Ted Cruz got heckled on Friday morning during his speech at the Values Voter Summit in D.C., which should have been an arch-conservative haven for him. The heckling wasn't over the Cruz controversy of the moment — the government shutdown — but instead, half a dozen protesters asked him why he doesn't support comprehensive immigration reform (video at right).
Cruz carried on by suggesting President Obama paid the hecklers to do his bidding. The Texas senator asked at one point: "How scared is the president? What a statement of fear, what a statement of fear. Oh, they don't want the truth to be heard. They definitely don't want the truth to be heard."
Eventually, the protesters (who later identified themselves as members of the pro-immigration reform group United We Dream) were drowned out by shouts of "USA! USA!" from the rest of the crowd. Cruz's speechwriter thinks he did a good job:
Seriously, would ANYONE be handling hecklers as well as Cruz is right now?— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) October 11, 2013
And here's the Obama-paid-them joke, which at least one Breitbart reporter is taking seriously:
CRUZ jokes about hecklers: "Is anybody left at OFA headquarters. I'm glad his staff is here instead of doing mischief in the country!"— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) October 11, 2013
According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 14 percent of Americans view Cruz favorably right now.