Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stormed Washington in 2013 determined to defend the Constitution and represent the American people over political interests in Washington.
When he first took office in January, few could have predicted the incredible year Cruz would have as a United States senator — both in his controversial fights with his Senate colleagues and his wild popularity with American conservatives.
To celebrate Cruz’s unprecedented first year in the Senate, here are 74 of his best quotes of the year:
1. Home Sweet Home
"I've spent the past month in Washington D.C., and it is terrific to be back in America."
2. Why me?
“Look, I think there have been more than a few Democrats who were throwing rocks in my direction. To quote the bard, ‘methinks she doth protest too much.’ "
– Cruz quoting Shakespeare to answer his critics
3. He doesn't care
"So far, Majority Leader Harry Reid has essentially told the House of Representatives and the American people, 'Go jump in a lake.' "
– Cruz reacting to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during the government shutdown
4. Sticks and stones
"Look, I cannot control insults that others will choose to hurl. What I can control is that I have not and will not reciprocate."
"You know what the great thing is, success has a thousand fathers, failure is an orphan.”
– Cruz talking about the fight to repeal Obamacare
6. Doing something right
“Let me say that the fact that the mainstream media and the New York Times is so hysterical about what I’m doing — to me frankly suggests that we’re doing something right. Because I tell ya, I ain’t here workin’ for the New York Times."
7. Restore America
"We have done it before and we can do it again. Together again, all of us can restore that shining city upon the hill that is the United States of America."
– Cruz on restoring America
8. Stop breaking the law Mr. President
"If it’s the law of the land, the president shouldn't keep ignoring the law."
– Cruz on Obamacare
9. Agree to agree
"I’ll tell you this; I agree with Governor Walker that Hillary Clinton would make a very poor president. So on that, we are on the same page."
– Cruz on Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin
10. Bad Samaritan
"I profoundly disagree with their message. I want to step on their message. Number one, I consider that theory the 'bad Samaritan' theory — basically inflict a bunch of harm on the American people and hope we benefit politically from it."
– Cruz criticizing Republican leadership messaging on Obamacare
11. Don’t fall for it
"Well, you know what? The greatest trick the Left has ever played is to convince conservatives that we cannot win."
– Cruz on fighting and winning as conservatives
12. Look around
“A friend of mine, a Hispanic entrepreneur asked me a question some time ago. He said, ‘When is the last time you saw a Hispanic panhandler?’ I think it’s a great question.
– Cruz on hard-working Hispanics
13. Take us to your leader
"I am perfectly happy to compromise and work with anybody. Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians. I’ll work with Martians. If — and the if is critical — they're willing to cut spending and reduce the debt."
– Cruz on his willingness to compromise
14. Warming up the crowd
“Vice President Joe Biden. You know, the nice thing is that you don’t even need a punchline.”
15. Need a better candidate
“I think Mitt Romney is a good and decent man. I think he ran a very hard campaign. But in my view, the entire race was lost on two words: 47 percent.”
16. I accept
"If supporting real immigration reform, not path to citizenship, is 'Obamaphobia' — guilty as charged."
– Cruz on immigration reform
17. Join me
“There may be more ‘wacko birds’ in the Senate than is suspected.”
– Cruz on the "wacko bird" namecalling in the Senate
18. Good night
“Brush your teeth, say your prayers, and daddy’s going to be home soon.”
19. Stop being squishes
“They said, ‘Listen, before you did this the politics of this were great — the Dems were the bad guys, the Republicans were the good guys. Now we all look like a bunch of squishes.’ Well, there is an alternative — you could just not be a bunch of squishes."
- Cruz regarding Republican colleagues in the Senate
20. C'mon guys!
“The biggest surprise has been the defeatist attitude of many Republicans in Washington. A lot of Republicans felt beaten down, and that there was nothing they could do to stop the erosion of liberty in this country.”
- Cruz on his first few months in Washington
21. We'll be back
"In 1980, it took Jimmy Carter to give us Ronald Reagan. And I remain convinced the longest lasting legacy of Barack Obama is going to be a new generation of leaders of the Republican Party who stand for liberty."
- Cruz is hopeful for the future
22. Tackling the establishment
“Washington has a long tradition of trying to hurl insults to silence those who they don’t like what they’re saying.”
- Cruz vows to keep fighting
23. Wake up
"This is a president, I think, who has drunk the Kool-Aid. He is feeling right now high on his own power and he is pushing on every front, on guns."
24. Welcome to Washington
"'We'll never default on the debt' and the reason the president isn't doing that is he's trying to scare people and raise the specter of financial apocalypse."
