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Ted Cruz apologizes for joke at Michigan Republican event

Jun 3, 2015

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz at 2015 Livingston County GOP Lincoln Dinner
Credit Tracy Samilton

It's the way of politics.

GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz delivered a well-received speech before a packed crowd at the Livingston County GOP Lincoln Dinner in Howell, Michigan on Wednesday.

But most people will only hear about the joke he made at Joe Biden's expense. 

Biden is grieving the loss of his son Beau, who died of brain cancer on Saturday.

"Vice President Joe Biden," Cruz said, pausing a long time for effect as a few people snickered.  "You know the nice thing?  You don't need a punch line!"

Cruz apologized on Facebook and Twitter after the speech:

It was a mistake to use an old joke about Joe Biden during his time of grief, and I sincerely apologize. The loss of his son is heartbreaking and tragic, and our prayers are very much with the Vice President and his family.

Cruz also said it is crucial that Americans elect a conservative in the next presidential election.  He said President Obama and the Democratic party have done great damage to the country, by attacking gun rights, religious free speech rights, and making "mandatory gay marriage" a key goal.

"If we have four or eight more years going down this same road, I think we risk losing the greatest country in the history of the world," Cruz said.

Cruz called for a flat tax, the abolition of the IRS, and the abolition of the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed Obamacare.

He said the country needs a president who will stand unapologetically with Israel, and who will not be afraid to call terrorism, "Islamic terrorism."