Must Read Texas – October 6, 2013

Cruz, Cornyn Appear on Sunday Shows;
Perry Headlines California GOP Fall Convention;
TT’s Jay Root Reports from Wendy Davis’ First Campaign Stop;
Davis Appears on WFAA’ “Inside Texas Politics”
*****
Good morning from Austin.
Of note in the just released AP poll: A&M #9, OU #12, Baylor #15, Texas Tech #20, Oklahoma State #22.

Here’s the brief:

CRUZ, CORNYN ON SUNDAY SHOWS

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” this morning.
Here is the video.
The rush transcript is below:

CROWLEY: We are back now with Senator Ted Cruz. I do believe, senator, that he was sort of referring to you in some of those remarks about the extreme members of Congress that they — people that they characterize as extreme shutting down the government to the harm of the U.S. The debt ceiling. How should Republicans approach that?

CRUZ: Well, I mean, let me commend actually Secretary Lew for not being willing to demagogue on the debt ceiling the way sadly his boss, President Obama, has. If I counted it right, three times you asked him directly come October 17th, will the United States default on its debt? And three times, he avoided answering. And the reason is the answer is, of course not.

Now, frankly, what I wish he said and what any responsible president would say is you come out and say under no circumstances will the United States ever default on its debt. That should be the answer. But Secretary Lew at least went half way there by refusing to repeat the claim that President Obama’s made that there is some risk of our default —

CROWLEY: But would you agree that it’s not good for the U.S. not to be able to borrow past where it is, because at some point, it will have to default. How should the Republicans handle the debt ceiling? Do you want some, for instance, faction of the president’s health plan to be attached to that in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling or because it’s so important, should Republicans say we need to lift this debt ceiling?

CRUZ: Look, in my view, the debt ceiling, we should look for three things. Number one, we should look for some significant structural plan and reduce government spending. Number two, we should avoid new taxes. And number, we should look for ways to mitigate the harms from Obamacare. You know, since 1978, the debt ceiling has been raised 55 times.

CROWLEY: So, you think that some facet of the president’s health care plan should be attached to an increase in the debt ceiling?

CRUZ: The debt ceiling historically has been among the best leverage that Congress has to reign in the executives.

CROWLEY: So, yes?

CRUZ: Yes. Yes.

CROWLEY: And what else?

CRUZ: But my point is that there’s great historical precedence. Since 1978, we raised the debt ceiling 55 times. A majority of those times, 28 times, Congress has attached very specific and stringent requirements, many of the most significant spending restraints things like Gramm-Rudman, things like sequestration came through the debt ceiling.

And so, the president’s demand jack up the nation’s credit card with no limits, no constraints, it’s not a reasonable demand.

CROWLEY: How far are you willing to go because I’m going to imagine that a number of your Republican colleagues as well as all the Democrats are going to say we cannot mess around with the debt ceiling here. It’s too important. It’s in a bad message. It will rock the economy. Let’s increase the debt ceiling for X amount of time or X amount of dollars. How far would you go to stop that in order to eke out —

CRUZ: Look, in my view we ought to have one fight at a time. So, we’re right now in the middle of a government shutdown.

CROWLEY: But it’s all going to pull together. You would agree with that.

CRUZ: It may or may not. I don’t think it should. I think we still got some time on the debt ceiling. And I think right now, we need to deal with the fact that a significant percentage of the government is shut down because Harry Reid and President Obama have refused to negotiate.

And you’re seeing House Republicans over and over again passing reasonable bills to open vital government services and President Obama and the Democrats refusing to negotiate. We have to focus on that first, because that’s the immediate challenge.

CROWLEY: Well, I — I grant you that both sides see the other side as at fault here. But that’s about blame. I think what the American people want to know is, where does this end? You talked last night — you were at a Virginia republican event in Richmond and said Republicans will win this.

And by that, I believe you meant what you wanted in exchange for a spending bill. What does win this mean to you? What does that have to look like for a Republican victory?

