Marine vet stands watch at Capitol to support Cruz
Just 100 yards from Sen. R. Edward “Ted” Cruz (R.-Texas) holding the Senate floor into his 17th hour of his ongoing debate and before the Senate moves on to the House bill that would fund the government, except for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a Marine veteran stood early morning Sept. 25 to encourage him.
“I am here to support Senator Cruz fighting Obamacare,” said Ronald G. Kirby, who is a Tea Party activist and who served in the Marines between 1964 to 1967.
Kirby said because he lives in nearby Alexandria, Va., he did not mind the drive in to hold the sign that read: “Democrats are determined to destroy healthcare to secure their control of government.”
As a Marine, he said he chose the Gadsen Flag, which has the rattlesnake with the quote: Don’t Tread On Me,” to fly with the American Flag because it was the battle flag used by Marines during the American Revolution.
Kirby said was hassled by one staffer on a bicycle, but most people have been polite and supportive.
Earlier in the morning, Rep. Louis B. Gohmert Jr., (R-Texas), who was on the Senate floor for many hours over the night to support Cruz, came over to see him as he walked out of the Capitol, Kirby said. “He gave me a salute.”
Gohmert was to first congressman to join both Cruz’s extended debate and the March filibuster by Sen. Randall H. Paul (R.-Ky.).
Another member of Congress, Sen. C. Patrick Roberts (R.-Kansas) stopped by to thank Kirby for his effort, he said.
For the next few minutes. Roberts, who served in the Marines from 1958 to 1962, the two men traded stories, before the senator said he had just left the Senate floor himself to join the effort to fight Obamacare.
“We need not only to defund. We need to repeal it,” he said.
In rural Kansas, the health care system is stretched to capacity and Obamacare is making things worse, he said. “We have been at the revolution in Kansas for a while now, so right now we are at the marrow of the bone. This is going to really hurt, really hurt.”
Although Cruz controlled the floor, other senators could join the extended debate if the Texas senator yielded for a question—although, the questions sometimes lasted more than an hour.
“I asked Senator Cruz: If you had the opportunity to offer an amendment, what would you offer to get on the positive side?” the senator said.
Roberts said he did not expect to come in before eight o’clock to join Cruz. He had taken the floor for 15 minutes the night before.
“My wife fell asleep around 11 o’clock, around 12 o’clock, I said, ‘Well, the senator from Texas is going to have to do it without me.’” The Kansan said. “Then, of course, I’m listening to Ray Price sign “For the Good Times.”’”
In the end, he got up early and drove in to join Cruz.
Roberts said, “I saw on Fox News that he was on—and I knew he would do that—so, I thought I’d come in and blow off a bit of steam myself.”
As he headed for his car, he turned to Kirby and smiled. “You hang in there, Marine.”