October 11th, 2013
11:30 AM ET
9 years 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.

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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."

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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. Thomas

    "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."

    Your right , people that live in and promote fear , ignorance and intolerance are scary !

    Ted Cruz

    October 11, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. chris kent

    it is so amazing to listen to and read posts from the members of the party of tolerance and guardians of free speech...
    they scream and whine to any news camera they can find about having there first amendment rights stepped on...when they want to say hateful things about other peoples, religious beliefs or points of view...
    yet they disrupt and try to yell down anyone with a different point of view.

    You have become the party of intolerance. The party of asking questions, welcoming others and open to different points of view has become political lemmings.

    Politicians lie...both sides....if you don't know that already...wake up....the American people have let political parties divide and conquer us, with the help of the media!

    They pass laws that don't effect themselves and they change their stances depending on the polls, and you let them get away with it!!! You are un-educated, un-informed...You let the political talking points, masquerading as news keep you dumb and dutiful to the party line.

    October 11, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. chris kent

    To the uninformed person that did not know when the Senate voted on the ACA...you know who you are...you said it was passed in March...That was when it was signed into Law...go read a civics book.
    You still could not prove any of the facts i stated in my posting

    October 11, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. ashton

    Sen. Cruz. Love him or hate him- he at least took a stand and is committed to it. Your president- has lied before during the presidential debate with Romney when he said that the Bengazi attack was not a terrorist attack when in fact he knew all along that it was. Then he drew his infamous red line on Syrian and failed to act – luckily Russia came to his aid and put back some colour to his face after it was white in embarrassment. He again drew a red line when he said- no negotiations- and guess what?? What he should have done 2 weeks ago- just talk- extend an invitation to talk- he is now doing it- talking. BA-WRECK O BUM-MA is a failure- a visionless talker- he reminds me of Leghorn Foghorn- all talk- no action.

    October 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. Michael Benjamin

    The people in this room scare everyone with common sense.

    October 11, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Zach

    Sooo... I'm looking to get a job heckling. Where does one sign up for such a position? I sent an email to my congressman and a resume with all my heckling credentials, but I haven't heard back and I'm starting to worry.... There goes Obama again wasting the taxpayers' money on silly things like hecklers. It couldn't possibly be that people honestly and sincerely think Cruz is a whack job and went to protest because they don't like him. No way, couldn't be, had to be a government hire....

    October 11, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. KateAZ

    Cruz is another Palin.

    October 11, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. rs

    "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."
    Given their value-less, and fact-less statements, and their national-socialist actions, why wouldn't any thinking person be afraid of them? They stand opposed to everything enshrined in the Constitution, yet they wrap themselves in the flag and say they are for God and Country. Anyone taken in by these carnival hucksters probably deserves what they get.
    And by the way, their party is still dying... wait for the next poll for your proof. The GOP's popularity and respect is falling quickly.

    October 11, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. CB FL

    He hadn't seen mad people yet. Wait until he gets on the campaign trail. He will have to have secret service security.

    October 11, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. Person of Interest

    The president should accept this offer. I'd personally like to see both of those idiots answer some real questions from the American people.

    October 11, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. d

    How many shell-shocked veterans do you think it will take being thrown into the street before one of them goes crazy with a bottle of whiskey and a gun–and starts treating all these manchild politicians to a bullet in the head?

    My money's on the first thousand. Take the over or the under?

    October 11, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. OKfine

    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

    Apparently McCain, King, Nunes, Ayotte, Coats to name a few, are Democrats?

    October 11, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  13. ashton

    At least there is another one like Cruz- as you said Palin- now there in NO one as dumb as Obama- that is scary when he is running your country. He is indeed the emperor without clothes and most people know it-but few are brave to say it. And that is the "naked" truth.

    October 11, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  14. wcnea567

    For once I'm glad the search and rescue team is shut down.

    October 11, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. RL

    Cruz should get comfortable with hecklers. Anyone as stupid as this guy is going to have trouble all the time.

    October 11, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. MickeyOregon

    Cruz is impressive. Compare his resume with Obama's. Then again, Romney's full-of-accomplishment resume compared to Obama's utterly empty one made no difference to Obama's worshipers. Cruz is a very impressive man – too bad that the press will do everything in their power to bring him down. As we saw in the last election, lies, innuendo and remarks taken out of context and spun won the day.

    October 11, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Still scratching my head...

    what to know what's scary? these people who have children who are being trained up in the way of their parents....God help us all......

    October 11, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Sandra Tambini

    I'm really going to enjoy watching Cruz go down when his time comes. Right now he's just circling the bowl, but there'll come a time when he's truly.... TRULY in the way and will need to be put out of our misery. And that will be popcorn time!

    October 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. Still scratching my head...

    what to know what's scary? these people have children who are being trained up in the way of their parents....God help us all......

    October 11, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. CB

    Cruz is impressive

    Right. The only thing impressive about this guy is his ego.

    October 11, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Dallas

    They ought to reup Hollywood Squares and have this idiot as the host! Just think of the money this fool will make after we can finally get him out of office. I can't believe the majority of the good people of my state put this man in the senate and now we're stuck with him until at least 2018. Is this what the party of Lincoln and Reagan has come to?

    October 11, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. sly

    Praise Allah. This Cruz fellow has earned the love of Allah, by helping to weaken the American enemy.

    Keep up the obstruction Mr. Cruz – you are a nice little Mexican boy helping Al Queda very much.

    October 11, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. chris kent

    huckster...we have The Huckster in Chief...from voting against raising the debt ceiling as a Senator, to pontificating about vial hateful language after the Gabby Gifford shooting and blaming the Tea Party. He is a double talking, political hypocrite, the press runs cover for....and the lemmings fall in line....

    October 11, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Wake up People!

    Ashton, you call President Obama dumb, yet your sentence sounds like someone from remedial reading wrote it.

    President Obama has more brains in his pinky toe than you, Sarah and Cruz put together times 10.

    Everything you said about him is a lie. Stop letting ignorance and hatred blind you. Educate yourself, it's free.

    October 11, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. RapidOne

    Cruz plays to the idiots. The idiots clap and cheer. Look at the type of BS this man spews–without proof and just to take the classless and low-brow route. It says volumes about the intelligence of his supporters.

    October 11, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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