Cruz promises Republican victory in shutdown fight
October 5th, 2013
11:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Cruz promises Republican victory in shutdown fight

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.

Watch CNN's "State of the Union" for an exclusive interview with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz at 9 a.m. and noon ET.

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."

Filed under: Government Shutdown • Ken Cuccinelli • Ted Cruz
soundoff (1,025 Responses)
  1. HRPuckinfutz

    Cuccinelli will be the first GOP casualty of Cruz's (and the Republicans) poorly considered plan to shutdown the government.

    October 6, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  2. Jkjjjj

    First off mr. Cruz, the only ones who should be "winning" are the American people you represent, not your party.

    Second, Mr. Cruz, comes across as a wannabe dictator. I fear for this country should someone aligned with the tea party actually become president.

    October 6, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  3. Name independent one

    They paid people to come clap for this clown.

    October 6, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  4. Celia Durin

    "GOP will win. The American people will lose."

    October 6, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  5. Jvukelich

    That is his problem. It isn't a democrat versus repub vs tea part issue anymore. You sent home 800000 workers to grandstand and try and rile up a base for elections two years off. Go in a corner, shut your mouth and disappear until the moderate republicans and sensible democrats fix the mess you pulled us into. I despise clowns like this and have no idea how citizens vote them in, time and again.

    October 6, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  6. K rice

    Repeating a lie or lies multiple times, does not make it true. It simply makes the sheep who follow you more comfortable with the lies. This guy is an absolute fool and liar.

    October 6, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  7. blonde

    he is the the american people will vote him and every member of congress out of office when the come up for reelection.

    October 6, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  8. Say what?

    Strike a pose, Cruz, it suits you.

    October 6, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  9. Luiz Penalva

    Texas was not done contributing with idiots. Bush, Perry, welcome to the team, Ted Cruz.

    October 6, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  10. smc

    Boehner: "This isn't some damn game!"
    Cruz: "How do we win?"

    Sums it up in a nutshell.

    October 6, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  11. HallLadyK

    This man is truly delusional. The GOP winninig? Please give me a break. You need to just open up the government.

    October 6, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  12. brandopolo

    Even Ted Cruz's own party thinks he's a fraud. It's amazing that a sitting Senator would lie so much that even his own party is turning on him. Sorry, Ted, but we know you, Rand Paul, and the rest of the radical right-wing Republican extremists are responsible for the shutdown. The sequestration budget levels the Republicans are refusing to fund were based on Democrats giving in to Republican demands. The Affordable Care Act Republican crybabies are tantruming over has no public option/single payer because of Democrats compromising for Republicans. But for the fringe right, it's never enough. To throw a million people out of work and threaten the economy because they want to deny healthcare to Americans is beyond unfair. There's no need for a bunch of piecemeal, band-aid resolutions: Republicans need to stop playing games, stop damaging the country, and fund the government at pre-sequestration levels.

    October 6, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  13. dina

    "'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... "
    This man is smoking Rush Limbaugh's crack pipe. The "American People" want you to close your mouth and sit down, Cruz.

    October 6, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  14. Mark

    Ken, how could you invite this dangerous person into our commonwealth ? HE is the reason Virginians are out of work right now ! Feds, contractors and the like make up a HUGE political base in Virginia; you know that ! You can kiss your political aspirations goodbye now after dealing with the devil. Look, the ACA passed both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court upheld it – SO GET OVER IT ! If you want to introduce legislation to change it, then do it ! But don't hold me and other innocent people hostage over your insane ideology. There are other Americans besides the Tea Party.

    October 6, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  15. shanevb2

    Thats all they;re worried about. The party winning. Its party before country for these idiots. The American people are smart enough to see this and vote a lot of these crazy far-right tea partiers out. The cooch will not win in Va. He's got too many women against him. You can't disrespect 1/2 the population and still win

    October 6, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  16. DJ Reality

    Cruz is full of it!!!!!

    October 6, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  17. Andrew

    What a bunch of psychotic, unprincipled snags. RIP, GOP.

    October 6, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  18. Joshua

    Wasn't it Boenher that said "This isn't some damn game?" Funny to hear the GOP continuing to talk about "winning".

    October 6, 2013 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  19. Very Disappointed

    Let me just say.... This guy is nuts. I've seen him say that all of Texas is behind him. We'll I would disagree. I have many friends in Texas, as I travel a lot, and from what I can see, they are all embarrassed to have him representing them. This guy is egotistical and a little insane.

    October 6, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  20. John

    Cruz is an idiot. It is not about the GOP or Democrats winning. It is about what is best for the American people.

    October 6, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  21. Bee99001

    Winning is about moving this great country forward. It's not about democrats vs republicans. Mr. Cruz, you are a F idiot. I'm actually glad government is shut down. This country has a chance to move without congress. Let's win by firing every single idiot out of congress and hire academics, men and women of knowledge, principles, and know how, to make up the congress. Not these greedy and dumb pundits.

    October 6, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  22. MIchael

    Cruz looks like he would have difficulty doing 4th grade math problems.

    October 6, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  23. Victor

    Read the story in the New York Times about the luncheon Republican senators had where they went off on Cruz. They asked him what his plan was, what he hoped to get out of it. He didn't have an answer but he called them all defeatists.

    The dude doesn't even know what 'winning' would mean, but if you don't support him, he'll call you weak. That's called delusional.

    October 6, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  24. adam

    gov shtdwn is as stupid as it gets & its GOP's fault

    October 6, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  25. Sam

    I am very proud to have my senator from Texas standing tall against all odds. We the people from Texas and I would hope the people from all states stand along with him, this is a fight for our country our life's our sons and daughters future not about politics or parties. I sincerely hope that the people pay close attention and not listen to the leftist media that's all. The sky is not falling.

    October 6, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
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