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Excerpts from Ted Cruz's Reading of My Father's Speech on the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Senator Cruz.  We're gonna do this.  In light of all this hatred that you're hearing expressed for Cruz, here is, during his filibuster, various excerpts of his reading of a speech my father gave on the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence.

CRUZ:  Fans of Rush Limbaugh know that every year he reads something that his father wrote about the true story of the price paid by the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  I think it's fitting to read this morning.  It's called "The Americans Who Risked Everything:  Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor.

"What kind of men were the 56 signers who adopted the Declaration of Independence and who, by their signing, committed an act of treason against the crown? To each of you, the names Franklin, Adams, Hancock and Jefferson are almost as familiar as household words. Most of us, however, know nothing of the other signers. Who were they? What happened to them?  I imagine that many of you are somewhat surprised at the names not there: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry. All were elsewhere.

"Ben Franklin was the only really old man. Eighteen were under 40; three were in their 20s. Of the 56 almost half - 24 - were judges and lawyers. Eleven were merchants, nine were landowners and farmers, and the remaining 12 were doctors, ministers, and politicians. ... These men knew what they risked. The penalty for treason was death by hanging. And remember, a great British fleet was already at anchor in New York Harbor.

"They were sober men. There were no dreamy-eyed intellectuals or draft card burners here. They were far from hot-eyed fanatics yammering for an explosion. They simply asked for the status quo. It was change they resisted. It was equality with the mother country they desired. It was taxation with representation they sought. They were all conservatives, yet they rebelled.

"It was principle, not property, that had brought these men to Philadelphia. Two of them became presidents of the United States. Seven of them became state governors. One died in office as vice president of the United States. Several would go on to be U.S. Senators. One, the richest man in America, in 1828 founded the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. One, a delegate from Philadelphia, was the only real poet, musician and philosopher of the signers. (It was he, Francis Hopkinson, not Betsy Ross, who designed the United States flag.) ... Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered -- and his estates in what is now Harlem -- completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.

"William Floyd, another New York delegate, was able to escape with his wife and children across Long Island Sound to Connecticut, where they lived as refugees without income for seven years. When they came home they found a devastated ruin.  Philip Livingston had all his great holdings in New York confiscated and his family driven out of their home. Livingston died in 1778 still working in Congress for the cause.  Lewis Morris, the fourth New York delegate, saw all his timber, crops, and livestock taken. For seven years he was barred from his home and family. 

"John Hart of Trenton, New Jersey, risked his life to return home to see his dying wife. Hessian soldiers rode after him, and he escaped in the woods. While his wife lay on her deathbed, the soldiers ruined his farm and wrecked his homestead. Hart, 65, slept in caves and woods as he was hunted across the countryside. When, at long last, emaciated by hardship, he was able to sneak home, he found his wife had already been buried, and his 13 children taken away. He never saw them again. He died a broken man in 1779, without ever finding his family. ... And, finally, there is the New Jersey signer, Abraham Clark.

"He gave two sons to the officer corps in the Revolutionary Army. They were captured and sent to that infamous British prison hulk afloat in New York Harbor known as the hell ship Jersey, where 11,000 American captives were to die. The younger Clarks were treated with a special brutality because of their father. One was put in solitary and given no food. With the end almost in sight, with the war almost won, no one could have blamed Abraham Clark for acceding to the British request when they offered him his sons' lives if he would recant and come out for the King and Parliament. The utter despair in this man's heart, the anguish in his very soul, must reach out to each one of us down through 200 years with his answer: 'No.'"

The 56 signers of the Declaration Of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

RUSH:  I don't know about you, I get a tingling up my spine every time I hear this read by someone else.  That, again, he was quoting from a speech that my father prepared.  I was teenager when this happened, maybe the single digits. It might have been the early sixties or 1950s, forget which, but it was "The Americans Who Risked Everything: Our Lives, Our fortunes, Our Sacred Honor." What happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence.  Probably not taught.  I didn't learn this in school, even back then.  You learned the big names.  Didn't learn about everyone.  Anyway, this is part of what Ted Cruz did during his filibuster.  A lot of hate there, folks.  A lot of anger there, right?  A lot of extremism.  You could just hear it, couldn't you, in his voice?

END TRANSCRIPT

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