Cruz apologizes for referencing "Bataan Death March" in marathon floor speech
October 1st, 2013
06:55 PM ET
12 months ago

Cruz apologizes for referencing "Bataan Death March" in marathon floor speech

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz apologized to a group of Filipino-American veterans on Tuesday for comparing his 21-hour quasi-filibuster to the Bataan Death March.

Inside the senator's Washington office, Cruz told Celestino Almeda, 96, and Jesse Baltazar, 93, that he was sorry for invoking one of the darkest chapters of World War II on the Senate floor last week.


Cruz, one of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act, admitted that likening a marathon talk session to the forced march of prisoners by the Japanese to an imperial-controlled detention center - an event that claimed over an estimated 10,000 lives, including 650 Americans - was inartful.

"I apologize for causing offense," Cruz said. "I should not have said what I did."

The Texas Republican insisted he was not trying to compare his floor protest of President Barack Obama's health care law to the deadly march. Rather, Cruz was trying to thank his floor staff "for their service."

"It was in the context of thanking them that I thanked them for enduring and that's when I used the analogy," Cruz told the two men. "I was trying to say they endured a long period of their suffering not of their choosing."

Cruz went on to talk about his family’s experience with armed conflict, describing both his father's and his aunt's imprisonment and subsequent torture in Cuba.

"I, likewise, come from a family that has experienced the atrocities that one man can inflict on the other," Cruz said.

Still, the lawmaker reiterated that his comparison was "offensive" and also contextualized his remarks against the scope of problems facing most Americans.

"Our here talking is nothing compared to the suffering people all over this country are having," Cruz said.

Watch a portion of Cruz's meeting with the veterans below:


Filed under: Ted Cruz
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    The Cruz apology tour is just beginning. People are finding out he lies more than Sean Hannity.

    October 1, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. boungiorno

    just move on people your hate mongers

    October 1, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. Jona

    Ted Cruz, I hope you are in my home country so that I can tell you who are in public.

    October 1, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  4. Winston Smith

    This man is an insult to all who've served this country. Either put a muzzle on this creep, or get him out of the limelight. He's done nothing but cause the entire republican party to look like mouth breathing, knuckle dragging idiots.

    October 1, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. Bob

    Cruz's apology is just as empty as his head.

    October 1, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This GOP teaparty traitor should be arrested for sneaking over the Canadian boarder , he's not even an American citizen , only the stupid Texas voters would vote for an illegal !!!!!!

    October 1, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Mark

    It's obvious that the good Senator slept through his history lessons in school. How does he compare his prattling in the Senate to the "Bataan Death March." He should think about reading a book or two on WWII. He should reflect on what his BASIC job is, which in part is to pass a clean bill to pay for what was already approved. It is not to pursue a political agenda. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on the Republicans. I suggest they should look up the following words in the dictionary: Leadership; govern; and compromise.

    October 1, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  8. Marie MD

    Love it. You give these imbeciles enough rope they will hang themselves. Did he also read about the Bataan Death March in the WSJ (like the made up story about John Connelly) and without knowing about the history of the US (I doubt they teach it in Canada) opened mouth and put both feet in?
    As far as his "I, likewise, come from a family that has experienced the atrocities that one man can inflict on the other," Cruz said."
    If he's trying to compare what his crazy daddy, who left Cuba in the 50s, way before Castro and his revolution took over, to anything remotely the same as Bataan or his cushy life he as big a liar as the Cuban anchor water boy from Florida.

    October 1, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  9. Gary

    "I, likewise, come from a family that has experienced the atrocities that one man can inflict on the other," Cruz said.
    "And I have evrey intention of shoving atrocities onto the American people."

    October 1, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  10. danielwalldammit

    He should keep on apologizing for all the rest.

    October 1, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  11. reacharound

    Cruz' suffering was self-induced.

    October 1, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. Ed FL

    Hopefully Cruz will be back in the lettuce fields trying to earn a living before to long. Some people are natural losers but it takes a while before the truth comes out.

    October 1, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. Sandoval

    Good for Cruz. There can be strength in recognizing when a mistake has been made, and reaching out to make amends.

    October 1, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  14. What's in that tea anyway?

    Wait, since when does a Tea Bagger apologize for slighting or insulting a minority? When did that start?

    October 1, 2013 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Thomas

    Sen. Ted Cruz apologized to a group of Filipino-American veterans on Tuesday for comparing his 21-hour quasi-filibuster to the Bataan Death March.

    What about Dr. Seuss , he deserves more then an apology..

    Ted Cruz , the man who turned America into a Tea Republic .

    Banana ?

    October 1, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    He should have apologized the very next day. Ted Cruz has a lot to apologize for, but his ego and arrogance
    will not allow it. He needs to remember, the higher they fly the harder they fall.................and no one will be
    there to catch him when it happens. He may be "book smart" but he is a fool.

    October 1, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  17. MaryM

    Cruz cares for only Cruz. Don't be fooled by this Canadian Cuban Joe McCarthy

    October 1, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  18. wendel

    he should be sorry he has helped to cut the salaries of almost a million people and screw up the economy. Did he learn this in Canada????

    October 2, 2013 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  19. akwildflower

    I'm not a Democrat, and not a Reid fan. BUT – this is a true statement.:
    A good day for this actor, is a very BAD day for America.
    He obviously does NOT CARE about anything – EXCEPT... maybe – what award will he be given for his acting, trying to get himself in center stage?????
    His fake 'prayer' photo-op almost made me ill. Surprised at the kindness of God, for not striking those people for pretending to 'pray' for the cameras, complete with the comfy knee pads, because you KNOW the Bible tells us to always have cameras on us, to pray publicly AND make sure your human body is comfy, 'cause you KNOW that's what God cares about, right?!?!? Yes – that IS sarcasm.

    October 2, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  20. jboh

    Everything about him; tone, facial expressions, body language, screams elitist. He's likely setting himself up to be the next Newt. A guy who makes a fortune by duping TEA money throwers. He has mastered the art of getting TEA to throw it at Cruz Inc.

    October 2, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  21. TONE

    apologies not accepted you piece of garbage.

    October 2, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |