TODAY   |  September 25, 2013

Chuck Todd: Cruz holds ‘longest stump speech ever’

NBC’s Chuck Todd assesses the implications of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s non-filibuster speech in the Senate to protest Obamacare before a vote later Wednesday to ultimately keep the health care law intact.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> todd is nbc's political director and chief white house correspondence. good morning to you.

>> good morning.

>> obviously a lot of people are talking about ted cruz this morning. he's getting the attention he wanted. a lot of people tuning in right now wondering how long he can keep his eyes open or stay on his feet. is there anything real behind this political theater ?

>> so far, no. nothing but the world's longest ted-talk. but the issue is a real filibuster you are trying to disrupt the business of the senate or delay the business and what cruz decided to do was he was trying to walk this line of on one hand keep talk -- prove to house conservatives that there was some action behind his words. there's a lot of -- there's a lot of skepticism about cruz, even among some of his fellow conservatives that think ted cruz is only out for one thing, ted cruz and the advancement of ted cruz and the presidential campaign in 2016 of ted cruz . so he wanted to show, no, he was willing to do something but it's risk free. he's not disrupting a vote or delaying a vote so you look at this and you just wonder, all it is is maybe the longest speech ever before the iowa caucuses .

>> where is this going? at what point are the sides going to get to the point? with a government shut down a real possibility, what point is it going to happen? one side is going to have to blink.

>> in this case, we're not going to have this clash, matt. there actually is some conversations going on behind the scenes . you have a bunch of senate republicans that are working and talking with chuck and harry reid , the two democratic senate leaders. they're not going to shut down short-term. there's not going to be a show down or anything like that. now debt ceiling or something at the end of the year, that's a whole other story.

>> chuck todd in washington, thank