September 25th, 2013
07:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Darth Vader, Sean Connery, Chinese gooseberries, and other highlights from Cruz's marathon speech

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, held the Senate floor for more than 21 hours as he passionately argued his case for defunding Obamacare.

Here are some of the highlights from his epic speech. Be sure you don't skip the exchange between Cruz and fellow Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah around 3 a.m., when they ask each other some super tricky questions. Cruz also mentions his lifelong dream of being a Pirate at one point. Oh, and there was the time Cruz loops Sean Connery and Teddy Roosevelt into the same analogy

Finally, you can't miss his Green Eggs and Ham reading around 8 p.m. ET.

1:25 p.m. ET – The Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to move ahead on a spending plan needed to avoid a government shutdown next week, with Republicans, including Sen. Ted Cruz, unexpectedly reversing themselves after previously trying to block the measure over their objection to spending for Obamacare.

12:56 p.m. ET – The Senate starts voting a few minutes early on whether to move ahead with the bill.

12:44 p.m. ET – Ouch.

12:40 p.m. ET – McCain, who famously called Cruz a "wacko bird" strongly disagrees with a comparison Cruz made in which he linked those who refused to stand up to the Nazis with those who refuse to stand up to Obamacare.

Here's Cruz's quote: "You go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany. Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain who told the British people, accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them."

He also said: "I suspect those same pundits who say defunding Obamacare can't be done, if it had been in the 1940s, we would have been listening to them. They would have been saying we cannot defeat the Germans."

McCain says he "resoundingly reject(s) that allegation."

"That allegation, in my view, does a great disservice. A great disservice for those brave Americans and those who stood up and said what's happening in Europe cannot stand," he says. "I do not agree with that comparison. I think it's wrong. I think it's wrong and I think it's a disservice to those who stood up and shouted at the top of their lungs that we cannot appease, that we must act. We did act."

12:38 p.m. ET –  Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, in a veiled swipe against Cruz, takes issue with those who "allege" that Senate Republicans didn't fight hard enough in 2009 against the passage of Obamacare. On the contrary, McCain argues, it was one of the most "hard-fought, fair debates that has taken place" in the Senate.

12:30 p.m. ET – As he leaves the Capitol and gets in his car, CNN's Deirdre Walsh asks Cruz how he handled it physically.

"I'm feeling terrific," he says. "It's energizing to see the American people have an opportunity to get involved in the debate.  I hope my colleagues do the right thing and listen to the American people."

Asked by CNN's Ted Barrett how he stayed out of the men's room the whole time, Cruz responds, "Drinking very little water."

12:18 p.m. ET –

12:08 a.m. ET –

12:04 a.m. ET – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Cruz's speech has been "interesting" to watch but doubts anyone learned "anything news." He says the overall Republican filibuster has been a big "waste of time," as the government verges on a shutdown.

12:00 p.m. ET – Cruz finishes speaking after more than 21 hours, yielding the floor for a prayer. He sits down for the first time.

cruz sits down

Read: Cruz's speech long, but it's not a filibuster

11:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 21st hour on the Senate floor.

11:30 a.m. ET - In his closing remarks, Cruz thanks those "who have endured this Bataan death march."

"I don’t want to miss the opportunity, within the limited time, to do something that is imperative that I do which is to thank the men and women who have endured this Bataan death march," he says.

"I want to make a point particularly to the floor staff and to everyone – you all didn’t choose this.  I appreciate the hard work and diligence in going through the night. That is not part of your typical job responsibility. I would not have imposed on your time and energy if I did not believe this was an issue of vital importance to the American people.  But I want to thank you for your hard work and diligence and cheerfulness through what has been a very long night."

11:26 p.m. ET –

11:11 a.m. ET – Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, tells the story of a 62-year-old constituent "Judy," a hotel housekeeper who will qualify for health insurance under Medicaid for the first time in her life because of Obamacare - even though there may be limitations on doctors and hospitals under the program.

"If you're being told you have a limitation on doctors and hospitals that you can use, but you have health insurance, isn't that a dramatic improvement over a lifetime of no health insurance? That's what Obamacare is going to offer to her (Judy) for the first time in her life," Durbin says. "To say that we shouldn't give her that opportunity is like someone saying if you can't fly first class, you can't get on the airplane. Listen, a lot of people would be glad to sit back in economy if they can just make the trip that you and I can make because we're blessed with health insurance."

