Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was forced to stop speaking multiple times while delivering a speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., Friday morning. Rather than cowering, he repeatedly shot back at his hecklers and accused them of being "President Obama's paid political operatives."
Cruz was first interrupted by a man in the audience who demanded to know why he wouldn't "support a pathway to citizenship for immigrant families." Later in the speech, the disruptions became more pointed, leading Cruz to more fervently address the outbursts.
Based on muffled video footage it was unclear what exactly most of the hecklers were saying, but summit attendees began overpowering the hecklers with shouts of "USA! USA! USA!"
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) gives an interview during his visit with Texas World War II veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. (AP)
Cruz was not amused by the interruptions.
"They definitely don't want the truth to be heard," he said of the opposition.
Despite his disagreement with their tactics, he thanked the boisterous hecklers for their passion, but asked them to "respect the rights of the men and women who are here."
Cruz also told his supportive audience members that liberals are clearly afraid.
"The left will always, always, always tell you who they fear. And they fear you," he said. "They fear the American people."
The heckler who interrupted Cruz to ask about immigration did so as the senator was warning that the nation is on the brink of going "off the cliff to oblivion." His shout-out was captured by cameras.
"Senator Cruz, why won't you support a pathway to citizenship for immigrant families?" the man asked.
Cruz didn't answer, except to say he respects the individual's right to free speech. Watch at the 6:00 mark: