Apparently, it's not just the left who's had enough of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. The Christian Right just might be sick of him, too: At least, that's how it seemed on Thursday at the Faith and Freedom Conference when Cruz was cut off midway through his speech by the announcer.
Speaking at the annual Evangelical Christian event, Cruz spoke briefly before the music began to play, much like it does during the Oscars when the producers decide you've gone over your time:
What I want to say to the men and women here is two things. Number one — thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for your prayers, thank you for your passion, thank you for your time, thank you for your energy, thank you for speaking out and working to retake our nation.
Then the announcer started in and Cruz's mic was cut off. "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage the Southern Regional Director of Faith and Freedom Coalition Virginia Galloway." Before Cruz could gather himself and make a sheepish exit, Galloway came out on stage mouthing "thank you." Confused, Cruz nodded at the audience, raised his hands in confusion, then walked out as the music played.
To be fair, most of the clips and stories making their way around the Internet point to this being his entire speech to the attendees. But, as you can see on C-SPAN, he was actually about 9 minutes into his speech when he was unceremoniously bumped from the stage. So it likely wasn't about Cruz himself or even the content of his speech but rather his longwinded delivery.
President Donald Trump was also at the conference, as the former FBI director James Comey testified before the Senate, halfway across town. Trump tried to connect with his evangelical supporters, to whom he he has steadfastly catered after being sworn in to office, most recently by signing a religious freedom executive order that makes it easier for religious groups to engage in political activity.
According to Trump, it is evangelicals who are currently on the defensive. "And as you know, we're under siege, you understand that. But we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever. You watch," Trump told the crowd. "You fought hard for me and now I'm fighting hard for all of you."
But Trump's visit to the the conference was overshadowed, at least briefly, by Cruz's awkward exit from the stage. Considering how crucial the evangelical vote turned out to be for Trump, the Texas senator may want to keep limit his speaking time at the Faith and Freedom Conference in the years to come, especially if he has his sights on the Republican nomination in 2020 or 2024. Because the exit, unfortunately, was far from presidential.