October 11th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
6 months ago

Dogged by hecklers, Cruz hits back

Updated 12:21 p.m. ET, 10/11/2013

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz walked on stage to great fanfare Friday at the Values Voter Summit, an annual conservative gathering in Washington.

But not long into the Texas Republican's speech, hecklers tried to get under the senator's skin.

Cruz, however, largely remained cool–and roused his supporters even more when he stood up to the hecklers' jeering.

"I wish you would participate in the democratic process through speaking respectfully," he said to one of the protesters, as the audience applauded. "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."

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Most of the hecklers, who stood up one by one before being escorted out, were from immigration groups.

But Cruz, a potential presidential contender, quickly accused the demonstrators of being puppets for the Obama administration.

"I'm curious, is anybody left in 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," he said.

After continued interruptions, he made an offer.

"I would welcome the president, if he wants to get a 100 of his most rabid political operatives in a room, I will answer their questions on television as long as he likes," he said. "And in exchange, all I would ask, Mr. President, is you take not a hundred but 10 men and women in this room and spend 30 minutes answering their questions for the American people."

On Crossfire, Ted Cruz says he’s for health care reform, just not Obamacare

When he wasn't combating hecklers, Cruz applauded his own efforts in leading the strategy to try and defund Obamacare through a must-pass spending bill. The Republican-led House followed his rallying cry and attached such measures to multiple spending bills, but the Democratic-controlled Senate refused to pass them–actions that ultimately led to the ongoing government shutdown.

"It is because of you that the House of Representatives has been standing strong because the House has been listening to the people," he told the audience.

On Friday he heads to the White House with other Senate Republicans to talk about the shutdown and looming deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

"So after leaving here I am going to be going to the White House. I will make a request: If I am never seen again please send a search and rescue team. I very much hope tomorrow morning I don't wake up amidst the Syrian rebels," he said.

– CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report.


Filed under: Ted Cruz • Values Voter Summit
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "Because the men and women in this room scare the living daylights out of them."

    Well duh. Dogmatically ideological rabid neo-bircher, religio-fascist bigots are freekin terrifying and dangerous, and the imposition of their rigid ideological and religious beliefs and bigotry upon the rest of the country would do untold damage to the populace.

    October 11, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  2. TONE

    @Donna

    Wake to hell up from your long sleep.

    October 11, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    This guy is a shame to USA.

    October 11, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Given Turd Cruz's recent history of theatrical grandstanding, what with his ridiculous fauxlibuster and the obviously planned "questions" other senators fed him during it etc., I seriously wouldn't put it past him to have staged this himself...including using projection to make the ad hominem attack of claiming the hecklers he planted in the audience to give himself this opportunity were actually planted by Obama supporters. He's precisely that crooked. Where's Alex Jones to declare this a "false flag operation"?

    October 11, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. just saying

    W.B.
    I don't generally approve of hecklers. But Cruz just made up a lie and said they were paid Obama operatives. That's just a lie. I mean...that's not really a snappy comeback. That's just a lie.
    --

    and how do you know they were not? do you have first hand knowledge or are you now lying to us?

    besides, it was meant as a humerous comeback because obama and the democrats have been attacking cruz so it is well known they don't like cruz, probably because he speaks the truth and doesn't back down. keep up the good work cruz!

    October 11, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is embarrassing that people in other countries are aware that we have this turd as part of our government.

    October 11, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Men lie, women lie, numbers don't! Rafael Cruz, YOU are the most despised person in America today! You Tea Queda jihadists should be hit with a drone strike.

    October 11, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "besides, it was meant as a humerous comeback because obama and the democrats have been attacking cruz "

    So have many many Republicans who are extremely angry with his nonsense.

    October 11, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Duke

    More gradstanding, and preaching to the choir.

    If you are at a GOP poitical rile-em-up and you are getting heckled, you have a problem. To dismiss them as Paid operatives is just being distespectful.

    October 11, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    How does it deal to be the most dispised person in Canada and the USA at the same time. Cruz, the new doormat of the GOP teabums and a total failure as well. See you at the polls!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. luke,az

    Sen. Cruz is a plant in the Republican party hired by the Democrats. He is doing his part to help the Democrats in the 2014 elections. Once the tea party Taliban infected the Republican party the end was near for the party to split into two parties. It's time for the moderate Republicans to take back their party from these lunatics.

    October 11, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    "Most of the hecklers, who stood up one by one before being escorted out, were from immigration groups."
    -------------------------
    The best measure of whether or not these hecklers were staged or genuine will be whether any criminal charges are filed against them and later prosecuted. I just do not see the Tea Party mindset having mercy and not prosecuting liberal protesters.

    I also do not see how such a group of protestors could have obtained tickets to attend the exclusive event. One would suspect that each ticket must have cost thousands of dollars apiece. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't waste thousands of dollars on a ticket to attend a protest where I might be arrested. Heck, I might need some bail money. I'd much rather protest at a free event than one costing thousands of dollars per head.

    If you get the impression that I think the protestors were completely staged to make liberals look bad, then you'd be correct.

    October 11, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    It tells me a lot Rudy..... I'm also not allowed to say anything negative about Christie either......

    October 11, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. the hippies were right

    The GOP, party of morals and values my "donkey"! Is this guy running for president or late night TV host?

    October 11, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  15. L.Sanfod

    The Cruz opened his mouth today and another missile was aimed at the GOP/TEA and they had to jump into their bomb shelters. What a weapon of mass destruction he has dropped on the republicans. The GOP hired a hit man who turned out to be a double agent.

    October 11, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Pam from Iowa

    You have to show respect to earn respect Senator!!!!
    (and also not be part of the nut-wing Tea Party!!)

    October 11, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. TONE

    @Jeff-kneeling in front of the koch brothers.

    Jeff I like that statement never thought of it that way. kneeling in front of the koch brothers wow.

    October 11, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Lisa P.

    Duke

    More gradstanding, and preaching to the choir.

    If you are at a GOP poitical rile-em-up and you are getting heckled, you have a problem. To dismiss them as Paid operatives is just being distespectful.
    October 11, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm
    -----------------------------------

    Truthfully it seems to me that the hecklers in this circumstance were far more courageous than Senator Cruz has ever shown himself to be. These weren't just idle remarks shouted from a sidewalk or at an otherwise orderly town hall meeting; they took the fight to the belly of the beast. Agree with their politics or not, that takes guts.

    October 11, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Pipe dreams. If you weren't able to unseat people with Obama on the top of the ballot, you never will. To the contrary, all those red state Democrat Senators are ripe for defeat. It would be SO good to get rid of that nasty senile woman-hating do-nothing Harry Reid."

    Sharron Angle ... 2016 !!

    October 11, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  20. GOP = Greed Over People

    GOP "chri$tians" sitting at the right hand of the false prophet.

    Just keep ignoring those polls.

    Please.

    October 11, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Hal

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is embarrassing that people in other countries are aware that we have this turd as part of our government.
    --------------------------------------------–
    I agree, worst president ever.

    October 11, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. Data Driven

    Count me on the "staged" theory as well, at least until proven otherwise. These rebels are trying to overthrow a legitimately elected government by legislative means. A little public theater designed to gain sympathy is not beyond them.

    October 11, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. Malory Archer

    Hal

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is embarrassing that people in other countries are aware that we have this turd as part of our government.
    --------------––
    I agree, worst president ever.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except the canadian born cuban will NEVER be president.

    October 11, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    LOL...and Ben Carson decided that he'd tell everyone that the ACA is "the worst thing to happen to America since slavery." Boy do the Teatrolls love when they can get a black guy to publicly say all the racist things going on in their heads.

    Meanwhile, McCain went on Faux and told them the shutdown was the GOP/Teatrolls' fault. Heads exploded.

    October 11, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  25. The Reality

    Dogmatically ideological rabid leftists, religio-fascist haters and persecutors are freekin terrifying and dangerous, and the imposition of their rigid ideological and atheist beliefs and bigotry upon the rest of the country is doing untold damage to the populace.

    October 11, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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