Ted Cruz, the freshman U.S. Senator from Texas, ended his marathon speech against Obamacare on the Senate floor after more than 21 hours this afternoon. While Cruz’ speech didn't block any vote, it certainly drew attention to his staunch opposition to President Obama's Affordable Care Act.
For 21 hours and 19 minutes, Cruz did his best to become the darling of the tea party movement, making good on a promise to fight to put a stop to President Barack Obama’s health care reform law.
Cruz wants to derail the spending bill to deny Democrats the ability to strip a "defund Obamacare" provision out, a strategy that has put him at odds with other Republicans who fear that the move would spark a shutdown.
After the vote, Cruz told reporters he hopes "that Republicans will listen to the people, and that all 46 Republicans come together. Coming into this debate we clearly were not united, there were significant divisions in the conference. I hope those divisions dissolve, that we come together in party unity."
He added: "Otherwise, I will say this: Any senator who votes with Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats to give Majority Leader Harry Reid the ability to fund Obamacare on a pure 51-vote, party vote, has made the decision to allow Obamacare to be funded."
It was anything but a typical political speech.
"Some time ago, I tweeted a speech that Ashton Kutcher gave," Cruz said during.
Even though he divided his own Republican Party by taking a stand that could shut down the government, Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Wade Emmert praised the freshman senator.
"He was just speaking his beliefs and his values and his constituents’ beliefs," Emmert said.
Cruz gave quotes from the popular television show Duck Dynasty and even admitted being a big fan of the fast food chain White Castle.
One North Texas Democrat called Cruz' marathon speech political theater.
"It's an increasing problem in Washington that we have this demagoguery and grandstanding going on, and it does nothing to solve our problems here in Dallas Fort Worth, where the rubber meets the road," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
SMU Political expert Cal Jillson believes the senator's high profile stand against Obamacare could hurt public perception of him at home and across the nation.
"If you are a tea party conservative, you probably like the idea that he's taking it to Obamacare and the administration," said Jillson. "But if you're the average Texan, you've got to be a little concerned that one of your two senators is becoming a laughing stock."
Cruz even read a bedtime story to his two daughters who were watching from their Texas home.
"I do so like green eggs and ham," Cruz read. "Thank you. Thank you. Sam, I am."
With a possible government shutdown looming, Democrats and even some Republicans said they weren't amused.
The Associated Press contributed to this report