Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) described the audience at an annual National Rifle Association retreat as an "army" Friday afternoon.
Speaking at a meeting in Houston, the first major NRA event since a background checks bill failed in the Senate, Cruz praised the audience members for speaking out against gun control laws and credited them with the defeated legislation in the Senate.
"I am looking at an army," Cruz said. "And the voice of each of you is how we win. And because each of you spoke out and because millions of Americans spoke out ... every vote that would have undermined the right to keep and bear arms was voted down."
Cruz, along with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in March stating that the three would filibuster "any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions."
The tea party favorites led a successful filibuster of the Manchin-Toomey bipartisan background checks bill with 43 other senators joining them, including four Democrats and Reid, who voted no for provisional reasons.
Cruz also slammed the Obama administration in his remarks, telling the audience the administration has not done enough to prosecute felons and fugitives who illegally buy guns and has cut funding for such efforts. He also challenged Vice President Joe Biden to a debate on stopping crime.