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."
Great job GOP, keep on nominating fruitcakes!
It may or may not end up in a Republican victory however it is an American defeat already.
With the wars during the past few decades, the failure of capitalism due to American excess and greed and now a failure of self governance, America has already lost any global moral high ground.
If any proof was needed that Ted Cruz is delusional, his own words provide it. No, senator, the American people are not coming to your aid. Don't wait up for them.
So the question is: Does Cruz really believe his own rhetoric (i.e., is he delusional, like the woman who was shot in the DC car chase), or his he just exploiting the Teapublicans for as much publicity as he can get? I'm not sure which answer would be preferable...
Airhead Teddy Cruz again has deceived himself into believing that Republicans are in touch with mainstream, working class American voters. His inner circle of Republican neocon drones are ransoming the Affordable Care Act against the Federal shutdown. Neither clever, nor smart, because unemployed & inconvenienced voters will remember this in 2016.
Ted Cruz is a nincompoop and sadly has no end game at all! He is a total buffoon. The worst part of this whole mess is for the weak Boehner to follow in his footsteps as he is so scared to lose his seat as leader of the house!
The tea party are terrorists who have successfully shut down our economy and refuse to negotiate. Pres. Obama was re-elected and passed his affordable healthcare! Republicans are giddy to see government shutdown. They openly say they are winning! How sad!!
Lol, I'm guessing he won't be invited to too many battleground states in the near future. Maybe the nation will get lucky and he'll pull a Palin and quit after half a term. Think of the dough you can rake giving speeches to the reality impaired, Ted! Especially if you charge by the word. You could even afford your own health plan instead of relying on your wife.
Is this guy from a different planet, going thru a stage of denial. He is drowned in his own lies.
"Can I burn down your house?"
"Can I burn down just the top floor?"
"Can I burn down your living room?"
"Why won't you negotiate!!?"
Unless Cruz literally falls on a sword, there is no way to win. Admit it GOP, you shoot your foot and the bleeding won't stop until you do the obvious. Obama's banking your pride will kill you.
This man is delusional. He is essentially trying to bypass the electoral process to get his way. If the Republicans insist on denying the poor access to health care they need to do it by getting themselves elected not by having a hissy fit.
I found a new picture under the definition of Pnas. From now on I will call my manparts "Cruz"
When you say "the GOP will win". Would you mind just working for the American people instead of just a few of your conservative political lifers?
Thanks: The American People
Isn't Mr Cruz the one who stood up for 21 hrs in a filibuster--a "Mr Cruz goes to Washington-type speech? I want to let him know this is not about one party or the other "winning". This is about the American people, all of them and until you politicians realize WHOM you REAALLLY work for, then you and I and everyone can expect more garbage out of Washington. The gall you politicians have really amazes all of us "out here" in the normal world. No one likes you people (Congress). You have failed us. No one will win. The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living, are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.
How can you blame the Democrats when it was the House Republicans who banded together and caused the shut-down? Eighty Republicans signed a letter basically stating that they will do all in their power to force a shut-down if their demands aren't met. Not a single Democrat signed that letter. Now, tell us again, who is to blame for all of this?
How about the American people? When will we win?
Tom Cruz: Mad! Ted Cruz: Mad!
Really Cruz? You are indeed a very ambitious wanna be Pres nominee in 2016. Too bad, you're not even going to make the cut in the primary. BTW, tell that to your buddy Paul, too:)
Send Cruz back to Canada. We don't like him. Good riddance.
Love or hate him, cruz is one of the most effective pliticians out there right now!
Cruz spoke for an hour with no notes. Ha notes are necessary when facts are not important or central to your argument/speech.
he is the best
He just sounded more and more insane day by day...
No matter which party will win this fight, one thing clear is Cruz won't win.