WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Thursday praised the tea party movement on its fifth birthday while vowing to activists that Republicans would repeal every word of Obamacare.
During a celebration of the five year anniversary of the tea party movement in Washington, Cruz said: “I think the tea party is the most exciting political development in decades in this country.”
“God Bless the tea party,” the Texas Republican said.
Cruz, whose popularity with the conservative grassroots was evident with the repeated chants of “Ted, Ted, Ted” from the crowd, told the hundreds of activists at the celebration not to give up on repealing President Obama’s health care law.
“Let me tell you right now,” Cruz said. “I’m absolutely convinced. We are going to repeal every single word.”
Earlier at the event, other tea party darlings – including Sens. Rand Paul of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah — addressed attendees of the Tea Party Patriots celebration in Washington at a Capitol Hill hotel.
“I’ve got good news for you, and I’ve got bad news,” Paul said in a speech. “The good news is your government is open. The bad news is your government’s open.”
Paul spent the bulk of his address railing against wasteful government spending. He told the story of how, during last year’s government shutdown, the EPA marked 95 percent of its staff as unessential.
The Tea Party Patriots held its anniversary celebration all day Thursday with lawmakers, activists, and tea party leadership from across the country.
“It’s so nice and so rare to be so close to Capitol Hill and yet so in America,” said Utah Sen. Mike Lee.
One of the biggest lines of applause of the day came from Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, who said: “Isn’t it high time that we retire John Boehner?”
It appears, however, that the crowd cut him off. After the crowd stopped applauding, Huelskamp finished his sentence: “Isn’t it high time we retire John Boehner’s biggest excuse ‘we only control 1 half of 1/3 of the government?’”
“Washington is threatened by what they cannot control,” Huelskamp said. “And they cannot control freedom loving Americans, whether they call themselves tea party members or not.”