Ted Cruz's Marathon Speech Endures
Senator Ted Cruz (R - TX) has been speaking through his filibuster style speech on the Senate floor for over 20 hours. Late night Tuesday and early morning Wednesday appeared as if Cruz was in the fight alone, as Americans went to bed. However, Cruz maintained his support from grassroots conservatives as the country woke up on Wednesday.
Cruz was prepared with various material for his all night remarks. He discussed Frédéric Bastiat's The Law. 'The people must come together to force the end of 'legal plunder'," Cruz remarked, referencing the French economist and statesman. Earlier in the evening, Cruz lightened up his content and read portion's of the famous children's book written by Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham.
That particular reading, according to Cruz, was not only meant as a bedtime story for his two young daughters but also as a comparison to the American public's refusal to accept Obamacare in their lives. Prior that, the Texas Republican read Bible stories to his daughters. Excerpts of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged were also read by Cruz. Another book laying among Cruz's reading material was Mark Levin's recently released The Liberty Amendments.
Cruz would pace the floor around his desk in his black sneakers when other GOP members, like Senators Mike Lee (R -UT) or Marco Rubio (R - FL), would make their remarks. From time to time Cruz would stretch his calves on the low Senate floor steps or do knee bends, as the other members spoke. A Cruz aide sat near his long standing boss while organizing sheets of text in a giant black binder and manilla folders. Representative Louie Gohmert (R -TX) sat in the chamber during the entire event watching Cruz talk about liberty and the totalitarian Cuban Communist regime Cruz's own father faced as a teenager.
Tired pages sat on the floor of the Senate, as Democratic members rotated out of the chair. Some members who chaired the all-nighter would read a copy of The Atlantic while others would browse their blackberries. Two Senate Democrats debated Cruz late Tuesday night. Senator Dick Durbin (D -IL) originally told reporters he came to observe Cruz but decided to engage him on the floor. It's my understanding that the Senator's position is that if we don't defund Obamacare as he's characterized it, the healthcare reform act, that he believes we should shut down the government on October the first. Is that the Senator's position?" Durbin asked.
"I thank the Senator from Illinois for that question and that most assuredly is not my position. I thank you for the opportunity to clarify. Let me be very, very clear. I do not believe we should shut down the federal government," said Cruz. "The only reason we might shut down the federal government is if President Obama and Majority Leader Reid decide they want to force a government shutdown."
Senator Tim Kaine (D - VA) came to the floor and debated Cruz as well on Tuesday night. He later told reporters he was only slated to chair until 11PM, but when he heard begin talking about health care reform, he felt the need to begin questioning Cruz on the floor.
By 10:00 AM the Senate press gallery, filled with only a handful of reporters who stayed overnight, started to fill up again. The lonely Senate floor became charged up again, as Cruz read a story relating to the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Twitter was alive with comments from individuals who could not believe that Cruz was still at it.
Other GOP members who joined Cruz on the floor were: Senators Jeff Sessions (R -AL), Pat Roberts (R - KS), James Inhofe (R -OK), Mike Enzi (R - WY), David Vitter (R - LA) and Rand Paul (R -KY).