Cruz promises Republican victory in shutdown fight
October 5th, 2013
11:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Cruz promises Republican victory in shutdown fight

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.

Watch CNN's "State of the Union" for an exclusive interview with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz at 9 a.m. and noon ET.

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."

Filed under: Government Shutdown • Ken Cuccinelli • Ted Cruz
soundoff (1,025 Responses)
  1. Darryl

    A Cruz endorsement may have just sealed Cuccinelli's fate.

    October 6, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  2. Wayne

    Here is Robert Reich telling us exactly who is doing this damage to our country and why they are doing it. The politicians are taking their orders from the corporate masters. Specifically, Boehner is.
    "The bullies are a faction inside the Republican Party - extremists who are threatening more reasonable Republicans with primary challenges if they don't go along.
    And where are the Tea Party extremists getting their dough? From even bigger bullies - a handful of hugely wealthy Americans who are sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into this extortion racket.
    They include David and Charles Koch (and their front group, "Americans for Prosperity'); Peter Thiel, leverage-buyout specialist John Childs, investor Howie Rich, Stephen Jackson of the Stevens Group, and executives of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, (all behind the "Club for Growth"); and Crow Holdings' Harlan Crow, shipping magnate Richard Uihlein, and investment banker Foster Friess; executives of MetLife and Philip Morris, and foundations controlled by the Scaife family (all bankrolling "FreedomWorks.")
    Their game plan is to not just to take over the Republican Party. It's to take over America. The showdown over the budget and the debt ceiling is a prelude to 2016, when they plan to run Texas Senator Ted Cruz for President. (Cruz, if you haven't noticed, is busily establishing his creds as the biggest flamer in Washington - orchestrating not only the current extortion but also the purge of reasonable Republicans from the GOP.) Obama and the Democrats must not give in. They shouldn't even negotiate with extortionists. As I learned the hard way, giving in to bullies just encourages them to escalate their demands. The president gave in at the end of 2011 when Republican bullies threatened to go over the fiscal cliff and take the rest of the nation with them. At that time they demanded spending cuts. Now they want to repeal a law they detest. If we give in again, what's next? A coup d'etat?"

    October 6, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  3. Johnmp632

    Why is it more important for the GOP to "win" when our country – and the people who elected this clown – lose? What is the priority here? Does a "win" for the Republican party take precedence over the needs of the American people?

    October 6, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. jimranes

    Senator Rafael Edward Cruz, aka Ted Cruz will never win an election outside of Texas. His actions in shutting down the US government has effectively placed him in the extreme right Tea Party of the GOP. Senador Cruz, que se han disparado en el pie. ¡Y listo!

    October 6, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Wayne

    A story leaked to Politico Tuesday revealed e-mail exchanges between Reid’s and Boehner’s chiefs of staff. The e-mails showed Boehner working hard behind the scenes to get an administrative ruling to preserve a health-care subsidy for lawmakers and their staffs — even though this week he endorsed a GOP plan to end the subsidies as a condition for opening the government. Reid’s chief of staff, David Krone, admitted the leak (new york post)

    October 6, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Andrew

    So this is a game.. I still recall bohner said before " this is not a damn game!" N now republicans are telling the world they r wining...

    October 6, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. jake

    the winners are going to be the voters who vote out all the corrupt people in government not singling any one the are all corrupt top to bottom. they are a distract to humanity. they only have their own interest not the people. time to clean house. very very shameful bunch of idots.

    October 6, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. Enough.

    Ted is an idiot. I'm embarrassed he's from Texas.

    October 6, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. JR

    Every American over the age of five knows who is responsible for the shut-down. How can someone who attended Harvard and Princeton not know the right answer? I think the House Republicans need to pay the 1.5 billion that the cost the taxpayers.

    October 6, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Wayne

    The US is looking like a fool to the world. I know, this is where the "we are Americans, what do we care about what the world thinks" steps in and just highlights what some of the US's issues are with the world. Here are some samples. And we preach Democracy.

    The failure by the Democrats and Republicans to agree a government budget by midnight on Monday meant government services began shutting down. The two parties failed to see eye to eye on President Barack Obama’s health reforms. An estimated 800,000 public sector workers will have to stay at home from Tuesday. It is the first time this has happened in 17 years. Giving its reaction Spiegel Online said: “A superpower has paralyzed itself.” But it added that politicians were working in Washington to solve the crisis and said there was still hope for an agreement. The Welt newspaper warned of “fatal consequences” stating the “unthinkable has happened.” The shutdown puts the world economy in danger, it added. “The fear is real that the tender US recovery will be damaged,” it said. The newspaper described the US president as being between a “rock and a hard place”. “Either he breaks the law and no longer pays teachers, firefighters and FBI agents, or he ignores the debt ceiling, which would also be illegal,” it said. For the Zeit newspaper, the blame lay with a “handful of radicals” who did not want to compromise and would rather hold a country hostage to their ideology. “Not only are millions of government workers affected but all Americans, as the inability to pay, if it lasts for weeks, will have fatal affects on the economy,” it said. “A small group of uncompromising Republican ideologues in the House of Representatives are principally responsive for this disaster,” it said. “They are not only taking their own party to the brink, but the whole country. Unfortunately the leadership of this party has neither had the courage nor the backbone to put them in their place.

    October 6, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Wayne

    Take read of the Huffington Post "The Koch Brothers are my Brothers", it reads a bit like the movie "National Treasure". The Koch Brothers are the 4th richest people in the country. Their 1 product is oil in which they are only second to Exxon. Cruz's family is also heavily into oil. Part of the up coming politics is the Keystone Pipeline which will run from Canada/N. USA to Texas. Isn't Cruz Canadian and a congressman from Texas. The Koch Brothers are also donate huge amounts of money to Cruz's campain. Cruz is not mental. He may have been given a break getting into school but he didn't get it going through it. All of his attention has been to fire up the tea baggers. His 21 hr show was paid for with US tax dollars and free advertising. Koch/Cruz have two web sites accepting donations to the tune of millions making the tea baggers believe that they can hold the country to the year 1950. Koch/Cruz have been using the tea baggers as a weapon against Obama and the Democrats. Reading the story about the Koch Brothers you will note that the brothers inherited their money. Their father also had a history of trying to break-up the government. Cruz's dad once backed Castro but had a falling out with him and broke away from his government. With the smoke and mirror show of the tea baggers, Koch/Cruz are making money. Politics isn't righteous, it is power and money.

    October 6, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. whodathunk31

    Mr. Cruz creates chaos and destruction then feeds of the mess he makes. What a guy.

    October 6, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. jimranes

    Senador Rafael Cruz, que se han disparado en el pie. ¡Y listo! Remember this, Senator your actions have placed you at the far right Tea Party extreme of the GOP and electable outside of Texas and certainly completely unelectable in any national election. Adios senior, hasta la vista!

    October 6, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. Hyptiotes

    “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.”

    Hostage-takers like to blame the police when they have to shoot the hostage-all because they weren't given a jet, 10 million dollars, and amnesty for their crime.

    October 6, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. Scott B

    I think both these guys are exactly what we don't need in Washington. They exemplify the type of politician who goes his own way despite what a majority of his own electorate wants and despite what is best for them. The funding bill in question does nothing special, this guy has been one of those 'light-in-the-loafers' guys who's been putting these attempts to defund The ACA up for vote every day. It's a waste of government resources and takes precious time away from more important issues which need resolved. Plus his move is totally hypocritical being that he is using a tool he detests – Government to achieve his ends and if doesn't believe in government then I should expect to see his resignation within the year. Come on sir (loose term) live what you believe, walk what you talk otherwise your words ring empty and your hyperbolic display of wasted resources and time will only be used to mark the day your career truly began to end.

    October 6, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. TheTraveler

    “It’s about time that someone abandoned the notion that compromise is the best way to win, ...”

    Really? Hmm. perhaps this should be explained to the 800,000+ people who are currently furloughed and out of work. I surmise that a little "compromise" would go a long way to solving their problem ...

    Ted Cruz is a putz and I hope his tenure in office is a brief one.

    October 6, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Wayne

    The following describes the Republicans/Tea Baggers?

    Narcissistic personality disorder symptoms may include:

    Believing that you're better than others
    Fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
    Exaggerating your achievements or talents
    Expecting constant praise and admiration
    Believing that you're special and acting accordingly
    Failing to recognize other people's emotions and feelings
    Expecting others to go along with your ideas and plans
    Taking advantage of others
    Expressing disdain for those you feel are inferior
    Being jealous of others
    Believing that others are jealous of you
    Trouble keeping healthy relationships
    Setting unrealistic goals
    Being easily hurt and rejected
    Having a fragile self-esteem
    Appearing as tough-minded or unemotional

    October 6, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  18. Tom W

    I'm proud of my Senator Ted Cruz. He's the best thing to come out of the Republican Party since the two Rons (Reagan & Paul). Meanwhile, our America-hating president continues to show disdain for all-things-American by his going out of the way to spend Federal funds to shut down memorials to Americans who died, right or wrong, for this country.

    October 6, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. Kenrick Benjamin

    Practical Wisdom(Politics) is showing the true nature of the US government, when a Law is pass by the Judicial branch of government and the Congress refuses to up hold that Law. Then what is expected of the people and the supposed Laws of the land.

    October 6, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Wayne

    Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property. Not opposed to new ideas or ways of behaving that are not traditional or widely accepted

    From the proper definition of liberalism, how can anyone being an American be against it?

    October 6, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. Teabagger Extrordinaire

    So....They added something to a routine budget resolution that they knew was a non-negotiable item with the President and so the shutdown is the President's fault? Didn't they say that revenue increases were non-negotiable when dealing with the budget issues a while ago? So the tactics when used by them are OK, but when used by others it is bad. Got it. It is amazing that they are trying to spin this. They must think the American people are dumb. They might be right.

    October 6, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Sandy McConnell

    Isn't it about time the American people "win" and not all about political parties!

    October 6, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. wealthcoaches

    "This is not some damned game!". But, we're winning, if you are keeping score.

    Pathetic – the whole lot of them.

    October 6, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. Beth Frances

    This man is a dangerous, slick - and more than a bit bizarre. He is in love with hearing himself talk and has an ego the size of...well, Texas. Against the rational leadership in the Republican party, he shanghaied the entire nation's budget to make a run on a lawfully enacted statute. No responsible legislators should capitulate to this guerilla tactic, or it will become the new norm - and we are polarized (paralyzed?) enough already. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid Ted Cruz, sit your behind down, and do some work for a change.

    October 6, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  25. Sarcastro

    What a liar.

    You can't insert completely unrelated items into a bill and then claim it's the other party's fault for not passing it.

    You want to fix Obamacare, fine, then introduce standalone laws targeted at fixing the most egregious aspects of it. You fix those stupid cliffs that cause $1 in income to be hit with thousands of extra in costs and you'll have everyone's support.

    But you're lying when you claim this is anyone's fault other than yours.

    October 6, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
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