Watch: Some of the best moments from Senator Ted Cruz’s 21 hour marathon session
Man, does Ted Cruz knows how to throw a filibuster.
Okay, it technically wasn’t a filibuster because the U.S. Senate wasn’t actually voting. But, the Texas senator wrapped up a soon-to-be legendary speech after 21 hours and 18 minutes on the chamber floor.
When he concluded at 12 pm ET on Wednesday, (Democratic) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid summed it all up by saying “It has been a big waste of time.”
“With all due respect, I’m not sure we learned anything new,” Reid said.
Canadian-born Republican Cruz is trying to delay a vote on a government spending bill, which needs to pass in order to avert a complete government shutdown at midnight on Monday, in order to achieve his goal of repealing Obamacare.
This isn’t the first time Democrats and Republicans have been at loggerheads on government spending bills up until the eleventh hour, but Cruz brought a whole new level of extravagance to the Senate chamber this time around.
He and fellow members of the Tea Party managed to get the defunding of President Barack Obama’s health care law — a.k.a Obamacare — included in the spending bill when it went through Congress last week. But the odds of that bill passing, as is, in the Democrat-held Senate are next to zilch.
The Senate debated the House bill defunding the health care law while preventing a government shutdown on Tuesday. Cruz wanted to derail it because Senate Democrats have the votes to remove the health care provision before sending the bill back to the House.
He started the saga of a Senate speech by saying, “I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I’m no longer able to stand.”
And then he brought out the big guns — referencing the Nazis, Dr. Seuss, the A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty” and his love of the fast-food chain White Castle.
Here are some of Cruz’s latest and greatest hits:
Did that guy compare the Democrats to the Nazis? Well, kinda.
“If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany. Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain who told the British people ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe. But, that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.'”
Harold and Cruz go to White Castle.
“I like their little burgers. … I’m a big fan of eating White Castle burgers. Think of all the people that don’t get jobs because there’s no White Castle open, not to mention all of the hungry college kids that at 3:00 in the morning are just craving a White Castle, and they can’t find one.”
Dude, where’s my spending bill? Cruz sure likes Ashton Kutcher, but did the U.S. just get ‘Punk’d’?
“Some time ago I tweeted a speech that Ashton Kutcher gave. It’s a terrific speech. It was a speech at one of these award shows where he talked about the value of hard work. And one of the things I remember he said is he said, ‘You know, in my life, opportunity looks an awful lot like hard work.’ That was a great message. It was a great message to young people … I don’t know Mr. Kutcher. I’ve watched his TV shows and his movies. I don’t know him personally. But, you know what? He can speak to millions of young people who’ve never listened to you and would never listen to me.”
Seriously, a ‘Duck Dynasty’ reference? Yes, that happened.
*Note: Cruz rambled on with quotes from Duck Dynasty for nearly four minutes before switching gears and referencing one of his favourite Toby Keith songs.
I do not like it on a chair, I do not like Obamacare.
Cruz read from Dr. Suess’ beloved children’s book Green Eggs and Ham. It’s a moment that will go down in Senate history. The words “I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam I am,” will forever be on the Congressional record.
Have a look for yourself:
Cruz went on to explain his use of the tome.
“Let me say more broadly to everyone. Green Eggs and Ham has some applicability, as curious as it might sound, to Obamacare, because 3 1/2 years ago President Obama and Senate Democrats told the American people. Just try Obamacare. Just try it… But the difference with Green Eggs and Ham is when Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either. They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house or with a mouse.”
*With files from The Associated Press