Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) highlighted threats to the United States by contrasting conservative values with liberal ideas during a rousing speech at CPAC on Thursday.
"What an amazing sight. Thousands of patriots and not a damn mask in sight. Obviously, everyone here is just following Stacey Abrams' example," he joked after taking the stage in Orlando, Florida.
Turning to more serious issues, Cruz said, "We find ourselves at an existential moment for our nation. The threats in our country have never been greater."
The United States is facing a "battle between power and liberty," he said, before listing political arguments that he felt fit under that category.
"Vaccine mandates vs doctors and nurses; mask mandates vs kids in school; Spotify versus Joe Rogan; GoFundMe versus Canadian Truckers; Justin Trudeau–" Cruz said as the conservative crowd erupted in loud "boos."
"That is the first time in recorded history that any Canadian has ever elicited that much of a response from any crowd on planet earth," Cruz said.
He continued: "Justin Trudeau and the god-fearing Canadian truckers. The New York Times versus Bari Weiss. Levi's versus Jennifer Sey. AOC vs damn near anyone who ever dared to criticize her."
Cruz reiterated that the battle is about power.
"This is not a battle between the weak and the strong," he said. "What is playing out is the powerful are afraid. They are terrified of you. They look out at the men and women in this room and they scare the living crap out of them. They are afraid of truth. They are afraid of liberty. That fear is driving them."
His principle to conservatives is that "big is bad, across the board."
"Big government sucks. Big business sucks. Big Tech, big Hollywood, big universities," he told the crowd. Centralized power is "dangerous to liberty," he asserted.
"What is it that the communists want? They want centralized power," Cruz said.
The Texas senator also touted his support of cryptocurrency.
"China recently banned bitcoin because they can't control it, which is the exact same reason Elizabeth Warren hates bitcoin. The Chinese Communists and Elizabeth Warren, they both want to control you," he said.
Cruz also criticized cancel culture.
"Don't ever apologize to the woke mob. It doesn't work. They are not engaged in rational discourse," Cruz said. "They want to destroy you… Respond with joy. Laugh at them. It drives them bananas."
Cruz said he wants a "grassroots army" to take the country "back from the lunatic socialist left that is trying to destroy our freedom."
The crowd applauded as he concluded: "We are taking our country back. We are standing up to power. We are defending liberty. We are defending our constitution. We are defending our bill of rights and together, we will save this great nation."