Last week, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was scheduled to deliver the keynote address at a sold out conference for Middle Eastern Christians. In Defense of Christians, a non-profit group, organized the Washington, D.C. event. After getting off to a solid start, the audience turned on Cruz when he suggested Israel serves as the greatest ally of Christianity in the region. Refusing to back down, Cruz ultimately left the stage before finishing his remarks. But he did get in one final line.
“Tonight, we are all united in defense of Christians,” Cruz said to begin his speech. “Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews. Tonight, we are all united in defense of people of good faith, who are standing together against those who would persecute and murder those who dare disagree with their religious teachings.”
As TheBlaze reported, he went on to label religious bigotry a “cancer with many manifestations,” citing the “genocidal campaign” being carried out by radical Islamic groups like the Islamic State, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
The trouble began when Cruz told the crowd “Christians have no greater ally than Israel.” Audience members began to boo and shout at the Senator. Cruz sought to continue his remarks, but the boos only got louder.
“Those who hate Israel hate America. Those who hate Jews hate Christians,” he said. “If those in this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians, who behead children, are the very same people who target Jews for their faith, for the same reason.”
At that point, Toufic Baaklini, the president of In Defense of Christians, took to the stage and tried to calm down the crowd to no avail. Cruz had had enough - but he offered one last message before leaving the stage.
“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you,” Cruz said before walking offstage. “Good night, and God bless.”
“I'm telling you, this guy is the real deal,” Glenn said. “Nobody has the guts to say that… He insults the audience by saying, ‘You are consumed with hate.’”
One of Cruz’s best assets is his delivery. In what was obviously an unnerving situation, Cruz manages to maintain his calm and composure.
“This is something that Ted Cruz gets hit with all the time, which is unfair. He says it calmly,” Stu said. “He's not a fire breather.”
“The thing is, he's an experienced attorney. He argued in front of… the court of law. He argued in front of the Supreme Court,” Glenn added. “He knows how to make arguments. And he knows losing your cool is not the way to win. So he's very rational. He's very well read… They always try to make people look stupid. This guy is not dumb. You notice that?”
As Glenn explained, the media either tries to make conservatives look stupid or look like hatemongers. In the case of Cruz, the media has had trouble because he comes across as articulate and well reasoned.
“They know they can't make him look stupid, so the only angle is hate. And he doesn't hate… He clearly does not hate,” Pat concluded. “I don't know if Ted Cruz is going to run for president or not. It's a little tougher to tell with him. But I hope he does… This guy should be at the front of everybody's mind.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP