Sen. Ted Cruz hit back hard when Hispanic hecklers interrupted his speech Friday at the Values Voters Summit in Washington – saying they were just evidence of a White House afraid of conservative critics.
“How scared is the president?” said Cruz, as heckling broke out repeatedly during his speech at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, according to the Washington Times. The hecklers were eventually removed by security guards.
“Oh, they don’t want the truth to be heard,” Cruz said. “They definitely don’t want the truth to be heard.”
Cruz was born in Canada to a Cuban father and American mother. To supporters of immigration reform, that kind of heritage should make him a natural ally, but the conservative Texas Republican is a staunch opponent of the immigration reform bill that passed the Senate over the summer.
Some of the hecklers identified themselves as members of an immigrant advocacy group called United We Dream, but their reception by Cruz’s audience might have been a wake-up call for their cause.
“USA! USA!” the crowd chanted.
According to the Times, protester Carolina Canizales 23, said Cruz has a duty to be on the hecklers’ side.
“Senator Cruz is a Latino and should champion our population of Latinos,” Canizales told the paper.
Cruz didn’t seem bothered by the interruptions, blaming them on a White House trying to disrupt the conservative summit.
“It seems President Obama’s paid political operatives are out in force today,” he said, according to USA Today. “And you know why? The men and women in this room scare the living daylights out of them.”
Watch via the Washington Post here: