At CPAC, Ted Cruz says China shooting down Pelosi’s plane would be ‘an act of war’

Sen. Ted Cruz told a conservative rally in Dallas on Friday that President Joe Biden should have responded more forcefully to China’s threats to shoot down House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane during her trip. in Taiwan – claiming it would be an “act of war” if the threats were followed through.

“The only response to an enemy of America threatening to assassinate the Speaker of the United States House is that it would be an act of war, and the result would be devastating,” he said Friday, the second conservative political action day. Conference.

Saturday is the biggest day of the CPAC rally this week, with headliner Donald Trump set to speak in the evening.

Cruz helped get conservatives excited for the main attraction with that beard using an insult that’s usually reserved for the French: “The weakness and appeasement that comes from cheese-eating surrender monkeys makes America and the whole world much less secure.”

Cruz was referring to posts that have gone viral claiming that a Chinese government official threatened to kill the speaker during his visit to Taiwan, which China insists is its territory. But the threats did not come from the Chinese government – ​​rather, they came from a commentator at a state-run newspaper.

Cruz’s defense of Pelosi ended there. He frequently attacked the president during her 15-minute speech on Friday, promising to send her packing after the next election.

“Nancy is going to get on her broom,” Cruz said before pausing. “No, it’s not right, it’s not right. Nancy will board her private jet – the USS Broom – and she will fly back to San Francisco. And actually, for her, I really hope her husband doesn’t pick her up at the airport.

Pelosi’s husband, Paul, was arrested near the couple’s Napa vineyard in May for drunk driving. He pleaded not guilty.

“As I look around this room of patriots, I see the American flag and I see the Gadsden flag, and I see the Gonzales battle flag,” Cruz said, “it comes to mind that the FBI Biden thinks this is a room of dangerous rebels.”

Cruz was referring to his heated confrontation with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday, after the FBI tagged the Gonzales flag — a black-and-white banner unfurled during an 1835 battle in Texas that features a cannon and the words ” Come and Take It” – as an extremist symbol.

During a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, Cruz took off one of his boots and slammed it on his desk. “I’m going to declare myself right now that every day in the Senate I wear my boots that have Gonzales’ battle flag on the back,” Cruz told Wray.

The senator was not wearing boots during his speech on Friday.

Cruz, who had spent much of the morning signing books and taking photos with supporters with his father, Rafael, also dabbled in stand-up comedy while talking about inflation and high prices. .

“It’s so bad, antifa can’t afford bricks. It’s so bad that Eric Swalwell can’t afford Chinese dinners. It’s so bad (“How bad is it?” , replied some in the crowd) that AOC can’t afford fake handcuffs.

Cruz also ridiculed Anthony Fauci’s mask mandates, pronouns and height before plugging in his own podcast.

Speak out on Griner

On another topic, Cruz said Brittney Griner’s nine-year sentence in a Russian prison is an “abuse of power,” but he declined to comment on whether a prisoner swap was the best way to bring the player back from prison. WNBA and the native Texan at home.

“That’s wrong,” Cruz said The Dallas Morning News in a brief interview on CPAC. “…It’s Vladimir Putin targeting an American. This is an unfair detention, and Brittney Griner should be free.

Cruz, who along with Sen. John Cornyn supported a Senate resolution describing Griner as wrongfully detained, called on the Biden administration “to use whatever influence it has to free her from this abusive prosecution by the Russian government. “.

These statements were Cruz’s first public comments about Griner since she was convicted and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison for drug trafficking. Biden denounced the verdict and sentence as “unacceptable” and called on Russia to immediately release Griner, who was born and raised in Houston and played for Baylor University, leading the team to a 40-0 season and to the 2012 NCAA title.

The conviction also creates the potential for high-stakes negotiations between the Russian and US governments. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the United States had offered a trade involving Griner and Paul Whelan, another American detained by Russia, in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Cruz declined to comment on Friday’s proposed deal, citing the sensitivity of the negotiations.

The Russian government has warned that any negotiations should be discussed privately.

Clarification: An earlier version of this article was unclear on the specifics of Senator Ted Cruz’s comments on threats from China regarding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Cruz’s staff clarified that their position is that it would have been an “act of war” if China had attacked his plane.

More CPAC Dallas coverage

Trump speaks at CPAC Dallas
CPAC Dallas straw poll shows Republicans want Trump for president in 2024
CPAC Dallas is still Trump-centric, but Ron DeSantis is on Texans’ minds
Texas AG Ken Paxton urges CPAC conservatives to remain vigilant against voter fraud
Shunned from state GOP convention, gay Republicans say they feel more welcome at CPAC
Ted Cruz calls Brittney Griner’s sentence an ‘abuse of power’ but remains silent on prisoner swap
Democrats denounce Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán’s CPAC appearance in Dallas
At CPAC, Viktor Orbán paints a grim picture of the “war” between progressives and Western culture
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tells fellow conservatives it’s time to unite for November election
Abbott touts Texas, mocks California as conservative CPAC rally kicks off in Dallas