- Cruz downplaying Obama
25. Not a rapper
“I remember in the debate over drones, Senator Rubio began quoting from rap lyrics, and I’ll confess to being clueless enough that I did even know what he was referencing. I was sure it was something far too hip for me to know."
- Cruz on Marco Rubio's knowledge of rap music
26. Red, white and blue
“'And you will be sorry that you messed with the U.S. of A. Because we’ll put a boot in your … posterior' … edited for our friends on C-SPAN.”
- Cruz quotes country music star Toby Keith on the Senate floor
27. Make D.C. Listen
"I don't know if it's the water, something in the air, the cherry blossoms, but people get here and they stop listening to the American people."
28. Full moon
"With a possible exception of the moon, the moon might be as intimidating as Obamacare."
- Cruz on Obamacare
29. American prophets
"Millions of Americans tune into 'Duck Dynasty' so I want to point out just a few words of wisdom from 'Duck Dynasty' ... Jay said Redneck rule No. 1 ... most things can be fixed with duct tape and extension cords. That’s actually very true."
- Cruz quotes from the reality TV show "Duck Dynasty"
30. Sleep tight
"It’s a late night. I’m going to venture to say most members of the United States Senate are home in bed, asleep, while America lives the nightmare."
31. The galactic Senate?
"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 say, "Mike Lee, I am your father" … and just like in "Star Wars" movies the empire will strike back."
- Cruz speaking on the Senate floor with Sen. Mike Lee
32. Eggs from my father
"I will credit my father, he invented green eggs and ham."
33. Favorite kid's book
"Green Eggs and Ham was my favorite book as a little boy. You can actually do it — the food coloring is a little bit cheating. But if you take spinach and mix it into the eggs, the eggs turn green."
- Cruz on how to make green eggs and ham
34. The moral of this story
"When Americans tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham and they did not like Obamacare either."
- Cruz after reading Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor
35. Dr. Suess
“They did not like Obamacare in a box, with a fox, in a house, or with a mouse. It is not working."
- Cruz on Obamacare
36. Did you know?
"You might think a camel’s hair brush must be made of camels. But a camel’s hair brush is made of squirrel fur, and it makes you wonder ... the squirrels apparently have a very bad marketing department."
- Cruz talks about grooming tools
37. Who cares?
"This fight is not about personalities. Look, most Americans could not give a flying flip about a bunch of politicians in Washington. Who cares? You know, almost all of us are in cheap suits with bad haircuts. Who cares?"
- Cruz on politicians in Washington
38. Tasty burgers
"I like their little burgers. I'm a big fan of eating White Castle burgers."
- Cruz on White Castle
39. Taking a stand
“I am proud to stand side by side with Rand Paul. He and I have been fighting over and over and over again in the Senate to defend our constitutional liberties.”
- Cruz stands with Rand Paul in feud with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
40. Defender of freedom
"Nelson Mandela will live in history as an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe.”
- Cruz remembers Nelson Mandela
“Buzzfeed — the left-wing site — y’all know Buzzfeed?”
- Cruz on Buzzfeed
"A president under a constitutional system doesn't have the ability to pick and choose which laws to follow. And that's the same pattern you see in dictatorial societies, where a leader says, 'Ignore the law, go with the power of the president instead of the written law.'"
43. Bring it
“Let me make an offer to our president. If he wants to get 100 of his most rabid political operatives in a room, I’ll answer their questions on television as long as he likes.”
- Cruz to hecklers in Washington
44. Onward Christian soldiers
You know, the nice thing is — the nice thing is, the Left will always, always, always tell you who they fear. And they fear you. They fear the American people.”
- Cruz speaking to Values Voters
45. Facts matter
"You know, John Adams famously said that facts are stubborn things. Here are some facts."
- Cruz on CNN
46. Who cares
"There are a few people in Washington saying some mean things. Who cares, because at the end of the day I don't work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for each and every one of you."
- Cruz speaking to constituents in Texas
47. Calling it how I see it
"I'm going to suggest to you, in my view, that is complete hogwash."
- Cruz disagrees with a critic
48. Cross the line
"Sequestration sounds like an exotic wildlife disease. Nobody has any idea what the heck that is."
- Cruz on sequestration cuts
49. Better messaging
If Republicans don't do a better job with the Hispanic community, in the long term, the Republican Party will cease to exist.
- Cruz on reaching out to Hispanics
50. What went wrong
“I think the simplest answer to what went wrong in 2012 is that ... Republicans did a weepingly terrible job winning the argument and making the case that free-market principles advance prosperity and opportunity for everybody.”
