US Sen. Cruz a no-show at Yoakum event; Abbott fills in
YOAKUM - Giving a thumbs-up, Kathryn Ornsby took her spot in line with more than 600 others eager to meet the Republican Party's newest poster child: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
Ornsby, who aligns herself with the tea party, barely made it in. She purchased the last four tickets at $35 a piece to the annual Patriot Dinner on Saturday hosted by the Republican Women of Yoakum.
"If people will open their ears and minds and listen to his message, then they will realize that Ted Cruz has the knowledge to lead the whole country in the direction that it needs to go," Ornsby said.
However, the freshman senator didn't make it to the Yoakum event.
Continuing his march against "Obamacare," or the Affordable Care Act, Cruz voted against the clean debt ceiling resolution presented by Democratic senators Saturday morning.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a candidate for governor, took over as the keynote speaker for Yoakum's annual Patriot Dinner.
Abbott said he had "the foresight and the good fortune" to have hired Cruz as the solicitor general of Texas when he was first elected as the attorney general.
The two worked side-by-side for about five years.
Since the beginning, Cruz has fought "not just for the values and ideals of the people of Texas, but the ideals and values that are in the constitution," Abbott said.
Abbott listed several of his lawsuits against the Obama administration: fighting back on voter ID laws, Second Amendment rights and the Environmental Protection Agency's policies on Texas' oil and gas industry.
"If ever there was a time when we need to focus on patriotism, it is this time," Abbott said.
Chatter leading into the community center centered on the state of the Republican Party, the direction of the economy and the impact of the government shutdown, which is nearing its third week, while protestors across the way hoisted signs declaring "Shutdown Ted Cruz."
Ron Boehm, of Yoakum, said he doesn't think members of the Republican Party "have its act together," but is hopeful it's headed for the right path.
He called Cruz the party's "rockstar" and declared 50-50 odds he will seek the presidency, a possibility that has some Crossroads Republicans on their toes.
Other attendees used phrases like "maverick" or "true grit" to describe him Saturday.
"I think the whole town would have showed up if there was more room," Boehm said.