Cruz responds: "Senator from Illinois made a reference to Judy not needing to be in first class, but being content to be in coach. You know, I think that analogy is a powerful one. But what it really highlights is the special exemption that's been put in place for members of Congress, because President Obama has put an exemption in place for members of Congress that says members of Congress will fly first class - to use your airline analogy - but average Americans who are being forced onto exchanges where their employers can't subsidize their premiums are not even flying coach, they're being put in the baggage compartment."

Read: What's Ted Cruz's deal?

10:42 a.m. ET – Cruz quotes Benjamin Franklin and a famous union boss to talk about unity.

"I will make this note to my friends on the Republican side of the aisle and the Democratic side of the aisle. As Benjamin Franklin wryly noted, 'Indeed, we must all hang together, otherwise we shall most assuredly hang separately.' That's a message all of us should think. Are we going to hang separately because we've disregarded the will, disregarded the view of our constituents, because we've given in to the Washington establishment or are we going to stand together and say let's break the broken pattern of Washington of empty show votes, of fixed procedures, of ignoring the will of the people, and let's come together - much like James Hoffa of the Teamsters has - and say we will remain silent no longer."

Then Rubio makes a funny: "I am reminded that around the world people are still not just losing their freedom but their lives for purposes of speaking out. I will confess that I hope we can avoid the hanging part (chuckles) of the situation that you have outlined."

10:42 p.m. ET – Remember how Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham last night (around 8 p.m.)? Well, now the whole book is in the Congressional Record.

10:41 p.m. ET – Cruz enters his 20th hour on the Senate floor.

9:57 a.m. ET – Cruz gets some style points.

9:48 a.m. ET - Cruz recalls the time he wanted to smash his boot into a television.

"When Hillarycare was playing out, all of the media said this is unstoppable. All of the media said this was going to happen and there's nothing the hapless republicans can do to stop it. And indeed there were a number of Republicans who came forth and said well we can't stop this so we propose - what I derisively referred to at the time as a perhaps too impudent law student, as Hillarycare Lite. And I remember watching that, I will tell you, in the course of that debate I almost put my boot through the television set," he says. "I remember yelling at the TV set. That may be a sentiment that more than a few people watching this feel, where you feel you don't have a voice in the process. Certainly as a law student I didn't have a voice in the process. But I remember yelling at the TV set, "What on Earth do we believe? What are doing?"

Read: What you need to know about the possible shutdown

9:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 19th hour on the Senate floor.

9:30 a.m. ET - Inhofe talks about his constituents getting robocalls by whom he called "pro-Obama health care people."

"All day yesterday the call is going around my state of Oklahoma by someone and the message is something like this, 'This is Joe Smith. I'm the ABC Tea Party' - these are not Tea Party people, but nonetheless that's how they identify themselves. 'You're Senator, Jim Inhofe, is supporting Obamacare? And you've got to call his office and this is what his number is and all this.' And so we started getting calls and people didn't even know that there are 14 of us who had joined together with, with Senator Cruz about six weeks ago. And I was one of the 14 and one of the supporters of his cause."

9:28 a.m. ET - Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, is helping Cruz carry the discussion the first part of the 9 o'clock hour.

While Inhofe is speaking, Cruz is visited by Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas. Cruz walks over and meets him near Rand Paul's desk. They chat a while. Pryor checks his watch and leaves.

The presiding officer now Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts. About 20 spectators in balcony overlook.

Cruz has an extensive array of documents on the floor to his right from his desk where he has been speaking. A ring binder, folders, single papers stacked.

Read: Cruz says he'll talk until 'I am no longer able to stand'

9:23 a.m. ET – Former presidential candidate Herman Cain approves.

9:20 a.m. ET – But what would a Washington showdown be without a meme?

8:42 a.m. ET – Cruz channels Darth Vader. Things are getting wild.

"I will confess that phrase `a rebellion against oppression’ conjured up to me the rebel alliance fighting against the empire. The empire being the Washington DC establishment.  And indeed immediately on hearing that phrase I wondered if at some point we would see a tall gentleman in a mechanical  breathing apparatus come forward and say in a deep voice `Mike Lee I am your father.’  This is a fight to restore freedom to the people.  This is a fight to get the Washington establishment, the empire,  to listen to the people.  And just like in the Star Wars movies the empire will strike back.  But at the end of the day I think the rebel alliance, I think the people will prevail."

8:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 18th hour on the Senate floor.

