Wednesday evening, Senator Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave filibustering Senator Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) a brief break during a planned question period by reading #StandWithRand tweets that have dominated the Twittersphere today.
Support for Paul’s principled stand in opposition to the unconstitutional authorization of drone killings of American citizens has come from conservatives, libertarians, and civil liberty loving liberals across Twitter.
Cruz’s ten minute relief performance came at 7:30 PM EST, a little more than eight hours into Senator Paul’s filibuster, which began at 11:17 AM EST. Cruz was the third Republican to give Paul a brief break by posing a question, something a filibustering Senator may allow without giving up the floor. Senator Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Senator Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had previously offered questions.
Cruz read the text of about two dozen tweets during his ten minutes, though he did not reference the Twitter username of the sender of the tweet. The new Twitter hashtag #StandWithRand sprang up instantly on Twitter within minutes of the beginning of Paul’s filibuster. Throughout much of the day, the #StandWithRand hashtag was the number one trending hashtag on Twitter.
One of the most compelling tweets read by Cruz came from Twitter user @djangell, who tweeted “Perplexing that Rand Paul has to go through this to ask a Nobel Peace Prize winner whether or not he agrees with killing U.S. citizens.”
At about 10:30 pm eastern, the staff member operating @SenRandPaul’s twitter account tweeted: “Sen. Cruz reading Tweets from all of you meant a lot to me. Protecting the Constitution is everyone’s fight.”