Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) announced Tuesday afternoon that he would launch a “speaking filibuster” in favor of defunding the Affordable Care Act until he is physically unable to stand.
Cruz’s speech is not technically a filibuster, as either way the Senate will vote tomorrow on the continuing resolution to keep the government from shutting down. Even though the vote will happen regardless of the length of his speech, Cruz vowed when he took the Senate floor, “I intend to speak in opposition to Obamacare, I intend to speak in support of defunding Obamacare, until I am no longer able to stand.”
Cruz stands nearly alone in his efforts to shut down the government unless President Obama agrees to defund health care reform. Many other Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have scoffed at his plan, and even Fox News has tried to tell the Tea Party senator his plan is doomed. During the “filibuster,” Cruz compared his unlikely crusade against Obamacare to the first time men landed on the moon, joking, “The moon might be as intimidating as Obamacare!”
Throughout the speech, Cruz, who reportedly refused to study in law school with anyone who did not go to Harvard, Yale or Princeton, tried to paint himself as outside the Washington elite. The senator emphasized that he does not attend cocktail parties with “the intelligentsia in the big cities.”
He also compared his naysayers to Nazi appeasers, positing, “I suspect those same pundits who say it can’t be done, if it had been in the 1940s we would have been listening to them. Then they would have made television. They would have gotten beyond carrier pigeons and beyond letters and they would have been on tv and they would have been saying, ‘You cannot defeat the Germans.’”
The Republican National Committee is exhorting supporters to “stand with Ted” and tell their senators to defund Obamacare.