The Washington Post

Ted Cruz faces hecklers

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) faced hecklers six times Friday during his speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington. (The Washington Post)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), the leading advocate of defunding the Affordable Care Act in the budget debate, faced hecklers multiple times Friday during his speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, in which he continued to rail against the health-care law.

"The nice thing is the left will always, always, always tell you who they fear," Cruz told the crowd after one of the interruptions. "And they fear you."

One of the hecklers Cruz faced called on him to support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

At one point, chants of "USA! USA!" erupted from the audience, which sought to drown out the protesters.

Cruz, along with his Senate Republican colleagues, is set to meet with President Obama at the White House later Friday to talk about the impasse over the debt ceiling and budget.

"If I'm never seen again [after the meeting], please send a search and rescue team," Cruz joked to the crowd, saying he fears he may wake up with the Syrian rebels the next day.

In his speech, Cruz credited supporters with triggering the national debate about the Affordable Care Act. He said he does not know how the fight will end, but called for House Republicans to stand firm.

"In my view, the House of Representatives needs to keep doing what [they're] doing, which is standing strong," Cruz said.

Cruz said America may only have a couple of years to "turn things around" or risk going "off the cliff to oblivion."

Updated at 11:22 a.m.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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