‘Defund Obamacare’ Tour’s Stop in Dallas Interrupted By Protestors, But Cruz Vows to Fight On

After U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, took the stage Tuesday night at Heritage Action for America’s “Defund Obamacare” event in Dallas, he was quickly interrupted.

The cheering, waving, and whistling for the state’s junior senator had died down, and a woman stood up. She had recently lost her health insurance, she said, and had to travel to Mexico to purchase her diabetes medicine.

“What are you going to do,” she said, pointing at Cruz, “to help the six million uninsured Texans?”

Cruz paused, but was interrupted again.

“We can take care of ourselves,” yelled a voice from across the Hilton Anatole ballroom.

And, with that, the night was off.

No fewer than three attendees were removed from the event, each after interrupting Cruz with yelled statements about health insurance. If the Affordable Care Act wasn’t the solution, they asked, what was? Each time, the audience members were roundly booed by the majority anti-Obamacare crowd. In one instance, after two Hispanic men chanted, “You have healthcare, so should we,” the crowd answered back with a chorus of “U.S.A., U.S.A.” As the men were ushered out of the room, a middle-aged couple screamed, “You communist pr*cks” in their faces.

Once the protestors were removed, Cruz began his pitch in earnest. Bipartisan support to overturn the Affordable Care Act, he said, is growing. He urged the 1,000-strong crowd to call their congressmen, to fill their in-boxes with messages, to force Washington’s hand. Liberty, Cruz said, is never safer than when politicians are terrified.

“One side or the other has to blink,” he said. “So how do we win this fight?”

As if cue cards suddenly had appeared onstage, the crowd answered: “Don’t blink!”

Despite Cruz’s claims to the contrary, Defund Obamacare—whose supporters pledge not to fund the government if it includes money for the president’s healthcare law—has failed to gain much traction with the GOP’s upper echelon. This was not the case inside the Hilton Anatole ballroom, nor the case Monday in Fayetteville, Ark., where the tour kicked off. The crowd cheered and stood after every uttering of “defund Obamacare,” and, an hour before the event began, lines snaked through the hotel lobby.

“I apologize for the lines to get in tonight, but it was on purpose,” said Heritage Foundation president and former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. “We wanted to simulate what it was going to be like in a couple years at the doctor’s office.” He went on to call the Affordable Care Act “probably the most destructive law ever imposed on the American people.”

DeMint hammered home Cruz’s points, reiterating his belief that the law would hurt the young people and minorities it’s intended to help by saddling them with higher premiums. Despite DeMint’s and Cruz’s position that the law would hurt minorities the most, the Heritage Foundation seemed to have a hard time attracting non-whites to the event.

On the stage, behind the speakers, the racial demographics were roughly eight white supporters to one minority supporter. In the audience, the ratio was closer to 100 to 1. Coincidentally, the other event at the Anatole Tuesday was the Blacks in Government National Training Institute conference.

In addition to the Defund tour, tea party and anti-Obamacare groups are launching online ads against a dozen GOP senators who either oppose the defunding effort or haven’t announced a position yet. Heritage Action will also run a $550,000 online campaign in 100 Republican-controlled districts as part of the same effort.

“If you’re giving up the fight against socialized medicine, you’re almost giving up on the country,” DeMint said.

The Defund Obamacare tour continues tomorrow in Tampa, Fla., before traveling to six more cities across the eastern United States.

(See video below of one set of protestors interrupting Cruz)

  • I simply believe these guys either don’t meet people who would be helped by this law, or don’t care if it would help them.

    • Ed

      Just a note, that logic could be used to support pretty much every law, at all times. Someone is going to be the beneficiary of every tax increase, every tax decrease, every new entitlement etc. There are thousands of ways lives could be improved for some at the expense of others (free college, free internet access, free big screen TVs). At least be specific, and say something like “how can they have a problem with, reduced choice, and higher premiums and taxes for one group of people when some other groups of people will now be insured despite pre-existing conditions and others will now get subsidies (i.e. new entitlement) for insurance.”

      • Brandi Irons

        The healthcare exchanges will provide less choice and higher premiums? If by less choice you mean more, and if by higher premiums you mean lower premiums when their are more people in the insurance market..then yes, I agree with you.

        Also if you chose to call subsidies entitlements, then I’m sure you’re against all the energy and corporate entitlements and corn growing entitlements the USA currently gives out. But no you choose to call those subsidies (i.e. entitlements) tax breaks. How intellectually honest of you!

