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."
The Republicans are what is wrong with the United States today. They gave us the depression that we are STILL in and never will I vote for Republicans again.
What a dope
In a few years when I am retired "without the insurance the government thinks I should have" I will be putting all my assets in a untouchable fund and using my free time to sculpt a giant finger for the IRS. And will be doing it in the open on my front lawn using a neon sign to proclaim my freedom to do so.
Cruz is a demagogue in the mold - and mildew - of Joe McCarthy. Attaching his support to Ken Cuccinelli all but guarantees a victory for Cooch's opponent in the race for VA governor. Good, no, excellent.
no doubt, they will win since there is nobody in the contest for biggest d bag of the world than the GOP losers in Washington
Oh my gosh. I cant stand this guy. What a fake.
Is there someway we can have this committed to an asylum??
what a complete failure of a human being....willing to proudly hurt millions of Americans to score meaningless political creds....all to boost his future political ambitions. Sad
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In my opinion he is ruining his political career. Remember " What you can do for your country" and " The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few".
Cruz is our next Reagan. He stands for the people!!!
Cruz is delusional, and so are his supporters. The good pastor quoted in the article claims that a refusal to compromise is the best way to 'win'. Win what? This political battle? With a Senate controlled by the Democrats, and a Democratic President, how can a minority position carry the day when a majority of the people are opposed to that position? All this because of the ACA? The ACA is not perfect, but something needed to be done about the failing healthcare system in this country. If the ACA is flawed, if it can be made better, then fix it through normal business and in the fashion that all such matters are resolved – through compromise and negotiation. That would be a 'win' for the American people.
This will cost the Republican Party dearly at the November elections and again in 2016. You've just handed the elections to the Democrats, not too smart!
Cruz must have been away when Boehner angrily shouted that this isn't a game.
Wow...denial runs deep. By we see it again the more the Tea Parties are allowed to talk the harder they make it for the GOP to maintain the "we didn't want this," line.
If this is not a game for Boehner, how is it a game for Cruz? He is just reiterating what Bad politicians are about , and the majority are. They see politics as a way of who has the power and not as what true politics is about, you are representing the majority of people that cannot have a seat in the Senate and therefore is your job to make their voices heard. You, Senator Cruz, are only representing a minority of Republicans wanting to stop the new healthcare bill and so much more, and that is not what the majority of people want. You should be ashamed of yourself.
This isn't a War. It's not supposed to be Democrats against Republicans. It's supposed to be a congress that passes laws that are for the best of American People. The Republicans can deny it all they want – they purposely add language to the funding bill to defund the ACA which they knew the Senate would not pass – they are the cause of this shutdown (or "slimdown" as Fox insists on calling). They are doing it for political reasons and not because it is what is best for the American People. The Republicans want to "win" at the cost of American jobs, stability, and safety. It's more important to them to WIN that do what's right.
No, no little small man, you will lose. I can't imagine how this junior politician is holding his party hostage. Do what we are paying you to do and ignore this idiots rants!
I have several un-related comments.
The relative ease with which select elements of the government are being called back to work is beginning to appear as though the Administration (Obama et al) had every intention of not having them sit at home for more than just a few days to begin with. It’s beginning to look like the whole thing was a Democratic bluff. And the GOP is to be commended for having seen it for what it was … a scare tactic.
Nonetheless … if a million have to be sacrificed in order to save 200 million … so be it.
I’ve said this before. The main lesson to be learned from all this is … Anyone who believes the Federal government ….. SHOULD – CAN – or WILL … take care of them is just plain stupid. Depending on the Federal government to do anything but put you in the poor house is foolish.
What? The guy who's the architect of the shutdown says we shouldn't be in a shutdown? Boy, that's quite a spin on that topic......takes a lot of audacity for Cruz to make that statement. And, Republicans are going to win? I thought Boehner said in a fit of passion that this isn't a game. Republicans must think the American public is stupid and gullible.
So he promises a Republican victory but he doesn't state what exactly that would be.
What victory is he promising? The Affordable Health Care Act is the law. He knows that not a single politician, be he/she a Dem or a Rep, would sign anything that would have removed or delayed his/her signature accomplishment. It was and is pure folly to continue down this path hurting people with this high notion that they are doing what's fair for Americans. It really bothers me that we have now gotten to a point where what one political party would rather cause a disruption in government, play blame games, and continue to pretend that they serving the American people.
Senator Cruz is doing what's best for Senator Cruz. The victory will come in the form of: 1. More campaign funds for his next political adventure; 2. Continued TV/Radio airtime for him; 3.More admiration from the Tea Party faithful.
Of course this will be done at cost of lost wages to the furloughed govt. workers, more uncertainty in the slowly recovering economy and continued lost services for the less fortunate citizens.( i.e. Head Start, Meals on Wheels, etc.)
Senator Cruz, how about a victory for all the citizens not just a particular segment of a political party?
This guy hates America. Political terrorism will not go over well next election... so even if you win...you lose because of how you chose to do it. Ends dont justify means.
Cruz is going to win at what cost? I hope Texas likes the boycott coming their way!
Cruz isn't even an American. He is Canadian. He was born in Calgary Alberta and the last I checked that is in Canada. He committed fraud when he ran for the senate while being a Canadian. When he was called down on that a few weeks ago he claimed duel citizenship and then renounced his Canadian citizenship. He belongs in prison for fraud. Whats wrong with this country is crooks like him in power. Put this joker in prison where he belongs.
Who cares what this nut case thinks? Why does the press continue to put his mug on tv?