Ted Cruz Heckled by Immigration DREAMers, Rand Paul Pivots to War on Christians

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 11 2013 10:56 AM

Ted Cruz Heckled by Immigration DREAMers, Rand Paul Pivots to War on Christians

I'd been wondering how the nine-year old annual Values Voter Summit would adapt to crisis mode. The first two speakers of the day, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, were the tag team behind the "defund Obamacare" strategy. They shared a stage that still contained goofy barricades meant to shame Barack Obama for the shutdown that resulted from said strategy. "If God is for you," yelled one supporter in the front rows, "who can be against you?"

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

But the duo only talked a little about the "defund" campaign. Cruz was halfway through his stemwinder, about to ask the House Republicans to stand their ground, when a series of immigration reform protesters started getting up and shouting identical questions. "Senator Cruz," yelled the first of them, "why don't you support a path to citizenship?"


Cruz, at first, thanked his heckler and asked that the president, too, learn to respect free speech. But the disruptions, from at least seven people, kept happening. The crowd kept shouting "USA!" and "shut up!" Cruz deployed every anti-heckler weapon in his arsenal.

The disruptions (from immigration reformers who either left quickly or told reporters that they were not, in fact, with OFA) took the media's attention away from a speech that consisted largely of Cruz lines that preceded his defeat in the Senate, jokes about Joe Biden -- "just say his name and people laugh!" -- and condemnations of the Feds' crackdown on religious speech. Sen. Rand Paul, who followed Cruz, didn't mention the Obamacare wars at all. Like he's done at other gathers of social-cons, he lit into the Obama administration for daring to fund Muslim terrorists.

"American tax dollars should never be used to prop up a war on Christianity," said Paul, working through horror stories of Christians murdered in Syria. "We should not use American arms, American planes, to arm rebels in Syria. Or the Muslim Brotherhood, for goodness' sake!"

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio batted clean-up, joking that he "hoped the protesters left with Ted." The pro-reform protesters would, of course, have been perfectly happy cheering Rubio. But here, in a room of the sort of social conservatives considered to be natural supporters of immigration reform, Rubio talked about "the breakdown of our culture," not about the need to pass a comprehensive bill.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The End of Pregnancy

And the inevitable rise of the artificial womb.

Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in New York City

How a Company You’ve Never Heard of Took Control of the Entire Porn Industry

The Hot New Strategy for Desperate Democrats

Blame China for everything.

The Questions That Michael Brown’s Autopsies Can’t Answer


Kiev Used to Be an Easygoing Place

Now it’s descending into madness.


Don’t Just Sit There

How to be more productive during your commute.

There Has Never Been a Comic Book Character Like John Constantine

Which Came First, the Word Chicken or the Word Egg?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 23 2014 1:51 PM Is This the ISIS Backlash We've Been Waiting For?
Oct. 23 2014 5:53 PM Amazon Investors Suddenly Bearish on Losing Money
Oct. 23 2014 5:08 PM Why Is an Obscure 1968 Documentary in the Opening Credits of Transparent?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 6:55 PM A Goodfellas Actor Sued The Simpsons for Stealing His Likeness. Does He Have a Case?
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Oct. 23 2014 5:42 PM Seriously, Evolution: WTF? Why I love the most awkward, absurd, hacked-together species.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.