Ted Cruz got a rousing ovation at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, just hours after Donald Trump announced he would be skipping the event.
As Cruz went after Trump for failing to attend the largest conservative gathering in the country, the room exploded with applause from Cruz supporters who booed the very few Trump supporters chanting in the room.
“So Donald Trump is skipping CPAC,” said Ted Cruz as he came onto the stage to loud cheers and applause. “I think someone told him Megyn Kelly was going to be here, or even worse he was told there were conservatives that were going to be here, or even worse he was told there were going to be libertarians that were here, or even worse he was told young people were going to be here.”
MORE NEWS: Howard Stern Says He’s Running For President
But, the attacks on Trump didn’t end there. Cruz made Trump the focal point of his speech as he hit Trump for his positions on Planned Parenthood, Israel, immigration and his overall un-conservative credentials. “It’s great to talk about making America great again, you can even put it on a baseball cap,” said Cruz.
“Last night on stage, Donald promised all of us he would be flexible,” said Cruz, to which the audience booed. “Let me tell you everyone at CPAC, flexible is code word in Washington, D.C. for sticking it to you.”
After speaking to the crowd, Fox News host Sean Hannity joined the Texas senator on stage. Hannity remarked that the room is the most packed since he been at the conference.
Hannity pressed Cruz on Mitt Romney’s blistering speech attacking GOP front-runner Donald Trump. “The concern he expressed is a concern people have all across the country,” said Cruz. “65-75 percent of Republicans recognize Donald Trump is not the best candidate to go head to head with Hillary Clinton.”
The conversation then turned to the presumed Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Hannity asked Cruz about new revelations regarding Clinton’s email server. “I hope Hillary Clinton likes orange jumpsuits,” said Hannity. To which Cruz joked, “Well Sean, orange is the new democratic blue.”
A jubilant Cruz repeated that his campaign is the only campaign to beat Donald in five states saying that if you want to beat Trump you have to beat him with the voters. Cruz then urged the crowd, which was wildly in his corner, to come join him if they don’t want to see Trump as the Republican nominee.
One thing became very clear as Cruz spoke, CPAC is Cruz country and the Texas senator enjoyed every minute of it, basking in the fact that he has yet again beat Donald Trump.