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."
I wish they would stop playing games with our country.
I wonder when cruz became a US citizen
Cruze said the best way to get health insurance is to get a job. Than goes on to say the ACA is a job killer beacause employers will cut hours to avoid providing health insurance. So getting a job dosent quite fill the need. He must think we all have socialized health insurance like he has.
So this is "battle" that he's going to "win?" Maybe we the people want a government that works not battles and wins. YOU ARE SO OUT OF TOUCH TED CRUZ!!!!!!!
Yeah, right. Let's go into Cruz Control . . . As we say in Texas, "No way, Jose!"
I believe that the federal and state healthcare exchanges where “hacked” by a GOP secret group financed by the Koch brothers similar to what the “plumbers” did in 1972; directed by the GOP and that campaign to re-elect Nixon, five men broke in and enter into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate complex to plant listening devises…
This hacking and others desperate moves that include a creeping figure of “Uncle Sam” by Ted Cruz, the “tea-party” wing of the GOP, and the Koch brothers is a part conspiracy by these anarchist to stop Obamacare, and Obama at all coast…sooner if not later the conspirators will be discovered…
With 25% population uninsured in TX, and wanting to enroll in Obamacare, Cruz's political days are numbered. If you think TX is a red state and Cruz will always win, go see the county-wise election results map of TX in 2012. Especially south TX.
"Win"???? That means you think this is a game and the biggest bully will win, no matter what the consequences. If that's the way you think, then how about letting the people of this nation "win"!!
I wonder if Cruz realizes he is seen as a complete joke.
Why all the publicity for Boehner, Cruz, etc.? How about some in depth interviews with Democrats and people who support "Obamacare"? Cruz, etc., are the most irresponsible people in public life. They couldn't get rid of Obamacare through the normal legislative process, so now they're using extortion. And Cruz may think he's winning, but a lot of the rest of us are losing every day this goes on. But, hey, Teddy, don't strain your brain thinking about "the people".
Didn't someone just say this isn't a game?
How do you win something that isn't a game?
I though this wasn't a game.
I don't know if the Affordable Care Act will or will not provide what it is intended to provide which is affordable health care for all Americans. However, what I do know for sure is that to call it socialism is absolutely incorrect. Socialism is a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. According to Greg Pason, the national secretary for Socialist Party USA, "Obamacare cannot be considered socialist in any way."
'Barry-cade' Obama has closed the ocean in Florida to fishing, sent his gestapo to enforce stupidity!
He walks not in the light but in the sparks of his own kindling. Like most egotistical idiots, he too will fade with time
John Boenher needs to tell to Ted Cruz, as he did to WH, that this is not a game "to win". This is about thousands of real people who are not getting paid since he started this tirade.
"There are so many elected officials in both parties that desperately crave the adulation of the media and the intelligentsia." Ted, you are the biggest narcissistic buffoon of all!
Ted Cruz – is he proof the Walking Dead are taking over?
Ted Cruz and John Boehner own this shutdown. They shut it down because they do not like a piece of legislation that is law and supported by tne Supreme Court. They are children....they would rather take away food from poor children and families rather than take away tax subsidies from big oil companies. They are both mean and hateful. Wake up People!!!!
Cruz is a horror for this country. How does a freshman Senator get so much attention?
So the Republican win! Big deal. Shouldn't be a contest to start with. They should be taking care of our country's business not having cat fights at our expense. Cruz does not speak for America. He speaks for his own glory. To hell with everyone else. Impeach Cruz!
Please stop using the word "win". That word should be banned. If we all start using the word "COMPROMISE" maybe something will get done. Constantly using the word win does make it a game.
Yes, the President and Harry Reid are "dug in"...............for a signed, sealed, delivered, SCOTUS-approved LAW. The ACA is the law of the land. Cruz and the other un- and non-Americans on the right can't seem to understand that the US does not require THEIR permission to fund LAWS already passed by BOTH houses of Congress. They'd rather waste time and hard-working taxpayers' money voting 40+ times to defund a signed LAW, and when they can't get their own way, they take the ball and go home. They are a national AND world-wide embarrassment and should be made to pay back the salary rec'd during the frenzied defunding debacle.