Ted Cruz Reads ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ on Senate Floor — And That’s Not the Weird Part

What's weird is that Cruz's marathon speech, in protest against Obamacare, is technically not a filibuster

  • Share
  • Read Later
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Texas Senator Ted Cruz, center, speaks at a news conference with conservative congressional Republicans at the Capitol in Washington on Sept. 19, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took the Senate floor at 2:41 pm with a promise to speak out against Obamacare “until I am no longer able to stand.” At 8:04 pm, Cruz held up a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham and announced to a nearly empty Senate chamber that it was his daughters’ bedtime and he would like to take the opportunity to read them a children’s classic via C-SPAN2. So began Cruz’s performance of “Green Eggs and Ham,” live from the nation’s capitol.

In the annals of Congressional wackiness, Cruz’s speech was mostly par for the course. In 1992, Sen. Alfonse D’Amato broke into song and recited names from the phonebook in his classic filibuster of a defense spending bill. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave surely the most meta speech in Congressional history when he gave an eight hour filibuster on the right to filibuster.

(MORE: How Ted Cruz Wins By Losing)

But what set Cruz’s speech apart was a curious caption from C-SPAN2 that appeared right about the time he screws up his face and asks, “You do not like green eggs and ham?” The caption box reads, “This is technically not a filibuster.” The Senate had already scheduled a vote for Wednesday without any possibility of delay. The day’s session was adjourned. Cruz’s speech was technically just a speech.

But what a speech. A YouTube video shows Cruz, five hours in, reading Dr. Seuss with energy to burn. He drops his voice to a theatrical whisper at 1:13 and 1:30 and pitches it to the higher registers of enthusiasm at 1:36 and 2:41, and don’t miss the dramatic turn at 4:34, when Cruz, fully in character, realizes he does like green eggs and ham.

The story finished, Cruz addresses his children directly through the TV. “Brush your teeth, say your prayers, and daddy’s going to be home soon.” The always helpful production team at C-SPAN2 gave a hint of when that might happen. “He must stop speaking before the Senate votes on Wednesday,” the caption read.

(MORE: Cruz Loses Support for Anti-Obamacare Tactic)

37 comments
r_ashwell
r_ashwell

I don't get it - surely political debates should introduce the rules of Just a Minute (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_a_Minute) - you may talk but with no hesitation, repetition or deviation.


This is surely deviation from the argument and therefore should be banned. 

heywood
heywood

oh no, it's dr. evil (cruz) , picking his teeth with his little finger and mini me (lee) sitting on his lap (mimicking every word dr, evil says).  stay tuned for the sequel.  eerie. 

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Cruz

I will not do the people's will

I'm way too busy gorging at the Koch Brother's till

atalloak
atalloak

I am Claire.

Claire, I declare.

That Claire I declare!

I do not like that

Claire I declare!

Do you like Obamacare?

Do you like it here or there?

I do not like Obamacare.

I do not like it I declare.

Would you like it if you did fall?

Would you like it if had by all?

I do not like it if I did fall.

I do not like it if had by all.

I do not like Obamacare.

I do not like it I declare.

Would you like it for your son?

If it lasts past twenty-one?

I do not like it for my son.

Even when past twenty-one.

I do not like it if I fall.

I do not want it had by all.

I do not like Obamacare.

I do not like it I declare.

Would you like it if transportable?

Would you, could you if affordable?

I do not like it if transportable.

I would not, could not if affordable.

I do not like Obamacare.

I do not like it I declare.

Would you like it if already sick?

Would you like to have your pick?

I do not like it if I'm sick.

I do not like to have to pick.

I do not like Obamacare.

I do not like it I declare.

Would you like it if rates go down?

Would you like it in your town?

I do not like it if rates go down

I do not want it in my town.

I do not like it if I'm sick.

I do not like to have to pick.

I do not like it if transportable.

I do not like it if affordable.

I do not like it for my son.

Even when past twenty-one.

I do not like it if I fall.

I do not want it had by all.

I do not like it here or there.

I do not like Obamacare!

You do not like it

SO you say.

Try it! Try it!

And then you may.

Try it and you may I say.

Claire!

If you will let me be,

I will try it.

You will see.

Say!

I like Obamacare!

I do!! I like it, my dear Claire!

I like it when my rates go down

I will like it in my town.

I like it when already sick.

I like it when I get to pick.

I like it as transportable.

I like it as affordable.

I like it for my son.

Even when past twenty-one.

I like it if I should fall.

I like it as had by all.

I like it here or there.

I like it anywhere!

I do so like Obamacare!

Thank you!

Thank you,

My dear Claire!

PeterKrane
PeterKrane

Is that the best the liberals can do is twist Cruz's 21 hour speech with a lot of very legitimate points of why ObamaDontCare is a bad law?  Liberal MSM is showing their bias like usual.  Cruz spoke a lot of real serious issues of concern about why ObamaDontCare should be repealed and defunded.


Liberals and Democrats can't win the ObamaDontCare debate on REAL points, so they have to attack Cruz on reading to his daughters during the speech because he reads to his daughters every night and he did not want to miss it that night.  Yet, the liberals and Democrats twist it as the major point.  What a bunch of immoral, unethical group of people the liberals are.  Shame on you liberal commentators and politicians to not tell the whole truth about Cruz's speech.