CRUZ: Let me be clear, I didn’t say Republicans will win this. Listen, I think career politicians in both parties have been part of the problem. What I said is the American people are going to win. And that’s something very —

(CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: What does the American people win look like to you?

CRUZ: Look, what the American people want is they want our government funded and they want to stop the harms from Obamacare. Obamacare is hurting millions of people. It’s killing their jobs. It’s forcing them into part-time work. It’s driving up health insurance premiums, and it’s causing millions of Americans to lose or risk losing their health insurance. That’s a win for the American people is actually responding to the real harms that are coming from Obamacare. CROWLEY: So, let me show you some polling that was done recently. And the question encompasses both of those things you just talked about and that is, do you believe, the question is, that in order to change Obamacare defunded the government should shut down if that’s the price for getting it done?

And the CBS poll basically showed 72 percent totally disapprove of that tactic. So, if we’re listening to what the American people want, they don’t want a government shutdown simply because there are differences over the health care law

CRUZ: But Candy, as you phrase that question, I’m in that 72 percent. I don’t want the government to shut down. I’ve said that throughout. And the reason the government has shut down, you know, you mentioned in fact earlier you guys ran a graphic on the screen both sides refuse to negotiate. And look, I understand the natural reaction you see an impasse in this sort of natural reaction is, well, both sides are to blame.

But I don’t think the facts support that, because if you look, the House Republicans repeatedly had been compromising, had been passing one bill after another, first of all, on Obamacare itself, and then secondly, working to restart vital government functions. And the Senate Democrats over and over again and President Obama has said they won’t negotiate. They won’t talk.

They have not moved one inch. And when you’ve got one side that’s compromising the other side that isn’t, I don’t think it’s an accurate or fair description to say that neither side is negotiating.

CROWLEY: But it is accurate to say is it not that absent the Republicans attaching things to do with the president’s health care act, a clean CR would have gone through? That’s accurate, correct?

CRUZ: That’s actually not Accurate. So, for example, you played the president saying let’s have a vote. Let’s stop the farce. I agree with President Obama. There are eight bills that the House has passed that are piled up on Harry Reid’s desk. And Harry Reid will not let the Senate vote. So, for example, Jack Lew, Candy, said we need to fund our veterans and disability payments. I agree.

The House passed a bill to fund our veterans. Every Senate Republican believes we should fund our veterans regardless of what happens in the shutdown, our veterans shouldn’t pay the price. And right now, Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats are refusing to have a vote and they’re blocking it. The only reason the VA is not adequately funded right now is because Harry Reid and the Democrats are blocking it. That’s not reasonable.

CROWLEY: How about a cooling off period? There’s this idea being floated — CNN is reporting kind of a cooling off period, that you pass a clean spending bill for six weeks, and on it, you also increase the debt ceiling for six weeks. And in that six weeks, you negotiate on how to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and you negotiate the debt ceiling.

CRUZ: Candy —

CROWLEY: That would accomplish, would it not, what you want, which is the president at the table?

CRUZ: Look what you just asked. You said how about the agreement be give the Democrats 100 percent of what they want with no changes whatsoever. They’re not talking now, but if you give them everything you want, then they’ll talk. No, they won’t. Look, we saw this week President Obama after months of refusing to talk to Congress finally invited Congressional leaders over, sat down and said hi, I invited you here to say I will not negotiate.

Their view is not reasonable. It is Republicans in Congress who are passing bills to reopen the parks, to reopen the memorials, to fund cancer research, to fund our veterans, and it is the Democrats who are refusing to have a vote. I mean, Candy, why won’t Harry Reid let the Senate vote on the eight bills the House has passed to fund vital parts of the government?

CROWLEY: I think he would say because he thinks he’s being blackmailed, but I want to continue this conversation. We’ll be back. We got to take a quick break. We want to talk about a couple of things when we return. I also want to talk about some of the blowback you’re getting from members of your own party. They reportedly gave you an earful behind closed doors saying you don’t have an end game strategy and you’re, quote, “selling snake oil.” Your chance to respond after this.

CROWLEY: We are back with Republican senator, Ted Cruz. As you know, Speaker Boehner is out today also on the Sunday morning circuit and he said that there are not the votes in the House for a clean increase in the debt ceiling, that there is a history of debt ceiling increases being tied to other policy things, and that he wants to sit down with the president to talk about that.

My question to you is, if what the speaker can pass out of the House does not include health care reform but includes other things, entitlement reform or some manner of tax reform, would that be OK with you or do both the shutdown and the debt ceiling have to have some component rescinding some part of Obamacare?

CRUZ: Look, I think the speaker is exactly right. And I commend his leadership, because the House of Representatives has been listening to the American people and what House Republicans have been doing consistently throughout this is trying to resolve this matter. I mean, they’ve been passing bill after bill to fund vital priorities of the government, and the Senate Democrats, there are eight bills piled up on Harry Reid’s desk that he won’t allow.

CROWLEY: I understand. I heard you say that, but the questions is, does some part of health care reform — repeal in some way have to be attached to a debt ceiling for you to approve of it?

CRUZ: Look, as I said, I want to worry about the debt ceiling after we get through the CR. My view is, what does Congress need to do now whether it’s the CR or debt ceiling is, we need to prevent the millions of people who are losing their jobs, who are being pushed into part-time work, who are facing — you know, for a young healthy 30-year-old male who’s single, recent study showed that under Obamacare, he’s going to pay health insurance premiums going up 260 percent. We need to address that.

CROWLEY: If this is more than anecdotal, if this is a widespread problems that spelled doom for the president’s health care plan, why not just let it rip? Let it go into effect and have it cave on its own? Because then, I think you’ll have much better numbers in the polls of people that want to get rid of health care.

CRUZ: Look, it’s a great question, and the reason is, if you listen to what Senator Harry Reid said, he said that he believes that Obamacare will lead inevitably to single payer government socialized health care. Listen, I agree these things are going to collapse, but in the process of collapsing, it’s going to destroy the private health insurance system.

You’ve got hundreds of millions of people who right now have private health insurance that is jeopardized by Obamacare. So, when it collapses, I don’t want it to destroy the health insurance we have now. And listen, Candy, if one of your viewers doesn’t trust me because I’m a politician which actually makes sense, because I’m a republican, maybe they would trust James Hoffa who’s the president of the teamsters.

James Hoffa said in writing that Obamacare right now is destroying the health care of millions of working men and women. He used the word destroying. I agree with Mr. Hoffa.

CROWLEY: Because he wants a subsidy for collective union bargaining health care benefits.

CRUZ: I mean, let’s be clear, what he’s saying is that his workers are at risk of losing their health insurance, and that same thing is true. It’s why U.P.S. just a few weeks ago sent a letter to 15,000 employees saying you’re losing your spousal coverage. All of your Husbands and wives are losing the health insurance they have right now.

Now, there was a time when President Obama said if you like your health insurance, you can keep it. We need to make that commitment. We need to honor that commitment.

CROWLEY: I want to talk to you a little bit about the politics of this. President Obama gave an interview to the “Associated Press” recently and he had this to say about new senators. I think maybe you’ll recognize or think this might be a little bit about you. “My attitude was,” when he was a freshman senator, “I should just keep a pretty low profile in the Senate and just do the work. I didn’t go around courting the media and I certainly didn’t go around trying to shut down the government.”

The president just the latest in a string of people who’ve been criticizing you that, in fact, you weren’t here when Republicans fought tooth and nail to stop the president’s health care bill. And now, you sort of join forces with people who are now calling your fellow Republicans rhinos, Republican in name only and they’re soft Republicans and we need to replace them. What’s your response to what the president has to say about you and others?

CRUZ: Look, the fact that you’re saying so many nasty partisan jabs from Democrats and —

CROWLEY: And from Republicans as well.

