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."
There are good political moves, risky ones, and bad ones. Placing millions in harm , shutting down your government, affecting the well being of millions, simply to make a big political move is going to have the total opposite effect of what you wanted bud. Again, reckless stupid arrogant move that will cost you everything....
Typical Republican mentality – I win – America loses. But still I win.
The gop now cries "your funding this, why not that" again pitting American against American. The dems should make clear
based on this that next time this stunt is pulled NO department will be exempt. End of Argument. No military pay, no airports,
no capitol police.
The Double Speak is strong in this one!!!
Ted Cruz like most of the Teaturds live in man alternate universe. See: Michelle Bachman and. Sarah Palin...like them you will be gone Canadian...
I think there is something fundamentally wrong here. It doesn’t matter if the Republicans or Democrats win or lose; the American people are the ones who have already lost. They have lost their hopes, dreams and futures to a corrupt political system.
This vile republican tea bagger terrorist creature...what is he going to do when the people start to take shots at him in public? Enemies foreign and domestic. He is clearly the domestic type.
You are not an American, just a wanna be who thinks he can control the world. Loser, liar, narcissist. Go away.
This political naives and teabafoon GOP garbage of America gets the respect that the GOP garbage of America deserves, the garbage can in the next election.
"this isn't a game"
I'm am engineer for a company that takes on military contracts. The GOP thinks destroying the ACA is worth sacrificing the jobs of Americans. Anytime you put principle above the well being of others it is wrong. What they are doing is wrong. I don't care how much you hate the government or Obama. I worked hard for my degree to get this job, and the affordable care act doesn't bother me the least. So why the hell are you causing me to not be able to work, just to destroy a law that benefits the majority of Americans. This is why we independents don't like you, and it's going to show in the coming elections.
The man's an idiot. He remains a major player in keeping the country divided. C'mon senator, get in the game.
Referring to Cruz regarding the shutdown: "but offered little in the way of concrete solutions." Cruz is the typical Republicans idiot. This isn't a school yard war game of which party is going to win or lose Mr. Cruz. It's time for you and your colleagues to grow up (including the Democrats) and take responsibility in getting the job done for the American people in whom you serve. If none of you can do this please step aside and allow those who can and want to do so.
Just one word. Demagogue!
Candy, you know in your heart, the Democrats are refusing to negotiate. Why didn't you tell the Secretary, I don't
'T want to talk about what happened in 2011 about Obama being reasonable. Let's talk about NOW!
The man with no plan, just talk.
Too bad Cruz and the GOP couldn't predict the American people would win.
Guess that's not really in their playbook to brag about.
GOP is not winning however Cruz is winning what he wants most... attention.
and I am the Walrus ... Koo Koo Ka Choo
Not sure how Cruz figures he and the Republicans can win this one. The ACA (which is how I wish the media would refer to it rather than Obamacare) was enacted into law several years ago. The goal of the GOP is for the ACA to fail and they do not care how happens. As long as President Obama, the Democrats and the moderate/liberal Republicans refuse to go along with the demands of the far right (as they should), the stalemate will continue. Funding the ACA is the law, it HAS to be done. Holding the entire country hostage because a group of people do not agree with it is wrong. Hopefully the American public will remember the disaster these GOP members caused and act accordingly come election time. I know I will remember the names of those politicians trying to bring down our country and do my part to vote them out of office.
The reason the Tea Party hates the Affordable Healthcare Act so much is that under Obamacare, the Republican Party can finally afford to have the malignant cancer that is the Tea Party excised.
Cruz says, baahaa from the guy who held the chamber for almost 22 hours and spun around and voted for it anyway...
"“Career politicians in both parties have gotten us into this mess,” [Cruz]
The right-wing talking point in a nutshell, often aided and abetted by the media, and believed by far too many people. The reality is that Bohener could bring the Senate's clean CR to the House floor for a vote. But he won't. Ergo: Boehner's fault. What do "both sides" have to do with it? Nothing.
“It’s about time that someone abandoned the notion that compromise is the best way to win,” said Rev. Mark Morrow
Good, so Democrats no longer have to "negotiate" with your Rebellion, is that what you're saying, Reverend?
Let them vote, Boehner. End the shutdown.
What does this even mean?
There is a lot of money to be made from being a politician and holding public office, best that a lawyer can do, top pf his profession and top of the food chain, a feeding frenzy of opportunities, Politicians will say and do most anything for money, power and gifts that are easily had from being elected to public offices, the higher the better. So shunting down the government is no big deal. Operating the government by taking on more debt then we can now afford or pay back, selling citizenship rights and immunity from prosecution to the Mexican drug cartels, helping Wall Street loot and off-shore our economy and citizens, starting wars that they do not serve in but profit from...Cruz is just another one of them, or are you still being fooled.