- Cruz on the mistakes made by Republicans
51. Tough guys
“And let me tell you, Chuck Norris wears Jim DeMint pajamas.”
- Cruz jokes about Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint
“I think Barack Obama is an extraordinary politician. And I respect Barack Obama a great deal. I think he is committed to his principles, which is rare in politics.”
- Cruz praises Obama
53. Rare praise
"If you look at that 2008 Democratic primary, there was no more formidable, unstoppable candidate — other than an incumbent president — in modern times than Hillary Clinton. And Barack Obama ran a guerrilla campaign that empowered the people.”
- Cruz praises Obama’s 2008 campaign for president
"Our veterans should be above politics. It is shameful that the administration is barricading and trying to shut down the memorials."
- Cruz reacts to the World War II Memorial being closed during the government shutdown
55. Making waves
“It’s going to take a tsunami and I’m going to do everything I can to encourage that tsunami.”
- Cruz previews a fight against Obamacare
“You know, he pivots more than a ballerina doing pirouettes.”
- Cruz on Obama’s pivot to jobs
57. It’s happening
"Given that the Senate rules do not allow for the use of cellular phones on the Senate floor, I feel quite confident that the senator from Kentucky is not aware of the Twitterverse that has been exploding."
- Cruz while supporting Rand Paul during his drone filibuster
“I would note that you're standing here today, like a modern "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," must surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile.”
“I think the technical term for what the Twitterverse is doing right now is called ‘blowing up.'”
- Cruz reading Tweets on the Senate floor
60. I’m in
“If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution make you a wacko bird, then you can count me a very proud wacko bird.”
- Cruz embracing the nickname created for him by Sen. John McCain
61. We happy few
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me;
Shall be my brother
62. Real assault weapons
“Real assault weapons — machine guns — are already functionally illegal, and they have been since 1934.”
- Cruz on assault weapons bans
“You and I both know that the ‘Big Government crowd’ isn’t just the Left, it also includes some on the Right. An excess of power and government is always, always, always, a fundamental threat to liberty.”
- Cruz warns of the Big Government crowd
64. Stranger than fiction
“You know, when Orwell wrote about 1984, the image of an all-powerful central government that monitored the citizens at all times, that had an eye on the sky or an eye on the street videotaping all of us, that had information about all of us, personal data — that was viewed as science fiction.”
- Cruz reacts to law enforcement holding DNA samples
65. Come down to Texas
“Should Mayor Emanuel’s bullying campaign prove successful, I am confident that there are numerous financial institutions in Texas that would be eager to earn your business.”
- Cruz sends a letter to a gun manufacturer under fire in Chicago
66. Remembering those who have served
“It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech."
- Cruz quotes Charles M. Province
67. Not true
“I’ll confess I wasn’t sure what that was, but I will tell you in response to that, I did send Jon Stewart a letter saying that I rarely guzzled syrup. But any time I did, it was Texas syrup.”
- Cruz responds to comedian Jon Stewart after he called him a “dirty syrup guzzler”
68. Bad precedent
“That made my heart weep to see a sitting vice president playing to racial fears and playing on those issues. I think that’s unfortunate. I don’t think it has any place in politics.”
69. Taking the high road
“It’s interesting, I found it amusing that people — a number of people have criticized me on the grounds of civility and have in particular insulted me while doing so, and yet I have not and will not reciprocate.”
- Cruz responding to his critics
"Standing in front of the flag General Patton observed in a tribute to that very same speech I just read, and I'm going to modify it slightly to make it PG."
- Cruz quotes from the movie "Patton" on the Senate floor
71. Watch out Rubio
“I think the Democrats view Marco Rubio as a particular threat because of his background, his life story. I think it they believe it is in their interest to inflict as much damage as possible and blow things wildly out of proportion.”
- Cruz defends Rubio
72. Stand with me!
“A lot of members of this body have — at least so far — not showed up to battle. The chattering class is quick to discipline anyone who doesn’t fall in line.”
- Cruz on his Senate colleagues
73. Terrible Ted
"Each day I learn what a scoundrel I am."
- Cruz on the media frenzy surrounding his fight to defund Obamacare
74. Defend free speech
“The reason that so many Americans love 'Duck Dynasty' is because it represents the America usually ignored or mocked by liberal elites: A family that loves and cares for each other, believes in God, and speaks openly about their faith.”
- Cruz defends “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson after he was suspended for controversial comments about homosexuals