• Ted Cruz confronts President Obama at White House (Politico): "Sen. Ted Cruz confronted President Barack Obama over his health care law during a meeting at the White House Friday attended by dozens of GOP senators. Cruz told Obama that any deal to reopen the government must also provide relief for those negatively affected by Obamacare. In a long gaggle with reporters, Cruz did not use the word 'defund' to describe his aspirations for changes to the health care law, but said he wants 'substantial' changes. 'I told the president exactly the same thing I have told you here today: That we need to work together and fund the government and at the same time provide substantial relief to the millions of people who are hurting because of Obamacare, who are losing their jobs, being forced into part-time work and losing their health insurance,' Cruz said."
• Heckled at Values Voter Summit, Ted Cruz escalates feud with John McCain (The Dallas Morning News): "Heckler after heckler rose to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz this morning at a major gathering of social conservatives, hoping to break his flow. It turned out the Texas senator has an endless supply of comebacks. 'President Obama’s paid political operatives are out in force today … You know why? Because the men and women in this room scare the living daylights out of them,” he said after the second interruption. Another woman popped up moments later. 'Is anybody left at the Organizing for America headquarters?' he said."
• GOP lieutenant governor hopefuls fire away (The Dallas Morning News): "The Republican candidates for lieutenant governor clashed over a television ad that attacked three of them and also on whether incumbent David Dewhurst has been an effective leader during a debate in Austin on Friday. The at-times heated rhetoric of the political hopefuls caused nearly half of their Texas Municipal League audience to depart before the hour-long match-up ended. None of the four candidates appeared to gain an edge during the debate. Initial disagreements were triggered by a question to Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, over a commercial he has run across the state claiming to be the only candidate who opposes in-state college tuition for immigrants in the U.S. illegally."
• Patterson wants 4 states out of US (The Associated Press): "Patterson is hoping his penchant for packing heat can bolster him in the crowded, four-way Republican primary for Texas lieutenant governor. He's one of three top candidates trying to prove he's more conservative than incumbent David Dewhurst, even suggesting in a slightly joking manner that rather than Texas seceding, the U.S. would be better off if four liberal states — California, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut — were kicked out of the union. 'I'm in favor of expulsion,' he said. 'New York, California, and there's some good people in New York and California, but their legislatures aren't representing them.'"
New in The Texas Tribune
• Abbott Urges Reform, Not Repeal, of DREAM Act: "While other Republicans make noise about repealing the law that lets young undocumented immigrants pay in-state tuition rates, the front-running GOP candidate for governor has been silent on the issue. Aides say he wants to reform the law — not repeal it."
• TCEQ: Judge Wrongly Said the State Should Protect the Atmosphere: "The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is appealing a lawsuit that it has already won — and that was filed by children. Environmental advocates say the case is a waste of state resources."
• Cornyn Tries to Make His Own Political Luck: "The state's senior U.S. senator is up for re-election and drawing criticism from the Republican Party's right wing — but John Cornyn might get out of 2014 without serious opposition."