Ted Cruz Responds to Viral Video Showing Him Apparently Fall Asleep During Joe Biden's Speech

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Adam Carlson
·3 min read
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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Sen. Ted Cruz watches President Joe Biden's joint address to Congress on Wednesday.

Yes, exactly.

That was Sen. Ted Cruz's response after video widely circulated that seemed to show him nodding off during President Joe Biden's first joint address to Congress, on Wednesday night.

The Texas Republican, 50, had been seen on camera opening and closing his eyes slowly — as though actually falling into a doze — near the end of Biden's hour-long speech, in which the president touted his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and urged support for trillion-dollar spending on education, healthcare and more.

Cruz's social media critics were quick to pounce on his seeming snooze.

Referencing how he controversially left Texas during deadly winter storms there this year, The Daily Show tweeted: "Looks like Ted's eyes are hooked up to his state's power grid."

RELATED: Joe Biden Gives First Joint Address to Congress, Laying Out Vision on COVID, Jobs and More

Cruz did not initially say whether the moment was an intentional reaction to signal his feelings about Biden's remarks or if he actually could not stay awake. He had applauded along with other lawmakers earlier in the speech, when Biden encouraged vaccinations, and gave a lively interview on Fox News after the address ended.

On Twitter, Cruz responded to various posts about the viral moment to insist that Biden was the problem.

"#BoringButRadical," he responded to one clip.

In another tweet, he wrote "true that" to a headline about how he was blaming the speech for the apparent nap.

CHIP SOMODEVILLA/POOL/AFP via Getty Sen. Ted Cruz watches President Joe Biden's joint address to Congress on Wednesday.

DOUG MILLS/Getty Images President Joe Biden (front) gives his first joint address to Congress on Wednesday with (back, from left) Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Expanding on that, Cruz tweeted in a third post: "Joe Biden's boring facade is designed to mask what is the most radical package of policy proposals that any president has ever laid out in the first 100 days."

In his Wednesday speech, Biden, 78, pushed back on Republican resistance to his sweeping propsals.

RELATED: What to Know About Sen. Tim Scott, Who Gave GOP Response to Biden's Speech to Congress

"We welcome ideas, but the rest of the world isn't waiting for us. Doing nothing is not an option," he said. "We can't be so busy competing with each other that we forget the competition is with the rest of the world to win the 21st century. To win that competition for the future, we also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families — in our children."

Members of Congress have strategically used news camera's live reaction shots during presidential speeches to make political points in the past: After President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address in 2020, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood up behind him and ripped his remarks in half.