The pre-2016 Republican presidential hopeful lovefest

Two years from now, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul will very likely be opponents in the Republican presidential primary. But on Tuesday, when first Paul, and then Rubio, joined Cruz on the Senate floor during his very, very long speech against funding Obamacare, the junior senator from Texas had nothing but kind words to say.

When Paul joined Cruz on the floor approximately three hours in, Cruz reminisced about when he had joined Paul on the floor during his own filibuster earlier this year.

“I will say it was one of the proudest moments of my life indeed, during your filibuster on drones,” Cruz said. “That was the first time I had ever spoken on the Senate floor, and I have observed multiple times that I will go to my grave in debt to Rand Paul … to have that first time be in support of that tremendous filibuster that mobilized and unified the American people.”

In what was perhaps even a higher compliment, Cruz admitted that he had changed up his footwear for the speech, trading his “argument boots” – black ostrich cowboy boots that he has worn for most of the major arguments in his career – for a pair of “black tennis shoes” of the variety worn regularly by 79-year-old Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. Cruz said he was very “embarrassed” by that fact, but that he had done it anyway, all on the “very sage counsel” of Paul.

Cruz was no less complimentary of Rubio.

“Senator Rubio, you inspire me,” Cruz declared.

“Sen. Marco Rubio is a critical national leader. When Sen. Mike Lee began this fight, Marco Rubio was there on day one … And let me tell you, I don’t know that there is any more effective, more articulate, more persuasive voice for conservative principles than my friend, Marco Rubio, Cruz said.

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