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Cruz Tours Texas To Discuss Jobs, Obamacare, Internet

With his presidential race behind him Republican Ted Cruz has returned to his old job as Texas senator.  He’s now on a Texas tour talking about issues he wants to tackle in Congress.

In San Antonio, at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast, Ted Cruz never once mentioned the billionaire opponent who dubbed him "Lyin' Ted." And he didn’t take media questions.  Instead, he focused on themes he’s often talked about as Texas’ junior senator.

"My No. 1 priority is jobs and economic growth," he says.

Cruz says economic growth in part depends on curbing government regulation.  He still wants to repeal Obamacare because he claims it’s a job killer.  Cruz also wants to prevent the FCC from further regulating the Internet. 

"In my view the Internet should stay free of taxes, free of regulation, keep government the heck out and let it be an oasis of  freedom.  And not just freedom for entrepreneurs and jobs, but also freedom of speech," Cruz says.

The FCC has been at the center of battles over net neutrality and is considering a proposal that has raised some concerns about  unequal treatment among Internet users.

Cruz also talked about reducing regulation through legislation he’s introduced.  It would prevent the federal government from regulating fracking.  He says that’s a job for the states.

It would recognize the 10th amendment, that the states are perfectly capable of determining what regulations should apply. He says the outcome would be big for Texas’ oil and gas industry.

It would open up new land to exploration and development.  It would reduce the barriers to building pipelines. It would reduce barriers to building and upgrading new refineries. It would reduce all the impediments to expanding our energy revolution.

Cruz also lambasted President Obama for paying Iran $400 million on the same day Iran released four hostages. 

"And by the way taking on Iran doesn’t mean sending an unmarked cargo plane with $400 million in foreign currency to pay ransom for American hostages," he says.

The President has said it wasn’t a ransom payment, but the result of a settlement over a very old dispute.  Cruz says the payment has nonetheless increased the possibility Americans will be taken hostage.