8:30 a.m ET – That time when Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, calls Cruz a rebel.

I think everybody, all federal employees –  if Obamacare is so good everybody ought to get it.  And the thing is we would be so fed up we’d rebel in this country.  And that is what I think the senator from Texas has started.  Hopefully a rebellion against coercion.  A rebellion against mandates.  A rebellion  against everything that says when big government wants to shove something down your throat and said take it or you go to jail.  And people say we’re not going to put people in jail.  The heck we won’t.  What do you think happens? You’ll get fined first. You don’t pay your fine you’ll go to jail.

8:29 a.m. ET – Paul slams Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion when the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare last year.

"I will be on the exchanges.  I will have to go to the exchange in Kentucky and buy my insurance.  I am not very happy about it.  In fact, I think if I’ve got to do it. I think that Justice Roberts ought to have to do it.  Justice Roberts loves Obamacare so much I am for voting to have Justice Roberts trot on down to the Obamacare registry, the Obamacare index and get his insurance like the rest of us. "

8:20 a.m. ET – Like Elton John, Cruz is still standing.

"I can tell you as I said at 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday that I intend to stand against Obamacare as long as I am able to stand and at this point I feel confident that at 9am I will still be able to stand.  There will come a point when that is no longer the case but we have not yet reached that point."

8:04 a.m. ET - Democrats pounce back.

7:49 a.m. ET – Cruz gets a breakfast offer from Roberts.

Roberts: “I gave up about midnight, by the way; my wife, about 11:00, she fell asleep. But I want to thank you for being truly senatorial and basically doing what senators do, and that is respecting everybody's point of view…If you want breakfast, if you are about ready to sit down. I'd be happy to buy you breakfast. But we'll let that go.”

7:47 a.m. ET – Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas takes the floor, and Cruz is ‘fabulous.’

"How are ya doing?" Roberts asks.

"I am doing fabulous," Cruz replies

7:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters the 17th hour mark. Sen. Joe Manchin, D – West Virginia, presides.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, is now also on the floor, seated to Cruz's left, and to the right of Rubio's location.

There are no spectators in the general public balcony, and only a few staffers on the floor.

7:29 a.m. ET – Rubio grabs the mic again.

7:26 a.m. ET – Cruz takes back the podium. He notes both he and Rubio come from Hispanic communities and now represent such a constituency. "What is the impact of Obamacare on the Hispanic community?" he asks "Has Obamacare made it easier or harder to achieve the American dream?"

7:06 a.m. ET – Rubio takes the podium again and fills the first part of the 7 o'clock hour, providing a 20 minute response to a rhetorical question from Cruz earlier.

7: 10 a.m. ET - Sen. Mike Lee, who pulled the overnight hours with Cruz, leaves the floor.

6:55 a.m. ET -- Cruz picks it up again, having yielded for Rubio’s 54-minute "question," but not yielding the floor.

*Questions can be characterized as discussion points, anecdotes, and reviews of the oratory thus far. Lee will give Cruz another are to talk about, he picks up his cue, and continues.

6:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 16th hour on the Senate floor.

6:24 a.m. ET -- "I don't know how you did this for 18 hours, I'm already tired,” Rubio says.

During Rubio’s remarks, Cruz remains standing for at least part of the time and shifted from one foot to the other. Lee is seated to Cruz's right, Sen. Joe Donnelly, (D-Indiana), has an open magazine in front of him as presiding officer, and uses a smartphone at times.

6:01 a.m. ET – Sen. Marco Rubio, fresh to the floor, energized and animated, starts to provide Cruz a break for most of the 6 o'clock hour this morning when the Florida Republican.

"Is this issue not about fighting on behalf of everyday people?" he asks.

Part of Rubio's time was spent discussing the regulatory load he believes Obamacare will deliver. He cited a software startup company whose founder he encountered using free Wi-Fi at a corner table at Starbucks as among the businesses that will have a difficult time complying with the provisions of the law.

Obamacare, he said, is "a massive authorization to write a bunch of rules."

5:59 a.m. ET – About ten spectators are in the gallery. Sen. Donnelly, the presiding officer (D-Indiana), gives a big yawn. A handful of staffers, and the official Senate stenographer, are around Cruz and Lee on the floor.

5:53 a.m. ET – Cruz picks up the microphone. He says the answer is in the people's House, the House of Representatives, which overwhelmingly voted to defund Obamacare.

5:43 a.m. ET – Lee starts to ask a question, which lasts about 11 minutes. He argued “we” cannot support a process that enables Senate Majority Leader Reid to strip out the Obamacare funding provision on a simple majority of votes, without an up or down vote by senators on the legislation as a whole. That's what we're fighting for.

Lee, concluding after about 10 minutes lead-up, then asks Cruz: How best can the American people square their shoulders against this government expansion?

5:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 15th hour on the floor.

4:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 14th hour on the floor.

4:40 a.m. ET – What brings him to tears?

“You know what? It is an extraordinary, it is a breathtaking privilege to serve in this body. I cannot tell you how it brings me virtually to tears to think about the opportunity I have to stand here at a time when our nation is threatened like I’ve never seen before.”

4:37 a.m. ET – Cruz compares himself to Teddy Roosevelt—kind of. And he makes an SNL reference. And somehow wraps Sean Connery into it.

“Teddy Roosevelt was once giving a speech and he was shot during the speech. and he finished the speech before seeking medical attention.” [laughter]

“Now, that - you know, there was an old episode on ‘Saturday night live’ that–for the pages you all have probably never seen this - but an old episode that was ‘who is more macho?’ You know what, Teddy Roosevelt, elli es macho? You get shot in a speech, you stand there and finish the speech. . . You win. Even Sean Connery is looking at him going, gosh, that guy's tough.”

4:30 a.m. ET – Cruz is in pain, literally. But it’s OK.

“Now, I will stay standing here after 14 hours, standing on your own feet, there's sometimes some pain, sometimes some fatigue that is involved. But you know what? There’s far more pain involved in rolling over, far more pain in hiding,” he says.

4:04 a.m. ET – The little guy gets a shout-out.

“What have we seen with Obamacare? The rich and powerful get special exemptions,” Cruz says. “Big businesses? The president exempts them. Members of Congress? The president exempts us. It's the little guy that doesn't have an army of lobbyists, don't have special interests. The little guy is the one left out.”

3:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 13th hour on the floor.

3:31 a.m. ET – Where are all the people? Cruz disses the absentees.

“I think there's widespread agreement we should take up this bill, that there is no more of an important bill we could be debating right now than this,” Cruz says. “Indeed, in my view, there should not be just three senators in this chamber, there should be 100, because the urgency facing this country from Obamacare is such that we have nothing better to do.”

3:00 a.m. ET – Cruz and Lee ask each other some really hard questions.

Lee: “Senator Cruz, I’d like to ask you, do you know how long the Hundred Years War lasted?”
Cruz: “Well, I thank my friend from Utah for his remarkable discourse on constitutional law. And ask for the latest - and as for the latest question you ask, you might think the Hundred Years War lasted a hundred years, but think again. It was 116 years. Things are not always as they seem.

Lee: “Can you tell me, Senator Cruz, where do Chinese gooseberries come from?”

Cruz: “I yield for this question, and most would say China, but think again. Chinese gooseberries actually come from New Zealand. The way things are labeled are not always, in fact, what they are.”

Lee: “If the gentleman will yield for another question, question, - commercial airplanes, as far as I know, all airplanes in the United States have within them something called the black box, a black box that records the events of the cockpit and also records critical operating data from the airplane so that in the event of an accident, the data and the voice recordings can be reviewed to try to figure out what happened. Do you know what color the black box is?”

Cruz: “Senator Lee, I do. If we were dealing with the ordinary English language, it would be black. But perhaps airplane manufacturers think like Congress because the black box on an airplane is orange.”

Lee: “There is something called a Panama hat. Can you tell me what part of the world the Panama hat comes from?”

Cruz: “Well, I would yield to that question and note that it could possibly be Panama. You might think if you call it a Panama hat, it might be Panama. Think again. Ecuador. Ecuador makes Panama hats. I don't know that anyone makes Ecuador hats.”

Lee: “The device known as a camel's hairbrush, do you know what it's made of?”

Cruz: “I yield for that question, and curiously enough, I do. Now, you might think a camel's hairbrush must be made of camel's hair. There are lots of camels. They have hair. Surely you can make a brush. I don't know if you can. But a camel's hairbrush is made of squirrel fur. It makes you wonder, the squirrels apparently have a very bad marketing department if they give their fur and it gets credited to the camel.”

Lee: “What color is a purple finch?”

