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."
It seem this country has never resolved Civil War issues. This idea of a certain ideaology unable to accept their inability to change or defeat legislation reminds me of southern states inability to accept the end of slavery. Rather than accept and move on, they were willing to dissolve the union. Have we not grown more than that? Peace
two things this president is very good at: assigning blame to others for his failures, 2) his ability to believe his own lies
So tell me if I understand correctly, conservatives... Ted Cruz and his supporters decided that a law which was previously voted on by the full Congress and signed by the president, is not to their liking. Because of that, they have the right to shutdown the government unless their demands are met, and it's OBAMA'S FAULT.
Did I understand your position correctly? If so, is this how our government will work, going forward? That if the majority votes on something and a minority does not like it, they will stop it? How will we EVER get ANYTHING done that way?
My teaba99ers and Rethugs are so responsible. This is all on you liars and you will suffer greatly in the mid-terms because of it.
So Cruz says Republicans will win.
It's the entire Country tho who looses!
It is not suppose to be the Gop or the democrats, it is SUPPOSE
Ted Cruz must be a double agent working for China or the Russians to destabilize the government of the USA. That's the only rational explanation for what he is doing. Correct?
The budget process is for already approved expenses, and that includes the Affordable Care Act. ACA was approved by two houses of Congress, signed into law, upheld by the Supreme Court, and, when made into a central issue of the 2012 election, was not overturned by the voters.
The shutdown is not about the refusal of Democrats to compromise. Obamacare (ACA) IS the compromise. It was the Republican counter-proposal to the nationalized health care plan from the Clinton administration. That's why Mitt Romney pushed it through in Massachusetts. Yes, Romneycare is the same as Obamacare. It's a mandate for people to buy private health insurance. Nothing could be more Republican. Democrats dislike the Affordable Care Act because it doesn't nationalize health care, but they compromised so that 40 million more Americans, including people with pre-existing illnesses, could get health care. There's been no Republican counter-proposal because ACA is their plan! Obama adopted it because, like most rational people, he thought they'd support their own plan.
The Senate has brought the House resolution to their floor multiple times, amended it, and approved it several times over by majority vote, but Speaker Boehner will not allow it to come for a vote in the House. There is a reasonable probability it would pass in the House with support of Democratic members and a significant number of moderate Republicans.
Why won't the President and the Senate accept the Republican proposal to delay a year? Because it's already been delayed! The Republicans hope to stall until the 2014 elections to win both House and Senate to overturn the law. They are terrified that if people sign up and get healthcare and like it, they'll think it's a pretty good deal, like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
A small group of about 30 legislative terrorists who would rather blow up the government than permit legislation they don't like, even when approved by majority vote. They clearly don't respect the democratic process. These tools should not be allowed to wreck the country every time they don't get their way.
Good job Cruz. Obama has made exceptions for big government and big business and wants the middle class to pay the trillions that it's estimated to cost for obamacare. This shutdown is a direct result of Barry and Harry trying to be dictators
It is the American people who are suppose it win fool, not a political party.
Does the Republican Party have a place where they grow candidates like this? Well this one is a mutation of the destruction of the Tea Party. He needs to go.
while Boehner is hopping mad, turning red, and showing fake outrage over a tweet about the current situation not being a game, his puppet master just said that it is. Take a deep breath now Mr. Speaker.It helps your normal color to return. Oh also, stay away from the tanning salon.
“It’s about time that someone abandoned the notion that compromise is the best way to win,” said Rev. Mark Moron. Its very sad that Rev Moon has followers in his church. God would encourage compromise and do all God loving people.
And the stupid shall inherit the earth...
He was surrounded by applause. It makes me sick. I used to wonder how a party like the Golden Dawn could gain power when I read the stories from across the ocean and here we are in the states where these anarchists are having a field day to roaring applause.
Bad idea to raise the debt ceiling!
He seems to be doing the Hitler salute.
The truch appears to be that Ted Cruz will only win the demise of the Republican Party. He was helped by Boehner... Talking about a death wish!
Cruz is a loser!!!!!!! It amazes me that he has swayed even the senior Republicans and they let him get by with the BS. They should have told him to sit down long ago and keep his mouth shut....
I can't wait for elections in 2014!!!!!!!!!!
Isn't it a little convoluted in logic to say that compromise is not the way to govern, yet their whole strategy is counting on Harry Reid and Obama to compromise? Let's see....the old way of governing was compromise, which at least kept the country functioning. The new way is to totally reject compromise–and if both sides practice that as it appears they are doing–we get...? Wonder if this guy failed history.
Senator Cruz is wrong. ...the Republicans will WIN...what about the American people...they are not WINNING. Cruz, who I really wanted to support, is on the biggest ego trip ever. People, be careful what you wish for...
Ted Cruz will not be your president- ever! He is a Canadian! I'm sure that Mr Trump will go after him and ask him to produce his American Birth Certificate- or not!
A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning
Stop showing this capitalist jerk! Bad enough he is there at all
Delusional much, Mr, Cruz???