Ted Cruz, the 'condom police' and 7 more colorful quips

Story highlights

  • The college debate champion turned lawyer turned Republican presidential candidate has a distinctive style
  • "Last I checked, we don't have a rubber shortage in America," Cruz said on Monday

Washington (CNN)Ted Cruz is no stranger to colorful quips -- as Monday night's riff about "the condom police" showed.

The college debate champion turned lawyer turned Republican presidential candidate's deliberate and confrontational speaking style is one of his signatures, and his comments are carrying more weight as the Texas senator ascends polls of GOP voters ahead of the 2016 election.
He criticized Democrats, saying they portray Republicans as "the condom police" in an effort to turn female voters against the GOP.
    "Last I checked, we don't have a rubber shortage in America," Cruz said. "When I was in college, we had a machine in the bathroom, you put .50 cents in and voila!"
    The comment came shortly after Cruz had defended anti-abortion activists and called the alleged gunman in last week's Planned Parenthood shootings in Colorado a "transgendered leftist activist."
    Here are seven more of Cruz's standout lines:

    1. Wacko bird rebuttal

    "If standing for liberty and standing for the Constitution make you a wacko bird, then you can count me a very proud wacko bird."
    This was Cruz's response after Arizona Sen. John McCain tired of what he saw as his fellow Republican's obstructionist tactics and dismissed Cruz as, well, a "wacko bird."

    2. Invoking Nazis when fighting Obamacare

    "Look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, 'Accept the Nazis. Yes, they'll dominate the continent of Europe, but that's not our problem. Let's appease them. Why? Because it can't be done. We can't possibly stand against them.' "
    Cruz wasn't talking about war and peace when he made these comments on the Senate floor in September 2013. He was talking about lawmakers who said his effort to defund President Barack Obama's signature health care law -- an effort that ultimately failed -- was futile.

    3. Communist professors

    "There were fewer declared Republicans in the faculty when we were there than communists."
    Cruz declared that there was only one Republican professor at his law school alma mater, Harvard, but there were at least 12 communists. He said those faculty members "would say they were Marxists who believed in Communists overthrowing the United States government."
    Outside of politics, academia and media have been among Cruz's favorite targets.

    4. Quartering soldiers

    "I expect them to start quartering soldiers in people's homes soon."
    That laugh line was one of many crowd-pleasers Cruz tossed out at the Values Voter Summit in 2013, where he courted the socially conservative Republicans who will be critical to his 2016 presidential hopes. He's accused the Obama administration of violating the Constitution repeatedly -- over immigration, health care and more.

    5. Battle of a generation

    "In my judgment, we are facing what I consider to be the epic battle of our generation, quite literally the battle over whether we remain a free market nation."
    Cruz wasn't shy about the stakes in his 2012 race for the Senate in Texas -- where he called Obama "the most radical president this nation's ever seen." That sort of rhetoric, during a primary race against a more moderate Republican, made Cruz a darling of the tea party -- and laid the groundwork for his fights with anyone in his own party who'd give an inch to Obama in any policy fight.

    6. Chaplains and atheists

    "I kind of thought it was the job of a chaplain to be insensitive to atheists."
    That was Cruz's comment to a group of Iowa home-schooled children and parents about an Air Force chaplain in Alaska who was asked to take down a blog post in which he'd written that "there are no atheists in fox holes."

    7. Nothing against Canada

    "I will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada, but I'm an American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an American."
    Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother -- making him a dual citizen. Just years after the "birther" controversy about whether President Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii, the Texas senator renounced his Canadian citizenship in an August 2013 statement to The Dallas Morning News.