During an event in Houston honoring the first responders to Hurricane Harvey on Friday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a speech. After being introduced by Governor Greg Abbott, Cruz was immediately jeered by a number of attendees, who proceeded to interrupt his speech with chants and boos.
ABBOTT: One of the leaders who stepped up, has been here from the very beginning, and ensured that Texas received the funding that we need to fully rebuild, and that is our great United States Senator Ted Cruz.
Even before Cruz got to the podium, protesters began to boo loudly. As the senator spoke about the first responders who “charged into harm’s way” during Hurricane Harvey, the anti-Cruz demonstrators loudly chanted: “Vote him out! Vote him out!”
Cruz took the opportunity to speak about partisan division, saying:
You know, one of the extraordinary things about Harvey. We’re living in a time when there’s more than a little partisan division; there’s more than a little anger and hostility – and that is a sad thing for our country. But what was most incredible during Harvey is during Harvey, the anger, the division disappeared. When these men and women risked their lives to save people, nobody asked what color you were; nobody asked what ethnicity you were; nobody asked what your religion was; nobody asked what your party was; nobody stood and screamed as a political heckler. Instead, it was simply Texans saving Texans. And I’ll tell you, the most extraordinary part of it was the thousands upon thousands of ordinary Texans who went and just got in boats, risked their lives, and saved their fellow citizens.
Throughout his message about partisanship, the crowd continued to chant. However, they became relatively silent when Cruz spoke about himself and Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX):
The week after the flood, the Houston city council invited both me and Sheila Jackson Lee to address the city council. And at the time, both of us were talking to the city council, and both Sheila and I said the same thing. We said: “On any other day, the two of us might disagree on any host of policy issues, but today, there are no Democrats, there are no Republicans; we are all Texans; we are all united; we are standing as one, rebuilding from this tragedy.”
And one of the city council members observed that it so happened that Sheila was wearing red, and I was wearing blue. It’s not planned, but that’s what happened, and so Sheila and I proceeded to hug each other, which may have simultaneously ended both our political careers.
At this point, one protester shouted: “I wish! I wish!”
As Cruz continued, noting his gratefulness to HUD Secretary Ben Carson for “delivering $4.7 billion to the state of Texas to help rebuild from Harvey,” the jeering and booing returned.
Here’s the video (recorded by an anonymous attendee):