CRUZ: But you just quoted the president, and certainly, Harry Reid and Senate Democrats have not been shy and using all sorts of ad hominem inflammatory attack, the fact that you’re saying those attacks I think is indicative of the fact that we’re winning the argument. Obamacare isn’t working. You don’t see any Democrats defending Obamacare.

CROWLEY: — hasn’t started.

CRUZ: But the harms have. People are losing their health insurance right now. That is because of Obamacare. People are being pushed into part-time work right now. that Is because of Obamacare. And so —

CROWLEY: And your Republican colleagues agree with you on that? They agree with you that they don’t want the president’s health care plan, many of them fought against it. They do not agree that shutting down the government is the appropriate way to — and I know you think Harry — I understand that your take is —

CRUZ: Let me be clear on this. Let me be clear on this. I don’t support shutting down the government. I’ve said that throughout. And if you want to focus, as I think you do, on areas of bipartisan agreement, a week ago, the House passed a bill funding the men and women of our military.

CROWLEY: Right.

CRUZ: The senate unanimously passed it. But then, the House has passed eight other bills funding things like our veterans, funding things like the national parks, and Harry Reid has killed them. Now, let me be clear, because it’s important to understand. These bills, none of them even mention Obamacare. They’re programs completely unrelated to Obamacare.

And the position of President Obama and Harry Reid is, if you aren’t funding everything in the government, they will fund nothing. You know, we launched a national website, fundourvets.com that says, listen, regardless of the shutdown, veterans ought to be above politics. They ought to be bipartisan agreement. We need to honor our commitments to our veterans.

CROWLEY: But obviously, they feel that if you can use this kind of leverage, they feel it’s blackmail. But let me ask you something about your fellow Republicans.

CRUZ: But Candy, let me press back. It’s twice you’ve said Harry Reid would say it’s blackmail. And I want to press back, because I actually — I think that’s a false claim with no basis. The bill that the House passed on the VA simply funds the VA. It doesn’t mention anything about Obamacare. It doesn’t mention anything about anything else. Now, for hundreds of years, the way Congress is appropriated has been one topic at a time. How is it blackmail to say, we think we should fund the veterans? Do you agree? That’s a yes or no vote. Now Harry Reid refuses to let the Democrats vote on that. But how is it blackmail to say, we may not agree on everything but is there anything we can agree on? We ought to agree on supporting our veterans.

CROWLEY: Do you think you hurt the Republican Party brand?

CRUZ: Not remotely. But I also think far too many people are worried about politics. Listen, if we worry about what is impacting the American people, the politics will take care of itself. The politicians that are gazing at polls, there is a reason why the most common sentiment across this country is that politicians in Washington aren’t listening to us. There’s a reason why Congress has 10 percent to 15 percent approval rating. In both parties, the politicians in Washington try to maintain their power instead of listening to the American people.

CROWLEY: But again, you know, you can listen to various portions of the American public. And we’ve seen poll after poll showing indeed that Americans are split about the president’s plan. But in the portion of people that don’t like it includes people who do want single payer, who think it doesn’t go far enough. It is – it is existing law that you are trying to overturn. Why not just get out there and win elections and overturn it with the Republican Senate and a Republican House and a Republican in the White House? Instead of shutting down the government which I think you would concede hurts people who have nothing to do with Obamacare.

CRUZ: Listen, we did have an election. Republicans won a majority of the House of the Representatives. And the constitution gives the House of Representatives the principle responsibility for appropriations for spending. There was a press conference last week where Harry Reid said, who is John Boehner to decide what our priorities should be in spending? Well he’s the speaker of the House and the constitution gives him that authority. Now there was also a press conference that I know you’re familiar with, in which a reporter from CNN Dana Bash asked him about the NIH funding, funding for the National Institutes of Health. He said if you can save one kid with cancer, isn’t it worth doing it? And his response, he said, why would I care about that? And then he proceeded to lecture and insult her. Now listen, Dana as you know is not some right-wing kook. She was doing her job and the response from the Democrats was, how dare you question us. We’re going to shut down everything and we don’t intend to budge. That’s not a reasonable decision.