ThatYoungConservative
ThatYoungConservative

I think we're all exaggerating the amount of tax payer money spent, considering what kind of money we spend everyday.  I am proud that my taxpayer dollars were spent to encourage free speech, which, by the way, happens in the senate and the house all the time.  It's stupid to say that was the problem with the speech.  I'm actually having a hard time finding someone who has found something fundamentally wrong with his speech.  He makes great points, and I would encourage everyone to watch some clips for themselves or read some real coverage.

JackieHogan
JackieHogan

Let me get this straight..."Obamacare" was passed and is law.  This Jerk wastes taxpayer money  orating and reading books on the Texas Senate Floor for something that he really cannot change in any way and this is a "good" thing???  This man is a joke...and expensive joke in a state that cannot afford any more expensive jokes.


acmitchell1
acmitchell1

Talks for 21 hours and this is all you guys report on?

Back2Life
Back2Life

Isn't the moral of  Green Eggs and Ham, "Try it, You'll like it?"

Sen. Cruz, try ACA. You're constituents will like it (Which you will hate.)

DanBruce
DanBruce

Maybe we can get Rick Perry to go forward with his plan for Texas to leave the union ... and perhaps take Arizona with it.

gysgt213
gysgt213

Little known fact. Greens Eggs & Ham actually had a lesson to learn.  If you learned that lesson as a kid or after reading the story to your own kids you have also now learned that Ted Cruz is an absolute fraud.

notsacredh
notsacredh

Filibluster might be more apt for the kabuki Ted put us though.

MarkDuda
MarkDuda

I do not like our elected officials

I do not like them blowing whistles

I do not like them at a podium
I do not like them with immodium

I do not like them wasting time 
I do not like them wasting mine

I do not like this filibuster
'What have we done', are the only words I can muster

A bed time story to Ted Cruz, from a Dr Seuss fan, I am

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Such a brilliant clown that he filibusters when you technically can't filibuster.

retiredvet
retiredvet

"This plan is right out of Alice in Wonderland. You need to prevent a vote on defunding Obamacare in order to defund Obamacare."

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

The face of the republican party 9-25-13--a clown, despised more by his republican colleagues than by anyone on the left, conducting a faux filibuster. 

SoBig
SoBig

Ted Cruz is likely to be the next President.  Mr. Obama is good friends with Kenya's President, Mr. Kenyatta.  Together they plan to Kenyanize America and to Americanize Kenya.  The pendelum has now swung back, and we need a conservative like Cruz-mobile himself.

flootzavut
flootzavut

Best, classiest response. Amazing. *applause*

Love the irony of Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham in those circumstances!

AnnieKiser
AnnieKiser

@PeterKrane Cruz...another fool from TX probably thinking he'll run for president in a few years. He and his tea party nutjob friends are an embarrassment to American politics, Dem or Rep. America is in crisis and we don't need our elected officials wasting time and making a name for themselves with foolishness. 

PeterKrane
PeterKrane

@JackieHogan It was passed as a non-tax law because Obama kept insisting that it was NOT a tax.  But, Supreme Court said it was indeed a tax.  In reality, Congress was lied to by Obama, and this law is really illegal.  Taxation without representation is what this law is.  So, this law should have been null and void when Supreme Court ruled it as a tax, but yet it was passed as a non-tax.

arkozark
arkozark

@JackieHogan "...expensive joke in a state that cannot afford any more expensive jokes" - I know - Obama is one expensive joke we can't afford anymore!

rockvillepatch
rockvillepatch

@JackieHogan Let me get this straight you idiot. You're complaining about a Senators' right to filibuster for a day, and you say he wastes taxpayer money?! But the president took a $100 Million Vacation in JUNE!!!!!!! AND YOU SAY CRUZ IS A JERK!!! Shameful. What is wrong with you.

PeterKrane
PeterKrane

@aubz88 He was reading to his daughters because he normally reads to them every night.  I thought it was great he didn't miss reading to his family.  But, the other 20.8 hours was about ObamaDontCare and how it is destroying our economy.  So, yes, the Democrats and liberals who only point out the Green Eggs and Ham story only is very bad journalism.

ThatYoungConservative
ThatYoungConservative

@gysgt213 If you watched his explanation after this of why he read that book, you would understand that he means that we have already tried it in limited form, and we do not like it.  We cannot be accused of not trying, though, because we did

gysgt213
gysgt213

@retiredvet When you factor in Ted Cruz as the classic con man, using classic con man tactics its not that strange.

vdt1953
vdt1953

Cruz will be president; when elephants fly.

"Like Horton"

Another Dr. S. Character

JFA
JFA

@SoBig You are so funny.  I needed another laugh this morning.

bsaunders1
bsaunders1

@rockvillepatch @JackieHogan This president's vacation line is getting tiresome. EVERY single president gets this criticism - either of the time spent or the money spent. George Bush, Sr. George Bush, Jr. Now Obama. It's not even a partisan thing. The critics of every president seem to trot this out. They ALL take vacations!!

DrewShifflett
DrewShifflett

@ThatYoungConservative @gysgt213Tried it in limited from?? What exactly does that mean?? Just curious if you could explain this limited form because it doesnt make sense if you said you have tried it but yet you haven't in its whole.