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."
The GOP will win? Win what?
Because of politicians like Cruz the Republican party will not sniff the Presidency for a very long time, I say the next 2-3 elections minimum. Not only do most Americans blame Republicans for this situation so does the international community, from London to Germany, Russia, China etc. The Democratic party in this country for the most part is unified while there is division inside the Republican party with the "Tea Party" throwing wrenches in otherwise good Republican policies and because of this the Democrats will continue to dominate presidential elections and maybe even the House and Senate.
Yeah, you're winning. Sure. Just like Romney thought he was winning the election, right up until he was overwhelmingly defeated.
Something seems to be wrong with the way that the Republican's try to keep score. The House may just flip to Democrats in 2014.
Ted Cruz shut down the government simple,
Ted Cruz’s political guru is G.W.Bush so I feel sorry for ..Ted Cruz
Cruz mus see head doctor along with ALLTEA PARTIES MEMBERS! No dpubt about it!
Cruz won't win and the reason Is simple. He has already lost.
Ted Cruz is quite possibly the Anti-Christ. The nation knows that this shutdown is wholly owned and operated by the republicans, instigated by the Tea Party and rests squarely on the shoulders of Ted Cruz, Mark Meadows and Tom Graves. They are the ring leaders that need to be plucked out of congress. The GOP needs to take action on all 3 of them and help put the government back to work.
If I could sue the government over fines imposed on me as a result of the ACA, or increased healthcare costs or any other increased costs as a result of the ACA, I probably would. Unfortunately all the law suits that are going to spring up all over the country are only going to add more trillions to the trillion the ACA is already predicted to lose.
Senator Cruz is striking a Hitler Pose in the Photo. How appropriate for someone who wants to Deny Americans access to health care so that they could die from neglect. The Usa was the greatest country in the world, now we are becoming a 3rd rate banana republic.
Proud to be stupid is as Texan as the 10 gallon hat! – Look at all the bombastic fools Texas voters elect. They are so proud of their GWB, Rick Perry, Cruz, Tom Delay, Dick Army, etc. and when the rest of us see their performances nationally, we see them as bombastic idiots. But rest assures Texas is still proud! The Political fight in this country is really between Texans and Californians with everyone else in the middle. The changing demographics of Texas will mean Texas politics will eventually move closer to California and look where the GOP and their Teabaggers are in Cali! Meanwhile these bombastic arrogant fools, with their rightwing billionaires will do quite a bit of damage to the rest of us. Hopefully this time they have bitten more than they can chew and their demise will come in 2014 midterm elections.
It is critical to the survival of our democracy that the consequences of the Republican demands be allowed to continue long enough to wake up the people who voted for them and support their tactics. Democrats must not make the consequences easier or softer by allowing certain popular functions of government to be reinstated. In fact, they should insist that even some of the "essential services" now exempted from the shutdown be added to the "unfunded" and "furloughed" list. Maybe defund the TSA security contractors at airports that so many people hate. Let them get on airplanes with terrorists, armed mentally ill people, armed drunks and drug addicts, and take their chances like in the good old days when "Big Government" didn't take away their freedom to die in the skies. This is a "teachable moment" for an angry bunch who think their quality of life was all their own making and government had nothing to do with it. You don't know what you've got until it's gone. A "tough love" lesson is needed apparently.
Lazarus can be found, in the USA, today. Lazarus is not always an adult, sometimes Lazarus is an uninsurable child with type 1 diabetes, cancer, or another deadly disease. The rich man can be found, in the USA, today. The rich man is the politician who is indifferent to the fact that many children, with deadly diseases, cannot get health insurance under Republicancare. The rich man is every politician who knew that sick children could not get health insurance, and did not propose a solution. The rich man is Ted Cruz, and Lazarus is thousands of children with deadly diseases.
He doesn't care if america wins, he just wants the GOP to win. He is willing to destroy the Country to advance his personal agenda against the President.
Hold fast, Mr. President and Democratic leaders. It is the House Republicans' position that is untenable. It's time to stand on the tea party's throat and choke them out. Do not relent and you will win this fight.
What a pompous, egotistic idiot.
Please leave the satire and irony to Jon Stewart, Ted.
He is like a teenager whose parents told him he could not drive the car drunk and then he stomps and blames the parents for the problem.
I just watched Ted Cruz babble on CNN. Instead of responding to Candy's questions he spouted rhetoric. One of the statements he made repeatedly was that the AFA has and will continue to cost jobs. This is a lie. Employers decided that they wanted to shift the entire burden of health insurance to their employees. In our case Obama Care dropped our cost almost 400 per month.Same plan, same coverage and same doctors.This is because my husbands employer shopped the plans and found a very effective plan for us. Companies who have been so vocal about the cost of care are simply dropping ALL employees. In the case of Papa Johns pizza dropped coverage for all their people. Why? he says because it will cost to much.Another lie. It might raise the cost of the large pie fourteen cents.
But if he eliminates employee health insurance then he saves millions. When mandatory auto insurance took effect the cost went up. This is not the case of the AFA and why need it be so terrible to insurance humans? If the US decided that irresponsible drivers cost us money it did.Because insurance companies decided to gouge buyers.
Yet the tea party and its cronies want you to think health insurance is a calamity. So Mr. Cruz we can allow an individual mandate for cars and not people. If you believe this you need to talk to hospital CEO's and find out how much emergency care as the first doctor vist costs
I am so glad Cruz renounced his Canadian citizenship. You're welcome to him, USA.
And another thought- I saw a news piece where a reporter went out and asked people which law they rather have – the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Needless to say, very few knew they were the same thing. One intellectual giant chose the ACA, because "Obamacare – the name says it all". No matter how deep you think you've hidden it, it still makes its way to the surface folks. The world sees the fright wing for what they are.......unfortunately, we have to let them vote. And since we have also allowed them to gerrymander their districts into shapes never before seen in nature or geometry, we're not likely to get rid of the disease completely. It is time to place a grid over the map and lay out voting districts evenly and fairly.
Hello Texans, if you think you're voting for conservative ideologies, then tell me why UT is collecting only in-state tuition fee from illegal immigrants? First of all, how are the TX universities even admitting illegals? Why your state is having 25% uninsured (health care) population? Is that because your salaries are so high, that you can pay cash for your health care? Ted Cruz, Perry and people like him are fooling you, in the name of conservative ideologies.
GOP will N O T win.
As his boss said " this is not some damn game!!" This guy is a terrorist.
what an embarrassment......all of them, on both sides.