CROWLEY: I have to close it off there. Really wish we had more time. I hope you’ll come back. Dana Bash by the way is a big girl. She’s just fine but thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it, Senator Ted Cruz. When we return, our panel on this week’s winners and losers. Also Saturday’s U.S. military raids against terrorists in Africa and whether they’ll give the president a little more leverage for his domestic agenda.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate Minority Whip, appeared on CBS’ “Face the Nation” this morning.
Here’s the video.
Below is the rush transcript:

BOB SCHIEFFER: And now we’re going to get the other side from the Assistant Republican leader in the Senate, Texas Senator John Cornyn.  Senator Cornyn, give me some scenario, where do you see this ending?  How does this end?

SENATOR JOHN CORNYN: Well, the President’s got to lead and he’s got to do his job.  We rejected the concept of a king, when our country was founded, and created three co-equal branches of government.  The President said he won’t negotiate on the continuing resolution and now he said he won’t negotiate on the debt.  But, what he needs to do is roll up his sleeves and get to the table and I’m sure we can get past the impasse on both the continuing resolution, as well as the debt ceiling.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But I just– as I said to Mr. Lew, I just see both sides talking past one another.  Republicans say they won’t vote on this until everybody sits down and talks.  The President said, “Vote on it, and then we’ll sit down and talk.”  Somebody has got to give here, it seems to me.

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, 17 times since 1976 the government has temporarily shut down because of an impasse over spending levels.  And that’s what’s happened again, and we’re not going to resolve this without the President engaging in it.  Now, the debt ceiling and the continuing resolution have sort of morphed into one another, because of the timing of this thing, and again Mr. Lew says that the President won’t negotiate on that.

I think what’s happened is that in 2011 the President now realizes that Republicans, who were concerned about spending levels, got the better of him on the Budget Control Act, which has actually cut $2 trillion over the next ten years, we get on that trajectory, of discretionary spending.  And the President realizes that he’s going to have to give something in order to get what he wants, and he wasn’t want to go there.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, you heard Speaker Boehner say that he does not think that there are votes in the House right now to pass a clean bill, a bill that doesn’t have anything attached to it.  Do you think that’s the case?

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, he knows the House better than I know the House.  But I know there is a lot of concern, among conservatives, about actually the level of the continuing resolution.  Because, as you know, it came out of the Senate at $988 billion, which is actually above the Budget Control Act number of $967 billion.  So, I imagine there are a number of different views about this.  But, the fact is that the continuing resolution has now become part of the debt ceiling negotiation and the President needs to do his job.  So far he’s been AWOL.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, don’t Republicans also have to do their job–

SENATOR CORNYN: Everybody–

BOB SCHIEFFER: …I mean, you know, this law, this all started because Ted Cruz, your colleague from Texas, in the Senate, didn’t like Obamacare.  And he worked up this deal that we won’t raise– I mean, we won’t fund the government unless we can also get you to agree not to fund Obamacare.  I mean, which is almost like, you know, “I’m going to throw a brick through your window unless you give me $20.”

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, I would look at it a little different way.  I would say that Ted and I share the concern about what Obamacare’s doing to our economy.  And even–

BOB SCHIEFFER: But that’s beside the point.  The law has been passed.  Why not keep the government running and then everybody can sit down and decide what they want to do about that?

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, there should be a negotiation and this government would still be up and running in full–

BOB SCHIEFFER: But–

SENATOR CORNYN: –if Harry Reid had allowed Democrats to vote to eliminate the congressional carve out, which treats them favorably under Obamacare, and to treat average Americans the same way the President has decided to treat business, with regard to the Obamacare penalties.

BOB SCHIEFFER: But Senator, isn’t there something wrong, when you say, “We won’t fund the government unless I can attach my personal wish list to the legislation every time we vote?”  I mean, I’d love to see the government find a cause– a cure for cancer, but I don’t think you could say, “I’m not going to pass any funds for the rest of the government until NIH finds the cure for cancer.”  I mean, isn’t that just kind of the same thing here?

