Poor Rafael “Ted” Cruz. The Canadian born senator from Texas doesn’t seem to realize that there is a whole wide world of thinking people who exist outside the right wing bubble, and who aren’t buying what he and his Tea Party brethren are selling.
On March 10, Cruz took his dog and pony show to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) convention. David Weigel reports at Bloomberg Politics that firefighters’ unions do not support Democrats as solidly as some unions do, so perhaps Cruz thought he might find the group of first responders to be receptive to some of his positions. Or, maybe he thought his reception would be so hostile that he could use it as evidence that unions are filled with crazed, left wing “thugs.” You can never be quite sure of what is going through this man’s head. Whatever he was thinking going in, he was almost certainly not prepared for what he got.
Cruz went onto the stage with the standard applause lines, the ones that get him raucous cheers inside the GOP bubble, ready to go. He attacks the IRS, goes after border security, and, of course he calls for the repeal of Obamacare. Each of those lines earned Cruz huge cheers when he appeared on stage at CPAC with Sean Hannity. But what happened when he delivered them to the firefighters, complete with planned pauses for the same sort of fawning admiration he received from the CPAC crowd? Silence. Not one bit of applause. No boos. Just silence. A complete, uncomfortable, silence. In fact, the room was filled with a stony silence throughout Cruz’s nearly 30 minute address. You can see the entire speech on YouTube.
Now This News put together a video of Cruz’s intended applause lines, and the unexpected response.
Image via screen shot from YouTube