Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) drew the ire of his critics this week when he attempted to capitalize on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.
The civil rights activist, who was assassinated in 1968, delivered the stirring address from the Lincoln Memorial 56 years ago Wednesday.
Cruz took to Twitter to honor King’s message, writing: “His vision — of equality, of justice, of humanity — resonates today with trembling power. Today, listen again to the entire historic speech.”
The senator shared a photo montage of the late civil rights leader, alongside an audio link and excerpts from Dr. King’s speech.
“This is the promise of America,” Cruz said, adding: “Rev. King — and too often today we forget he was a minister of the Gospel—laid out the vision for Justice in our Nation. With God’s Grace, this is who we can be, together.”
His dedication didn’t go over so well, however.
— F Wazer #VoteBlue #Voteblue (@FabiolaWazer) August 28, 2019
Critics wasted no time blasting Cruz, 48, for participating in what they called “phony patriotism” and for supporting President Donald Trump, who they argued was the antithesis of everything Dr. King stood for.
“How dare you cite the words of Dr. King when you support Trump who doesn’t believe in any of what King said,” one user commented. “You stand with the Proud Boys and with the #WhiteSupremacistInChief.”
“Get the Rev. Dr. King’d name out of your race baiting pathological lying mouth,” another demanded. “You protect the most racist POTUS in a modern US history. You’re a coward.”
One critic noted that Dr. King was a socialist and “would’ve hated you (Cruz).”
“MLK Jr would like to say, from the grave, that he does not give Ted Cruz permission to quote him and that Ted Cruz looks like a large adult baby,” another chimed in.
A fellow critic echoed that sentiment, tweeting: “What a joke. You are either trolling Twitter, or forgetting that you are a storybook evil villen when compared to MLK.”
One user simply asked, “Really??”
An estimated 250,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, when King delivered his iconic speech. His address not only helped push the civil rights movement further into the national spotlight, but also put pressure on Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which they did a year later.
According to KCCI, a panel of scholars in 1999 ranked King’s “I Have a Dream” as one of the best speeches of the 20th century, putting it in the No. 1 spot above President John F. Kennedy‘s “Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You” inaugural address.