course I am.”