All the Pop Culture References Ted Cruz Made in His Faux Filibuster

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Sen. Ted Cruz's very long anti-Obamacare speech has gone on for 20 hours now, but don't worry — he's kept things fresh with a lot of hip references. Cruz knows all about Star Wars, Ashton Kutcher, and of course, Dr. Seuss. So besides health care policy, what's Cruz been talking about this whole time while he tries not to go to the bathroom in his pants? 

Green Eggs and Ham

Cruz read the entire book last night as a bedtime story to his daughters. So, all of Green Eggs and Ham is now in the congressional record

Toby Keith

"I am not going to endeavor to sing," Cruz said, before launching into the lyrics of "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue." It is a song about 9/11. "American girls and American guys will always stand up and salute..." Committed to keeping decorum on the Senate floor, Cruz censored himself on this line: "Cause we'll put a boot in your . . . posterior." 

Duck Dynasty

"Jeff said 'Faith, family and facial hair.' I point out to the junior senator from Utah, if we continue doing this long enough, we may have facial hair on the floor of the Senate."

Friday the 13th

"Obamacare is the biggest job-killer in this country and when Jason put on his hockey mask and swung that machete, boy there was carnage like nothing else."

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Freddy Krueger

Or, Obamacare could be Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Maybe it's Jason and Freddy Krueger. 

The Little Engine That Could 

"The train going up that said over and over again, 'I think I can, I think I can. I think I can.' You know, if you listen to a lot of the members of this body, the message would be simple: that little engine can't."

White Castle

"I like their little burgers." 

Denny's and Benihana

Cruz said of his father’s job as a cook in Texas: “Imagine a Denny’s combined with a Benihana."

Us Weekly

“It’s like reading the Hollywood gossip pages. That’s how this is covered.”

Darth Vader

“That phrase of ‘rebellion against oppression’ reminded me of the rebel alliance fighting against The Empire – The Empire being the Washington, D.C. establishment. And upon hearing that phrase I wondered if at some point we were going to see a tall gentleman, in a mechanical breathing apparatus, come forward and say in a deep voice, ‘Mike Lee, I am your father.’ (He did the bolded part in a Darth Vader voice.)

Ashton Kutcher

Cruz has brought up Kutcher's Teen Choice Awards speech many times now. He did it again yesterday. 

Cruz knows about history, too. He compared the battle against Obamacare to "other unlikely triumphs throughout history, like leaders who stood against the Nazis, put a man on the moon, ended the Cold War, or started the American Revolution."

Update, 1:21 pm: Cruz compared his entire speech to the Bataan Death March

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.