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, it should be part of the negotiation.  But there’s actually more common ground than you might think, because we have– the House has passed a provision to open up NIH to do the cancer research that’s necessary.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, but that–

SENATOR CORNYN: And that’s been–

BOB SCHIEFFER: –I’m making–

SENATOR CORNYN: –shut down–

BOB SCHIEFFER: Yeah, but I mean–

SENATOR CORNYN: –by the Democrats.

BOB SCHIEFFER: –you can’t do that every time you get read to fund the government, it seems to me, if somebody comes up with some new thing that’s their thing that they want done, and you can’t fund the government unless you get that.  I mean–

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, I know you can’t reach an agreement and get past this impasse if the President won’t negotiate and he’s not at the table.  We’ve moved from the defund Obamacare effort to eliminating this congressional carve out and eliminating the penalty on individual Americans, like the President’s done for businesses, under Obamacare.  We would have the government be funded today if Harry Reid and Senate Democrats had agreed to vote for that.

BOB SCHIEFFER: What would you like?  What do Republicans want?

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, I tell you what we want is some measures to address the out of control debt and spending in the country.  And particularly looking at $17 trillion in debt, which is hampering our economy, creating uncertainty, it’s helping to contribute to slow economic growth and high unemployment.  And the President says he wants a clean debt ceiling increase.  That’s not going to happen.  And we can’t let it happen if we care about the next generation.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Well, where does this end?  I mean, I guess I’ve asked that question before, but where does this end?  Because I don’t see either side, this morning, moving any closer to that than they were six months ago.

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, I think you’re correct this morning.  Things change rather quickly around here.  My hope would be the President would reconsider his decision to sit on the sidelines and be a mere spectator, and he would roll up his sleeves and he’d do the job.  I can’t imagine, coming from Texas, I can’t imagine Lyndon Baines Johnson, as president, or any other president frankly in the 17 times we have a shutdown, sitting on the sidelines and outsourcing these negotiations to other people.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me just ask you this.  You’ve been around for a while.  How is it that you wind up with a freshman senator, who’s been in office less than a year, becomes the architect of this thing that has the two sides so gridlocked that nobody seems to know a way out of it?  How did that happen?

SENATOR CORNYN: Well, there is a way out of it, but it’s going to take the President’s involvement.  But I’ll speak to that.  I think what Ted and so many others are addressing is the fear in this country that we are careening down a path that unless we stop and correct it, in terms of spending, in terms of government over reach, that our country will become something we don’t even recognize.  And so, I think they see this as an opportunity.  I think they’re right.  It is an opportunity, but it’s going to take the President, being a co-equal partner, along with Congress, in negotiating both the continuing resolution and the debt ceiling.

BOB SCHIEFFER: All right.  Well, Senator, thank you for coming by this morning.

SENATOR CORNYN: Thanks, Bob.

PERRY HEADLINES CA GOP FALL CONVENTION

The Sacramento CBS affiliate reports on Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) headlining speech at the California Republican Party fall convention in Anaheim, CA last night.
LA Times’ Cathleen Decker has an analysis of Gov. Perry’s speech.

TT’S JAY ROOT REPORTS FROM DAVIS’ FIRST CAMPAIGN STOP

TT’s Jay Root reports from Waxahachie, TX, at the first campaign stop for new gubernatorial candidate, State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth).
Here’s the full piece, which you may also read online here:

WAXAHACHIE — State Sen. Wendy Davis, in her first campaign swing as a candidate for governor, said Saturday that Texans are sick and tired of the bickering in Washington, D.C. — but she wouldn’t take sides in the ongoing government shutdown.

“People don’t want to see us getting into those kinds of squabbles,” Davis said when asked who should be blamed for the shutdown. “They want to see us doing the work that we’ve been elected to do. And Texas, I think, has done a better job of that. I know people don’t want to see us be Washington, D.C.”

