Politics
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz departs the Senate floor after a late-night vote rejected budget legislation from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 30, 2013. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst) Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz departs the Senate floor after a late-night vote rejected budget legislation from the Republican-controlled House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 30, 2013. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)  

Liberal heckling sparks stream of one-liners from Ted Cruz

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

After his recent 21-hour filibuster-style marathon speech on Obamacare, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz found himself heckled over and over again by liberal activists during remarks at a conservative conference in Washington D.C. on Friday.

The constant interrupting by hecklers throughout his speech at the Values Voter Summit led the Republican lawmaker to throw out a number of crowd-pleasing one-liners:

  • In response to one heckler, Cruz said: “Thank you, sir, for being here. You know, look, it is a great thing that people can express their First Amendment rights. And I only wish the Obama administration respected First Amendment rights that much.”
  • To another heckler, Cruz responded: “Ma’am, thank you for being here. I wish you would participate in the democratic process through speaking respectfully. … It seems that President Obama’s paid political operatives are out in force today. And you know why? Because the men and women in this room scare the living daylights out of them.”
  • Interrupted again, Cruz took aim at the president: “You know what? I’m curious. Is anybody left at the Organizing for America headquarters? I’m actually glad that the president’s whole political staff is here instead of actually doing mischief in the country.”
  • When another heckler yelled out a question, Cruz responded: “You know what’s striking, actually? In the course of this brief speech, we’ve heard more questions than President Obama has allowed in the last year.”
  • The heckling then led Cruz to “make an offer” to Obama. “I would welcome the president, if he wants to get a hundred of his most rabid political operatives in a room, I’ll answer their questions on television as long as he likes. And in exchange, all that I would ask, Mr. President, is you take not a hundred, but ten of the men and women in this room, and spend 30 minutes answering their questions for the American people.”
  • To another liberal activist, Cruz responded: “Oh, they don’t want the truth to be heard. They definitely don’t want the truth to be heard.”
  • After the crowd broke into chants of “USA, USA” in response to another interruption, Cruz said: “You know the nice thing? The nice thing is the left will always always tell you who they fear. You. They fear the American people.”

Cruz received a rock-star-like reception from the conservatives in attendance. “I receive that blessing. And let me say to each and everyone of you, I am inspired by you. I am invigorated by your passion for this great country,” he said.

“These are extraordinary times,” Cruz said at the beginning of this remarks. “These are not typical times. The challenges facing this country are unlike any we have ever seen. You look at our Constitution, you look at our Bill of Rights. This is an administration that seems bound and determined to violate every single one our Bill of Rights.”

Cruz got laughs by saying, “I don’t know that they’ve yet violated the Third Amendment, but I expect them to start quartering soldiers in people’s homes soon.”

To the social conservatives in the crowd, Cruz said of the Obama White House: “This is an administration that has told service men and women that they cannot share their faith or risk discipline.”

“No administration in the history of this country has ever come after guns like this administration,” Cruz added.

He made a joking reference to his marathon speech last month, which included reading Dr. Seuss from the Senate floor: “Now as inspired as I am, I will do my very best to speak for less than 21 hours. But you will know I’m near wrapping up when I begin to read the Cat and the Hat,” Cruz said.

He also took a swipe at Joe Biden. The crowd broke into laughter when Cruz mentioned the vice president’s name. “You know the nice thing? You don’t need a punch line. You just say his name, people laugh.”

As the president and Congress still work to find a solution to the government shutdown, Cruz told the crowd he is going to the White House for a meeting on Friday.

“This afternoon, President Obama has invited the Senate Republicans to the White House. So after leaving here, I am going to be going to the White House,” he said.

“I will make a request,” Cruz added to loud applause. “If I’m never seen again, please send a search-and-rescue team.”

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