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Cruz makes Cancun joke at CPAC before urging conservatives to challenge cancel culture

"I gotta say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz said. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice."

Updated: February 26, 2021 - 4:13pm

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz got a prime spot Friday at the CPAC convention to tout his conservative credentials and perhaps make his case as a 2024 hopeful — but he also used his opening-day showcase to poke fun at his self-inflicted Cancun gaffe.

"I gotta say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz said at the Florida event. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice." Cruz's quip comes about a week after he and his family went on a short trip to Cancun, Mexico, as other Texans struggled through winter storms that left tens of thousands without heat and electricity. 

In a rousing speech about the Bill of Rights and cancel culture that followed, Cruz urged Americans to "speak out for freedom" by using social media.

"The left believes in a rigid conformity; we believe in diversity," he said.

"You can say whatever you want, no matter how dumb it is," Cruz said, adding: "By the way, in Washington D.C. we test that proposition."

Cruz then went after comedians, targeting "Saturday Night Live" and other late-night programs, calling them "unwatchable."

"Who would want to be around these people?" Cruz asked. "You know, Jerry Seinfeld doesn't [do] comedy anymore, because any joke that's funny is canceled."

He ended his roughly five-minute speech by quoting the main character in the movie "Braveheart," William Wallace, by yelling, "Freedom!"

CPAC's theme this year is "America Uncensored."

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