Davis declined to say whether she agrees with congressional Democrats that the way to end the shutdown is to vote quickly on a measure to re-open the government with no strings attached. Republicans are trying to force President Obama to negotiate with them over delaying or making changes to the Affordable Care Act before agreeing to legislation to fund government operations.

“I’m in the camp that people should come together and find bipartisan solutions. That’s been my track record in the Texas Senate,” Davis said. “I hope that our leaders in Washington on both sides of the aisle will come to the table and find a way to do the important work they’ve been elected to do.”

Davis’ most likely Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, expressed support for the GOP drive to defund Obamacare before the shutdown but wouldn’t say if withholding government funding for the budget was a good strategy for accomplishing that goal. Now that there is a shutdown, Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch pointed the finger at the White House.

“Greg Abbott believes this is a failure of leadership,” Hirsch said in a written statement Saturday. “The president must lead and he should be working to solve the problem, not acting like a partisan cheerleader. When there is gridlock, the chief executive must step up with solutions, not a stiff-arm.”

Davis announced her campaign for governor in Haltom City, a suburb of Fort Worth, on Thursday. On Saturday, she hit the road and made heavily Republican Ellis County her first stop.

Stressing the importance that education will play in her campaign, Davis met with a handful of teachers at El Mexicano Grill & Cantina near the picturesque courthouse in Waxahachie, about 45 minutes south of Dallas. Over coffee, the teachers told Davis budget cuts had forced them to deal with larger class sizes and less help for special needs children.

Davis noted she had filibustered a school finance bill in 2011 to protest deep budget cuts and promised to fight for more funding if she’s elected governor.

After meeting with the educators, Davis was driven a couple of blocks over to the Ellis County Democratic Party headquarters, where volunteers were making phone calls on her behalf. Battleground Texas, the group led by former Obama operatives who are trying to make conservative Texas more hospitable to Democrats, took advantage of the event to sign up volunteers.

Davis said the jaunt to a traditionally “red” area on her first campaign outing demonstrates her commitment to reach beyond the Democratic base in the hunt for votes.

“We want to hear from voices all over the state of Texas, and this campaign is about including all those voices,” she said. “That means going everywhere, having conversations with folks, not writing anyone off because of their partisanship.”

Nancy Cannaday, chairwoman of the Ellis County Democratic Party, described the county as 70-30 in favor of Republicans but she said “there’s a lot of closet Democrats” and that Davis would give them a reason to come out and vote for her in November 2014.

Davis has not released a schedule of her upcoming events, but she indicated that she would be traveling all around the state to drum up support for her campaign. She said she was looking forward in particular to traveling to some of the places where she lived as a child, including Muleshoe and El Paso.

Later Saturday she is scheduled to attend the Austin City Limits music festival. Her campaign initially said Davis would introduce the Kings of Leon band, but later a spokesman said the introduction was “tentative” based on Davis’ schedule.

Top Davis aides say the biggest hurdle will be raising the money needed to compete with Abbott, the GOP front-runner, who had more than $20 million in the bank at last count. In emails sent to supporters Friday night, Davis indicated she had raised almost $500,000 in a post-announcement fundraising drive.

Her campaign could not immediately say if she had met or exceeded that goal.

DAVIS APPEARS ON WFAA’s ‘INSIDE TEXAS POLITICS’

State Sen. Davis appeared on WFAA ABC Dallas’ “Inside Texas Politics” earlier this morning.
Here’s the video.

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#txlege
– The San Angelo Standard-Times editorial board says Gov. Perry has ‘earned plaudits’ for his push for water infrastructure in Texas.

2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– DMN’s Christy Hoppe reports on the Davis campaign’s expected focus on suburban women.
– AAS’ Joanthan Tilove reports (behind paywall) on the ‘nuanced views’ of the likely general election candidates for Governor.
– Chron’s Stewart Powell reports (behind paywall) on diverging views of Sen. Cruz as it relates to Obamacare.
– Chron’s David Saleh Rauf and Peggy Fikac report (behind paywall) on Democratic hopes that a focus on voter registration and voter turnout in South Texas will benefit gubernatorial candidate State Sen. Davis.
– The Richmond, VA CBS affiliate reports on Sen. Cruz’s speech to a Virginia Family Foundation gala last night.