    • Howy

      I know I will not change YOUR belief, but I believe that these guys care just as much as you about people Obamacare is intended to help. These guys believe the harm from this law with outweight the good and also believe there are alternatives that will benefit not just the needy, but everyone more effectively and efficiently. This is the debate. Do not imply ill will on the part of people whose ideas differ from yours.

  • Pingback: Tempers Flare, Obscenities Hurled at Anti-Obamacare Rally | FrontBurner()

  • Dave

    They liked the law when it was their idea. When it was the President’s idea, that’s when they decided that it would destroy America.

    When the average American is asked about individual line items in the legislation, they each get overwhelming support. When the average American is asked what they think about “Obamacare”, that’s when it turns negative. That’s why the tea-party people don’t bring up exactly “Why” the legislation will hurt the country because they’d have to dive into the individual points of the bill.

    • Brandi Irons

      Well said. They want to defund Obamacare not because it is ineffective, but because in every developed country where universal healthcare has been enacted, it becomes instantly popular.

      They want the law to fail before it even has a chance to help people because they aren’t the ones who got this done in the 90’s when they fought against so-called Hillarycare. This law was implemented successfully by Mitt Romney, it came from the brains of those in the Heritage Foundation, and the only reason the Republicans are against it is because they don’t want Obama and the Democrats to get any credit for this.

      • Sane

        That is correct. Those who dislike Obama (and I’m not a big fan but was better than alternative) only want it to fail because it has his name attached to it. Republicans’ main objective was, which everyone knows but they don’t like it to be restated, to make Obama a one-term president. Of course, that’s failed so they have to make sure nothing gets done so that they can blame on Democrats.
        The sad fact of the matter is, as others, even Gingrich have admitted to, is that they HAVE no alternative.
        The real winners in this are insurance companies no matter WHAT plan is put in place. They’ve been increasing premiums for YEARS BEFORE Obama was president, and will continue to do so.
        Calling people ridiculous things like “socialist” and drowning out others’ cogent questions with “USA, USA” just shows how stupidly shallow the nuts in the “tea” party are. They like to ignore things like Cruz’s birthplace but were on the witch hunt with Obama. NUTS.

  • Pingback: Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Aug. 21 | FrontBurner()

  • Pingback: Pro-Obamacare Protest Gives Cruz Ted Cruz Texas-Sized Welcome at Heritage Foundation Town Hall - United Americans()

  • Catherine

    What’s fascinating, in a morally repellant sort of way, was not only the spectacle of the handsomely compensated Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint promoting repeal of a health care law meant to make a dent in the high number of uninsured but that an audience member in Texas could shout out, “We can take care of ourselves!” For Texas leads the nation in the percentage of uninsured (Some sources say it’s 28 percent of the population; others put the number at 33 percent).

    Moreover, that audience member’s assertion was not only belied by the statistics but by the nature of health care costs themselves. There’s an oft-repeated fallacy that a little financial prudence and a little care will keep bankruptcy and ruined health from the door, but the reality is that medical bills ruin Americans at an alarming rate, and moreover you can’t save up for the care of a premature baby (which can run to six figures) or an angioplasty the way you would save up for a new car.

    And all that’s quite apart from the drug prices in the U.S., referenced by that newly jobless woman in the crowd, and the ugly business of barring those with pre-existing conditions from purchasing insurance.

    If the U.S. truly values its population, it will move into a more realistic approach to health care. Ted Cruz and his ilk will not always be with us, but the vagaries of fate and heredity will.

  • Joe Adams

    A few statements are misleading in this article. When the woman rose to spoke, it was actually Cruz who told the crowd he wanted to hear what she had to say and to let her speak. When you say no fewer than three attendees were removed, it was two that I know of and perhaps three but no more. No fewer than three leads people to believe that it was more than it was. There were around 2,000 people there, not 1,000. The place was packed. The two gentleman, term used loosely were removed not because of what they were saying (Cruz again wanted to hear what they were saying) but thy were removed because they were getting closer and closer to the senator and the secrete service finally removed them after they got to close. They were shouting and being disrupted, not trying to get a point across. One of the guys kept going pass me over and over again and I got a good look at him. He in no way appeared Hispanic, more of middle eastern. There were certainly more whites there than minorities but I thought the minorities were well represented considering the percentage of the populace. Just looking at the people on the stage showed a good mix.

  • Pingback: Health Insurance Rates For Obamacare’s Texas Marketplace Are Lower Than Expected | FrontBurner()