Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) drew audible gasps Thursday when he told gathering of Christian conservatives that Democrats intended to amend the Constitution to limit free speech.
“When you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” Cruz warned at the Watchmen on the Wall gathering of pastors sponsored by the Family Research Council.
“This year, I’m sorry to tell you, the United States Senate is going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment,” Cruz said, to the audible shock of the crowd.
The Tea Party-backed senator said Senate Democrats intend to vote this year on Senate Joint Resolution 19, which would effectively undo the unpopular U.S. Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing in the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases.
“I am telling you, I am not making this up,” Cruz said. “Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced the Senate Democrats are scheduling a vote on a constitutional amendment to give Congress the authority to regulate political speech, because elected officials have decided they don’t like it when the citizenry has the temerity to criticize what they’ve done.”
“They don’t like it when pastors in their community stand up and speak the truth,” he added.
The proposal stands virtually no chance of gaining the required two-thirds House and Senate majorities needed for approval, and is essentially an election-years stunt intended to highlight that Republicans favor unfettered funding.
“I’ll note this amendment, which has 41 Democratic senators as co-sponsors – 41 Democrats have signed on to repealing the First Amendment,” Cruz said, as an audience member loudly protests. “It explicitly says nothing in this new amendment shall abridge the freedom of the press.”
“So the New York Times is protected, but it doesn’t say the same thing about the freedom of speech,” Cruz said. “It doesn’t say the same thing about religious liberty, what is says it that politicians in Washington have unlimited constitutional authority to muzzle each and every one of you if you’re saying things the government finds inconvenient.”
Cruz had not been scheduled to appear at the conference, but he showed up to introduce his father, Rafael Cruz, an ordained minister who spoke at the conference.
The amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) would allow the federal government and states to once again regulate the raising and spending of money in elections, as they did before the Citizens United decision.
Watch this video report posted online by CNS News: