Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, blamed by Democrats and some of his fellow Republicans as a chief architect of the ongoing government shutdown, struck back on Saturday, faulting President Obama and Senate Democrats for the political stalemate.
“Let me be very clear, I don’t think we should be in a shutdown,” Cruz said in a speech to conservatives in the Virginia state capital. “Throughout the course of it, I have said we should not shut down the government. But sadly this is Harry Reid’s and President Obama's shutdown.”
The government shutdown began Tuesday when the president refused to give in to Republican demands that he delay or change the Affordable Care Act, the signature achievement of his first term that began enrolling patients on October 1, in exchange for passing a routine spending bill.
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In the run-up to the shutdown, Cruz - whose profile has risen considerably among conservatives since taking office this year - had lobbied Republicans in the House and Senate not to relent, even as the president was promising not to sign any bill that would alter "Obamacare."
Cruz reminded the audience that House Republicans have passed multiple “narrowly targeted continuing resolutions” to fund parts of the government as negotiations continue, but he criticized Democrats for refusing to pass them.
He said Senate Democrats are “dug in.”
“We are in the midst of a battle,” Cruz said. “Their position is untenable right now.”
Cruz, who spoke without notes for nearly an hour, said Republicans would win the shutdown fight but offered little in the way of concrete solutions.
“How do we win?” he asked. “If you trust the media, if you trust the voices in Washington, if you even trust, god forbid, some of the elected Republicans in Washington, they say we can’t win this fight. The only way to win this fight is the way we won every other fight throughout the history of the republic, which is solutions don’t come from Washington, D.C., they come from the people.”
“Career politicians in both parties have gotten us into this mess,” he said. “But it’s going to be the American people who get us out.”
According to a CBS News poll released this week, 72% of Americans disapprove of the shutdown, and more Americans blame Republicans in Congress than Obama.
But the audience inside a convention center ballroom here was firmly behind Cruz, interrupting his speech frequently with applause.
“It’s about time that someone abandoned the notion that compromise is the best way to win,” said Rev. Mark Morrow, the Williamsburg pastor who introduced Cruz, a freshman senator who was elected in 2012 with tea party backing.
Throughout his remarks, Cruz made clear he cares little for the approval of his colleagues in Washington, Republicans included.
"There are so many elected officials in both parties that desperately crave the adulation of the media and the intelligentsia,” he said.
Virginia’s Republican candidate for governor, attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, spoke earlier in the program, an appearance that had consumed the governor’s race all the week.
Democrats, betting that Cruz’s uncompromising behavior in Washington is toxic to moderate voters in a state whose economic health is tied to the federal government, have been working overtime to portray Cuccinelli as a close ally of Cruz.
His Democratic opponent in the governor’s race, Terry McAuliffe, has accused Cuccinelli of being Robin to Cruz’s Batman, even running a television ad this week saying that “Ted Cruz’s tea party shutdown is hurting Virginia.”
Cuccinelli, whose fortunes depend on turning out conservative base voters on Nov. 5, has been reluctant to criticize his fellow Republicans, including Cruz, over the shutdown.
But his aides have been at pains to put some distance between the Republican candidate and Cruz, noting that his appearance here was not an official campaign event, and that he and Cruz were invited separately to the gala.
Before the event, Cuccinelli and Cruz crossed paths and chatted briefly backstage. A Cuccinelli aide told reporters that Cuccinelli urged Cruz to find a solution to the shutdown.
During his brief remarks, Cuccinelli made no reference to Cruz, and he departed from the convention center soon after leaving the stage.
Cruz, though, lavished praise on Cuccinelli, who was the first state attorney general in the country to sue the federal government over the Affordable Care Act.
"Let me just say for a second how proud I am of my friend Ken Cuccinelli,” Cruz said. “He is smart, he is principled and he is fearless."
This guy is the face of the new Republican't party: intolerant, zealot, careless, inconsiderate and egotistical . I don't care for Obama but anything before men like this win anything, or the country is going to wake up destroyed and with talibans running everything. Cuccineli is another example, an absolute taliban. My Republican neighbor an old man that has voted R since Reaganin all elections said he couldn't bring himself to vote for Cuccinelli. Incredible
Why would any want to deny health care to millions of Americans....
Ted Cruz and the republicans are terrorists holding the future of the amercian people in the balance justified by their desire to modify health care. My future, my job, my healthcare, my retirement, my education, my house are pawns the republicans are dangling over the cliff threating to drop it if they don't get their way. They ade terrorists and should be shot.
