Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who held a similar “talking filibuster” against extending Bush-era tax rates in 2010, said Wednesday that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was “succeeding” in drawing media attention by railing against Obamacare for upwards of 20 hours and counting.
Under Senate rules, neither Sanders’ nor Cruz’s extended speech is technically a filibuster, and the junior senator from Texas even negotiated the terms of his speech ahead of time with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). But Sanders argued that Cruz’s speech ultimately revealed his party’s true agenda — not merely abolishing the Affordable Care Act but Social Security and Medicare as well.
“Well, by definition, he is succeeding because you were talking about Ted Cruz and he’s all over the media,” Sanders, who spoke for over 8 hours in 2010, said on MSNBC.
“And if you look at something like the Republican, Texas Republican platform, you know what they believe in?” Sanders added. “They believe not only in getting rid of Obamacare, that’s nickels and dimes. They believe in abolishing Social security, abolishing VA health care. We’ve got six million veterans using that.”
“They believe in abolishing the minimum wage so that if workers in America are forced to work for two or three bucks an hour, that’s okay for them,” he added. “That’s freedom. So I think what we really need to debate, and maybe Senator Cruz has helped us move in that direction, is a fundamental debate about where we want to go in America.”
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.