Cruz: “I will again yield for that question, again to note that a purple finch, like most husbands, I have a color palate of about six colors. I remember once my wife asked me with regard to a tile that we were redoing our bathroom, it was a white tile. She was long distance. She said, ‘What shade of white?’ I’ll note that was a question I was utterly incapable of responding to. I wasn't aware there were shades of white and my vocabulary doesn't cover such things. I finally dropped it in a FedEx envelope and said, it's a white tile, I know nothing beyond that. Again, to your question, what color is a purple finch? I would tend to be wrong if that were the case, because a purple finch is crimson red.”

He continues to share the marathon with Sen. Lee of Utah, who just finished one of his longer segments of "questioning," as he calls it when he rises to request that Sen. Cruz yield. Cruz continues to grant the yield but not the floor.

2:50 a.m. ET – Cruz gives a lesson on the architectural structure of the Supreme Court. Let's be clear everyone. There is no aisle at the Supreme Court, literally or figuratively.

“So many people. . . Many of them from my own political party, praised Chief Justice Roberts for his participation in this inexcusable act. (Upholding Obamacare)...Many of them said, this shows that they were willing to cross the aisle. Well, that's a problem. There is no aisle in the Supreme Court of the United States. They sit along a bench at the center of the bench is the chief justice. There isn't an aisle and, in fact, particularly once they've been appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, Supreme Court justices operate in a world in which political - partisan political affiliation has no meaning. This wasn't reaching across the aisle.”

2:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 12th hour on the floor.

2:26 a.m. ET – So….Cruz wants to be a pirate.

“A letter of mark and reprisal is, of course, effectively a hall pass issued by the United States congress in the name of the united states government that entitles the bearer of that hall pass to be a high hall pass to be a pirate on the high seas. Regardless of how long I get to serve in the United States Senate, I hope one day to be granted a letter of mark and reprisal so I can become a pirate, as I longed to be as a child.”

2:17 a.m. ET – The American people are crying out for help, Cruz says.

“We have to be willing to say that we're not going to allow certain things to persist, things that would harm the American people,” Cruz says. “And that means we have to listen to the American people. When they cry out for help. They've cried out for help in recent weeks as they have asked Congress again and again to defund Obamacare.”

2:11 a.m. ET – Cruz reads quotes from people across the country, then names a bunch of states.
“Those are quotes from think tanks in North Carolina, in Utah and South Carolina, in California, in Tennessee and New Mexico, in Ohio and Rhode island, in Maine and Utah, in Virginia and Idaho and Wyoming and Kansas and Alabama, in Montana, in Washington state, in Ohio, in Massachusetts, in Minnesota, in Nebraska, in South Carolina, in Wisconsin, in Florida, and in the state of Kentucky,” he says. “Let me ask you - Mr. president, let me ask everyone watching, have the senators from each of those states come out and said they will defund Obamacare?”

1:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 11th hour on the floor.

12:41 a.m. ET – Cruz enters his 10th hour on the floor.

12:50 a.m. ET – There are about 50 people in the gallery watching, packed into two sections. The light over the Capitol remains on, as it always does when Congress is in session.

11:41 p.m. ET – Cruz enters his 9th hour on the floor.

11:22 p.m. ET – Cruz has a spine.

10:57 p.m. ET – Some of Cruz's Republican critics say they're not supporting him because it's realistic to think Republicans will get what they want when they control one-half of one-third of government, meaning House Republicans. Cruz, however, calls that "poppycock."

"It is complete and utter nonsense," he says.

9:39 p.m. ET – Not everyone is so inspired by Cruz's speech.

9:35 p.m. ET –

9:30 p.m. ET - Sarah Palin, who helped Cruz get elected to the Senate, shows her support.

8:09 p.m. ET – But wait, Green Eggs and Ham is actually relevant.

"You know Green Eggs and Ham has some applicability, as curious as it might sound to the Obamacare debate. Because three and a half years ago, President Obama and Senate Democrats told the American people just try Obamcare. Just try it. There were an awful lot of us, an awful lot of Republicans who were very, very skeptical of it. I think for good reasons but very skeptical of it. We were told try it, try it, try it, try it. And through unfortunately an exercise of brute political force, Obamacare became the law of land. I'll tell you the difference with green eggs and ham is when Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either. They did not like Obamacare in a box with a fox in a house or with a mouse."

8:04 p.m. ET - Cruz's daughters tune in.

8:03 p.m. ET – Since tonight girls you aren't here, you girls don't get to pick the book, so I got to pick Green Eggs and Ham. I love this story, so I'm going to read it to you...Sam I am. That Sam I Am! That Sam I Am!....

(Reads Green Eggs and Ham.)

"...Thank you. Thank you, Sam I Am. I want to say to Caroline and Catherine, my angels I love you with all my heart. It's bedtime. Give Mommy a hug and a kiss. Brush your teeth. Say your prayers. Daddy's going to be home soon to read to you in person."

8:01 p.m. ET –  Cruz reads to his daughters.

7:40 p.m. ET – The White House responds.

5:18 p.m. ET – From a man who knows a thing or two about speaking on the Senate floor for hours and hours...


Filed under: Congress • Health care • Mike Lee • Senate • Ted Cruz
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. jinx9to88

    Funny how Rand can stand up and talk about how crappy Obamacare is when the state of Kentucky signed up for Obamacare but its called Kentucky Connect. Hypocrite!!!!

    September 25, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. M.A.P.

    Fair is Fair says:

    "the government would essentially have to nearly double the amount of taxes it currently brings in. Double the individual income tax. Double the corporate income tax. Double tarrifs. Double everything. The effects to the economy would be devastating." –

    Where are you getting that information from Fair is Fair? Do some research and find out how much it really costs. Your scare campaign is transparant. Again I ask – why hasn't any other major developed country ever had a problem with this system? Why can't it work in the US like it works everywhere else? Is every other developed country going bankrupt from universal medicare? Is the US somehow incapible of doing what every other developed nation was able to achieve? You don't believe in America very much, do you.

    September 25, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. Data Driven

    @Walter Adams,

    ""Repeal" didn't work; "defund" won't work; what's next? Deport? I guess "replace" was never really an option. Imagine how strong the GOP would be right now if the party had spent all this time and passion creating a health care law that corrects the flaws in the ACA."

    The ACA IS the Republican plan, from the early 90s. Think-tankers - in a panic - came up with it after Hillary Clinton was pushing for a national health care plan as First Lady. What the Republicans DIDN'T do was actually run on the idea. Not a peep from Dole/Kemp in 96.

    It's because they liked the inequitable system that was in place until 3 years ago just fine the way it was. Less for us, more for them - it's that simple. Welcome to war.

    September 25, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  4. Marie MD

    This pathetic Canadian has had help from the Cuban water boy/anchor baby and others. He can't even do this by himself.
    This will only help him with the small majority of teatard crazies. The rest of the country and the world are laughing at this guy.
    @tom, Obamacare is a law. Why don't you complain when these same repugs go after row vs wade or any other law or idea to help the 98% advance? Hypocrite!

    September 25, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  5. tom l

    @Data Driven,
    It would be nice if CNN talked more about the substance of what he is really talking about which is the ACA and the major concerns of millions of Americans and the obvious changes to our insurance. It would be great if people actually heard the concerns rather than them reporting on Green Eggs and Ham. He had a lot more to say and I find it quite admirable that he is doing this despite everyone telling him not to. He is a man of principle and that's a good thing.

    September 25, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "I had already stated that the government provided health coverate would be paid for by taxes. What's your point?"

    My point is that the government cannot raise the amount of taxes needed to fund single-payer healthcare without a completely radical change of the tax code and how business is done in this country. It's as simple as that.

    "Yesterday, you assumed that everyone has a 401(k)."

    I did not. Yesterday YOU stated that 95% of the gains on Wall Street went to 1% of the population. All I stated was that if more of the 99% had made thoughtful and rational adjustments to how they save and invest, they would have been able to enjoy a bigger part of the gain. I used whay I did in MY 401(k) as an example.

    "What solution do you have to reduce the costs of the most expensive health care system in the world?"

    There IS NO SILVER BULLET. But you know something? When YOU don't have any solutions yourself, you always come out with that canned question. So what's YOUR solution?

    September 25, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. tom l

    @Marie
    As a libertarian I think it is stupid to go after RoE (not Row) vs. Wade and those in the US Congress have not done that. Yes, there are several individual states that have and as a state's rights advocate I believe they have every right to do that. I don't agree with that.

    And if the ACA is the law, then why do we keep getting exemptions all over the place? And how can you, as a liberal, not be fuming at the giveaway of this law to big insurance and the the delay of the mandate for corporate America. The only hypocrite is you.

    September 25, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  8. tom l

    @Marie,
    And the fact that you keep referring to Cruz as a Canadian is downright laughable. Why do you hate immigrants so much? Do you see your hypocrisy? Probably not.

    September 25, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    M.A.P.

    Fair is Fair says:

    "the government would essentially have to nearly double the amount of taxes it currently brings in. Double the individual income tax. Double the corporate income tax. Double tarrifs. Double everything. The effects to the economy would be devastating." –

    Where are you getting that information from Fair is Fair?
    ---------
    GDP is approximately $16 Trillion. Healthcare is approximately 17% of GDP, or about $2.7 Trillion. That's roughly how much the government collects in taxes. For the government to pay $2.7 Trillion more, they'd have to double the amount they currently collect.

    September 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. jinx9to88

    @ Fair is Fair – show your facts to back up your 2.72 trillion number. Anyone can just throw out numbers. 100, see I just did it. Give a link to back your numbers. You probably listen to the same people that thought Romney was gonna win in a landslide. Oops that didnt happen, not even close.

    September 25, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. M.A.P.

    @tom I
    "I find it quite admirable that he is doing this despite everyone telling him not to"

    -He's only doing this to make a name for himself because he wants to run for the white house. If you think denying people in poverty basic health services is "admirable" then I think you're a pretty mean and uncaring person. Every other developed country has universal healthcare, it's time america caught up with the rest of the world, and Obama knows this.

    September 25, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    One question for Sen. Felipe and his brainwashed sheep: Let's hypothetically say you repeal, defund the Affordable Care Act, what do you intend to replace it with?

    September 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Well, yes, Tom. In fact, I'd say non-existant. In order to pay for it, the government would essentially have to nearly double the amount of taxes it currently brings in. Double the individual income tax. Double the corporate income tax. Double tarrifs. Double everything. The effects to the economy would be devastating.
    -------------------------–
    One question and one observation.

    1. If the effects on the economy would be so devastating, then how is health care being paid for now? Oh, I get it. Instead of employers sending money to a private insurer the money would go to the government, which could cause the entire privately funded health care insurance industry to simply rot away.

    2. Congratulations on dodging my real point of the post, which was the mutually contradictory arguments that the right wing makes on issues, particularly on ACA. It's all about appeasing their donors and their base, which freuquently creates mutally contradictory arguments that the right doesn't seem to notice.....but those of us outside of the right wing media bubble can see and hear the contradictions as plain as day.

    September 25, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Anonymous

    "He had a lot more to say and I find it quite admirable that he is doing this despite everyone telling him not to. He is a man of principle and that's a good thing."

    He will be remembered for Green Eggs and Ham. As well as using the House of Representatives for his egocentric grandstand platform of look at me - look at me. Downright laughable? - yes. Laudable? - no.

    September 25, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Anonymous

    "Nice to see there are still Congressmen who act on principle".
    ---–
    There's that word again. Principle. Tom I asked yesterday "how can you not see what his principles are?"

    I see nothing "principled" about a Senator, who represents a State that is first in uninsured children.
    He should be out there fighting for those "25M" he says he represents by offering alternatives.
    Nor do I see anything principled about voting against Disaster Relief Appropriations, while our Governor
    begs for money for Texas and bashes the President at the same time.
    Then there is the vote against Violence Against Women Act.
    You want to talk principles? Ted Cruz is talking nonsense, hoping to rake in money from the
    Tea Party to fund his Presidential run.

    September 25, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Data Driven

    @tom l,

    "It would be great if people actually heard the concerns rather than them reporting on Green Eggs and Ham."

    Fine, but it would also help if Cruz spent most of his "That's Me In The Corner, That's Me In The Spotlight" time on discussing his concerns about Obamacare. The transcripts thus far show very little of that. Hence the focus of the media reporting.

    Dude's talking about Darth Vader, for goodness sake.

    September 25, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  17. M.A.P.

    Fair is Fair said:
    "GDP is approximately $16 Trillion. Healthcare is approximately 17% of GDP, or about $2.7 Trillion. That's roughly how much the government collects in taxes."

    Yes, but you are not taking into consideration the already existing parts of medicare and the money that will be saved through businesses no longer bearing responsability for their employees health care costs. The reality is it will not end up being 17% off GDP and the Government will NOT need to DOUBLE it's income Tax. Your just beating the fear drum because you're scared yourself. All conservatives fear change.

    September 25, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  18. Wake up People!

    Oh come on tom i. The repubs in Congress did in fact go after Roe vs Wade. Repealing it and the ACA was their entire platform during the last election cycle. They were unsuccessful so the GOP governors decided to dismantle it brick by brick, state by state and you know it. You claim you're a libertarian or an independent but it's clear you are nothing but another republican thinking everyone is as uneducated as the people that vote GOP.

    September 25, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    jinx9to88

    @ Fair is Fair – show your facts to back up your 2.72 trillion number. Anyone can just throw out numbers. 100, see I just did it. Give a link to back your numbers.
    -------
    Jinx – they don't allow links here. So do this. First google United States Gross Domestic Product. That gives you $16 Trillion. Then google "what percentage of GDP is spent on healthcare". That will give you 17%. The 2.72 trillion number is 17% of 16 trillion.

    September 25, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. Data Driven

    Oh and Tom L., Marie is referring to Cruz as a Canadian because this farcical display directly relates to his Presidential run in 2016. It's a bid for visibility, nothing more - another reason why the GOP itself is mad at him this morning. The Canadian part comes in when everyone starts realizing he's not even eligible to be President, anyway. Dude wasn't born in the U.S. or on U.S. territory of any kind.

    It's relevant.

    September 25, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    @Marie,
    And the fact that you keep referring to Cruz as a Canadian is downright laughable. Why do you hate immigrants so much? Do you see your hypocrisy? Probably not.
    **********************
    its not hypocrisy when you consider the time and effort the Right went to regarding the President and the questions over his citizenship status. Forgive us for indulging ourselves in noting the irony of Cruz and where he draws his support from, namely the people who who STILL think Obama is not an American citizen, and yet give Cruz a pass. I have yet to see you chastise some of the more rabid posters on your side Tom. Find something else to comment on, you seem more than intelligent enough to do that without engaging in pointless picking exercises that only diminish you.

    September 25, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. nintex

    Seeing all the positive attention Wendy Davis got with her filibuster, Cruz decided to try and get some attention for himself. I know it wasn't a real filibuster, but in his mind, it gives him some chops for his tea party base. If Wendy can do it, I guess Ted thinks he will get some attention (not to mention money). What an arrogant, self-serving piece of garbage! This guy does NOT represent all Texans!

    September 25, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    My point is that the government cannot raise the amount of taxes needed to fund single-payer healthcare without a completely radical change of the tax code and how business is done in this country. It's as simple as that.

    "Yesterday, you assumed that everyone has a 401(k)."

    I did not. Yesterday YOU stated that 95% of the gains on Wall Street went to 1% of the population. All I stated was that if more of the 99% had made thoughtful and rational adjustments to how they save and invest, they would have been able to enjoy a bigger part of the gain. I used whay I did in MY 401(k) as an example.

    "What solution do you have to reduce the costs of the most expensive health care system in the world?"

    There IS NO SILVER BULLET. But you know something? When YOU don't have any solutions yourself, you always come out with that canned question. So what's YOUR solution?
    -----------------------–
    I didn't make that remark. I simply quoted you, quoting it, which was posted by someone else. Most peole do not have a 401(k) or other investments that allow them to make quick changes in the investment strategies. Most people have their investments tied up in pensions, most of which allow for changes only once a year. Your 401(k) example was based on the entirely false assumption that EVERYONE can make quick changes to their investments. They can't. Get over it. Let it go.

    You make another argument that is based upon a false assumption, which draws you to a false conclusion. Let's go with your numbers for now, that health care is whatever it was percent of GDP. Guess what that means, Fair? It means that it is being paid for already.

    You make the assumption that new revenue would have to be found to pay for it, when in fact the change would be cost nuetral. In fact, since the private insurance industry, and the ridiclously high overheads that generate their profits, would simply go away. Once the profiteers are out of the payment system, I will argue that your umpteen percent of GDP in health care costs would DROP significantly. It would drop enough to pick those who do not health coverage at this time.

    September 25, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. GOP = Greed Over People

    The verbal reading of "Green Eggs and Ham" made the useless tactics of this silly clown, seem even more childish and more suited to the GOP clown car, than the optics of seeing him read it from the Senate floor.

    We will see WAAAAYYYYY to much of this, when the Dems put it on an infinite loop prior to the 2014 midterms, and give it a title of "The GOP at Work?".

    September 25, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  25. Babyboomer

    He looks and sounds like he's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I hope the secret service is watching carefully...

    September 25, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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