Other stories of interest:
– Austin’s hotel development booms continues (behind paywall), with a 40 percent bed increase coming soon.

Lighter clicks:
– Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is set to return after 525 day absence tonight.
– Baylor had 864 yards of total offense last night beating West Virginia at home.
– When you gotta go, you gotta go
– An amazing photo from college football yesterday.
– Miracle play at game’s end helps Ohio State cover the line.
– Jerry Jones — flip phone user.

Your Daily Source of Inspiration:
– RIP Nicholas Oresko. (h/t @jwgop)
– Imagine how it felt for these kids to break a 66-game losing streak.
– A mobile app that saved 10,000 lives.

NEWS

AP: Cruz flays Obama, health law; casts blame at Dems (10/6/13 12:49pm)

AP: Houston-based shuttle replica to be “Independence” (10/6/13 12:48pm)

POLITICO: Cruz wants to link debt ceiling to Obamacare (10/6/13 12:48pm)

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH: Cruz blasts Obamacare in Richmond speech (10/6/13 12:48pm)

DMN: Reunion Tower’s GeO-Deck reopens to new, returning visitors (10/6/13 12:45pm)

DMN: Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn see debt ceiling as leverage (10/6/13 12:44pm)

DMN: Suburban women a key target for Wendy Davis’ governor campaign (10/6/13 12:39pm)

WFAA ABC DALLAS: Inside Texas Politics (10/6/13 12:37pm)

WFAA ABC DALLAS: View from refurbished Reunion Tower ‘spectacular’ (10/6/13 12:35pm)

FWST ($): Fort Worth bond includes $55 million to upgrade cafeterias and campus kitchens (10/6/13 12:34pm)

CHRON ($): Democrats hope South Texas push will help Davis’ governor’s run (10/6/13 12:24pm)

CHRON ($): Sunday conversation: nonprofit leader on education reform (10/6/13 12:23pm)

CHRON ($): ‘Augmented reality’ turns animation into oil business tool (10/6/13 12:22pm)

CHRON ($): Environmental justice pioneer sees unfinished work in Houston (10/6/13 12:21pm)

CHRON ($): As Houston gets older, abuse of elderly grows (10/6/13 12:21pm)

CHRON: Anti-Obamacare savior, or Johnny-come-lately? (10/6/13 12:19pm)

CHRON (Fuel Fix): Keystone battle inspires effort to tame process (10/6/13 12:16pm)

SAEN ($): Valley road checkpoints end (10/6/13 12:14pm)

SAEN ($): Immigrants are being deported into danger (10/6/13 12:14pm)

SAEN: Despite order, S.A. furloughed workers need callback clarity (10/6/13 12:08pm)

SAEN: Union rally offers furlough news and hot dogs (10/6/13 12:07pm)

AAS ($): Austin hotel development boom rolls on (10/6/13 12:02pm)

AAS ($): In polarized world of abortion politics, Davis and Abbott advance nuanced views (10/6/13 12pm)

AAS ($): Water planners are preparing for the worst (10/6/13 12pm)

TT: Largely Unchecked, Tutors Got Millions Through Program (10/6/13 11:44am)

TT: Wendy Davis Tiptoes Around Government Shutdown (10/6/13 11:38am)

VIDEO: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on CBS’ “Face the Nation” (10/6/13 11:17am)

VIDEO: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on CNN’s “State of the Union” (10/6/13 11:16am)

POLITICO: Cuccinelli shuns Cruz limelight (10/6/13 11:09am)

WTVR CBS RICHMOND: Sen. Ted Cruz headlines Family Foundation gala in Richmond (10/6/13 11:09am)

Author: Must Read Texas

Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) & Jason Stanford http://www.MustReadTexas.com @MustReadTexas

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