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 GOP extremists will not win.
There is a fine line between confident and delusional.
I attend church with many people who hate Obama. They hate government. Yet they use vouchers for day care and some of their kids are in head start programs. I listen and wonder what God they worship. I have a great idea. If you hate government so much tell your parents not to use Part D, Medicare, Social security. Move to Texas and start your own country. If you have a tornado or fllood do not call Fema. Ask your church for help. You can prevent women from getting birth control, suppress voters rights, keep people from having health care. Fix your own bridges and roads. You can even starve your people or hold them hostage when they don't fall in line . This is the United States. The majority rules. It did when Bush made his mess. Go to Texas and start your own government. When things get bad don't pray to God because he is helping the least of these.
The biggest idiot of them all. He is actually worst than Mitt Romney. Dude....everyone can see thru your scheme. Don't even think about it....really....don't . You won't even make it past the other republicains that are less qualified than you because everything about you smells like a scheme.
Ahh, and according to Boehner, "This isn't a game!". Someone ought to remind this nut job that he is not the party leader. But that's the problem with the teabags, isn't it? They all think they are the most important little shmucks in the world and to hell with all the other people in this country. Hmm – sounds a lot like facists doesn't it?
ObamaCare was passed by Congress and the Senate, it was signed into law by the President of the United States, it was challenged in court and it was upheld by the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the people in this country elected the Presidential candidate that supported the law and rejected the candidate that intended to repeal it on day 1. The people have spoken and that is what they want. Holding the government hostage to change the outcome of the elections should be consider and act of treason. There is no possible way for Obama to negotiate with hostage takers, doing so would only guarantee this to be a periodic event. The only way this will end is when moderate Republicans join forces with Democrats and pass a clean bill.
I can see why Cruz rubs people the wrong way. But agree or disagree, he is RIGHT. This Democratic Senate stance on the budget is horrible. The house has offered up multiple budget proposals and even offered up individual legislations to fund specific programs one program at a time, but the Senate wants everything at once, including Affordable Care Act, which undeniably has a TON of faults and things that need worked out. If corporate and federal interests ARENT obligated to enroll and the working class IS, then something needs reexamined. If everyone doesn't have to participate, then no one should participate. But despite these obvious faults, the real problem is all parties involved hold the people hostage by discussing nothing of the budget all year and then attempt to force a band aid like budget through a month before its due. Thats absurd. No company, student, or any responsible adult operates this way. The federal government should of been hashing this out months ago, not a week before the deadline. Such a joke. People need to out their representives if they are part of the problem.
Cruz is so correct, obama is such a failure. Our country is falling apart Ca Governor Brown just gave illegals everything they wanted.
Ted. Cruz the American people is losing. That who you serve right. Winning while the public suffers. You are a real smart guy
Ted Cruz is a megalomaniac McCarthy character who doesn't understand leadership only dictatorship
The GOP will win and Americans will lose. Good for the GOP.
Sen Cruz, you've already lost
It is childish in the extreme at this point to be pointing fingers. There is not one single person that is responsible for the shutdown that is keeping 800,000 Americans from providing for their families. There are 2 groups of people who are to blame for this. The Republicans and Democrats have to stop acting like children. I"m sure there are plenty of things that the majority of Americans don't like about their jobs. They certainly couldn't get away with crippling their places of business without expecting to be fired. The people who have created this issue, on both sides of the aisle, should be expecting to be fired at election time.
Even better Cucinelli avoided him at a fundraiser for him. Can we deport Cruz?
The worst parti is canidates like Senator Cruz are splitting the republican party. Even on a long shot he is chosen a the Presidential Canidate for the Republican party he would have zero chance of winning against just about and Democratic canidate. He is playing it up for the Crazies in his Texas district but huting the rest of the party. The Republicans used to be fiscally conservative but I can't name anything they were for in the last 12 years that was fiscally responsible. I can name a whole lot they are against.
Another in a long list of recent shining stars emerging from Texas... Pres. George W., Gov. Rick Perry and now Cong. Ted Cruz. Seriously?? If this is the best Texas has to offer, lets give it back to Mexico!
What Cruz is ignoring is the fact that he and his cohorts have resorted to blackmail to try to force their views on the American people in order to change a law that has survived over 40 votes and the judicial system. This is not government. This is an attempt to hurt the economy, federal workers, and the American people to get their way. If they want a law changed they should work on changing other politicians views to get the votes they need, not blackmail the United States. Even if you don't agree with the new health care law these tactics hurt our system of government more than any individual program or law. Politicians that resort to these tactics are more of a threat to out country and system of government than any terrorist organization.
Holy cow another murdering Texas retard, will Americans never learn, there is to much inbreeding going on in Tejas.
Mr Cruz is right about one point – the Americian people will get us out of this mess. Voters should vote out Mr Cruz.
Interesting headline...Cruz says "GOP will win". But meanwhile, it's the American people who lose. GOP FAIL.
the blog soundoff sucks
I completely support Cruz, he is a true American. The Tea Party and the NRA will win our country back from Obama and the liberals!
What did they say about W, all hat and no cattle; that's an excellent label for Cruz. His obseesion with attempting to scuttle ObamaCare has damaged the country. Cruz and those who will do anything to obstruct the implementation of ObamaCare have one incredible fear – it will succeed! Early indications are very positive for ObamaCare inspite of glitches. Let it happen – you may like it!
This guy should wear a cowboy hat and a face mask while he holds up the USA, to would fit perfectly with his actions. I can just see him sitting on a horse with his guns aimed at the driver as he is holding up a stage coach and saying 'It's your fault I have holding you up'.