POLITICS
03/16/2013 06:13 pm ET Updated Mar 16, 2013

Ted Cruz CPAC Speech: Senator Addresses Conservative Political Action Conference 2013 (VIDEO)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) gave the keynote address of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, focusing much of his address on Sen. Rand Paul's infamous 13-hour filibuster.

"To my grave I will owe Rand Paul a debt of gratitude that the first time I spoke up in the Senate I had the opportunity to read [William Barret] Travis' letter from the Alamo," Cruz said, noting that he also read Shakespeare and the opening monologue from the film "Patton."

"As they say in the beer commercial, it don't get no better than this," Cruz said.

Cruz went on to question the absence of Democrats during Paul's filibuster.

"My question to you is, where were the Democrats [during the filibuster]?" Cruz said.

Cruz received a standing ovation when he noted he offered an amendment to "repeal funding for Obamacare."

"We saw every single Republican in the Senate vote unanimously to defund Obamacare," Cruz said. "Every Democrat voted together to maintain Obamacare funding, even if it pushes us into a recession."

"We're winning right now," Cruz continued.

The senator also addressed fellow Senator John McCain's (R-Ariz.) "wacko birds" comment. When asked about Cruz, Paul and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) earlier this month, McCain responded that he thought "it’s always the wacko birds on right and left that get the media megaphone."

Cruz took on the criticism and told the CPAC audience, “If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution makes you a wacko bird, then count me a proud wacko bird.”

Below, a liveblog of the latest updates from CPAC:

PHOTO GALLERIES
CPAC 2013

03/16/2013 5:31 PM EDT

Rand Paul Scores Straw Poll Win

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came out on top of this year's CPAC straw poll. Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:54 PM EDT

Birther's 'Inappropriate' Questions Face Fire

From HuffPost's Paige Lavender:

Orly Taitz, commonly known as the "Birther Queen," was rebuked by blogger Pamela Geller during a Saturday panel on Islam and national security at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:53 PM EDT

Walker Goes 47%: Obama Wants 'Government Dependence'

HuffPost's Jason Linkins reports:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the stage Saturday at CPAC, praising the assemblage for its support during the fraught Wisconsin recall fight, which Walker won, allowing him to stay in power. His speech was themed around the idea that the states are the laboratories of policy -- "Real reform does not happen in Washington, it happens in the statehouses throughout this country," he said -- and that he, in particular, was leading the way to end "government dependency."

If future GOP presidential runs depend on silver-tongues articulation of dorm-room "makers vs. takers" arguments, then Walker's future is pretty bright.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 1:51 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Sarah Palin Drinks 'Big Gulp' On Stage: 'Bloomberg's Not Around. Don't Worry'

sarah palin cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:37 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Rick Santorum Looks Like He Is About To Give Us A Knuckle-Sandwich

santorum cpac 2013

(Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:34 PM EDT

CPAC Highlights: Steve King

@ elisefoley :

RT @EvanMcSan: Steve King calls them "undocumented Democrats" #Immigration #CPAC2013

03/16/2013 1:01 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Michele Bachmann: Conservatism Is "The Movement Of Love, The Movement Of Care."

michele bachmann cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 12:57 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly Invited CPAC Audience To Follow Her On Twitter

@ achorowitz :

Phyllis Schlafly just asked if we would please follow her on Twitter. What.

03/16/2013 12:52 PM EDT

Schlafly On Immigration

@ Bencjacobs :

Phyllis Schafly says immigrants will all vote Democratic, I don't think Marco Rubio agrees #cpac

03/16/2013 12:51 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly On Amnesty

@ jmartpolitico :

Phyllis Schlafly: "comprehensive is a synonym for amnesty"

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