Sen. Cruz doesn't mind ruining this country as long as it gets his name in the news and his face on the camera. He is a shameful opportunist who will be remembered in history books in a similar way we remember Sen. McCarthy from the 1950's communist witchhunts. Cruz will eventually die with a wimper.
Cruz: GOP will win, Boehner: this isn't some damn game. ????????????????
I don't know Cuccinelli, but Cruz is an idiot!
If Cruz wasn't causing so much damage I'd say he was a comedian with his comments trying to blame others. He needs to go and read up and how our government works. You don't change laws that are passed by both houses and even ratified by the Supreme Court by blackmailing the President. It seems to me there should be powers held by a President to have someone doing this removed from office.
What a lying sack o' manure is Cruz. The Republicans are responsible for the shutdown with their ill advised ploy of refusing to pass a clean CR. We voters will remember in November, 2014. Good bye, Republicans. You lost eight house seats and two senate seats last election. Prepare to be massacred in the next.
Another tea party gadfly who is more interested in getting reelected than being ethical. The healthcare act is law that has passed Supreme Court scrutiny.If splinter groups can "defund" laws they don't like, what's next? Remember those 47% Romney mentioned that "eat at the government trough" on social security, medicare, veterans disability etc.? What if the tea party decided to defund them? How about defunding agriculture subsidies until the farmers go broke, so rich "contributors" can pick up the farms at fire sale prices. This defunding is dangerous to the very core of the democratic process.
Go to Iran, they hate America too.
The GOP/teaparty=American Terrorists
So one government worker gets to pay their mortgage and another has to tell the bank to wait because King Cruz doesn't think their lives are important. Meanwhile everyone on furlough will get full back pay when King Cruz decides to reopen government. So thanks to conservative republicans we now have all of the expense of governement, plus the expense of a shutdown, and none of the work. This is not going to help reduce the deficit
If the shutdown and possible default on our debt was not Cruz's plan why did his bunch repeatedly refuse to come to conference since March then grandstand the call to conference after the Democrats called his bluff? If he is so confident in the ACA's failure he only has to wait 14 months until the next election. He's only fooling those who live within his little bubble.
As is typical of politicians in general, and Senator Cruz in particular, they enjoy gambling with other people's lives and money. While Nuclear Missile boat captains are investigated and removed from command for that kind of activity, Senator Cruz expects to be worshiped for the same. Furthermore, the real issues at hand are completely ignored by all the politicians - issues where people live, suffer and die every day - all the while these 'Senators' contribute to the hastening of their deaths.
One wonders if any of these people are even human.
Here's the exact problem. These Republican clowns don't care what is right for the country. They are only interested in who is going to "win".
Go back to Canada please, somebody recall this whackjob before he ruins our country
Thumbs down to Tea Party, Cruz and Boehner (who is speaker of house anyway)
What people dont realize is then even Republicans can have and probably alot do what is called
pre existing conditons so try to leave your job, or quit or get fired etc and apply for a new insurance well
guess what YOUR ARE NOT GONNA GET ANY............Hello !!
I hate to even mention it, however Obama does sound and behave as a dectator. So very sad for any nation even if it is US.
This guy is a total tool. If it comes to that the President will go around congress and use the 14th amendment to do so. Cruz you are an idiot and I hope that you get yours in the end......
Obamacare is the reason the shutdown happened, it was passes on lies and dirty politics, and it is broken. Gov can't run healthcare efficiently, period. Or much else.
I thought this wasn't a game? Boehner was furious that someone in the WH even suggested one side was winning and yet that's all I see Cruz and his buddies blathering about. Hypocritical? I think so
I am not a Republican, but how misguided/stupid can Obama and Democrats and some RINOs be to blame Senator Cruz for the shutdown?! If anything, the Democrat's intransigency, Obama's/Reid's tough guys bullying/lack of respect/lying and the lame stream media's partisan meddling have contributed more to the negative results than anything else.
Of course, don't expect Obama or HIS lemming Democrats to accept, probably more than half of the blame for the shutdown, anytime soon!
Not that all Democrats agree with the clueless/lying bully Obama. Democrats just have their disagreements in private; unlike the Republicans.
Who is paying the consequences for Washington's idiocies?! The Américan populace, OF COURSE!!!
So even Mister Canadian Club admits the whole thing has been a game from start to finish. A winner, and a loser. It did not need to happen in the first place. What a vile, little boy he is. Hey Texas!!! The men at the Alamo would be real proud of this one. Are you?
Spoke for an hour without notes! Does MENSA know about him?