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."
A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/us/a-federal-budget-crisis-months-in-the-planning.html?ref=global-home&_r=0
The Representatives are using a back handed way to get rid of ACA, while at the same time insulting people who see through the Representatives tactic. The Representatives have yet to develop and implement health care changes so that people can choose between their plan, the ACA, or the single payer system. What is taking them so long?
Thank you CNN for giving the simple minded members of the DNC someone to blame. It is so nice for them that you keep it so simple. Narrow minded story's really help focus those who feel unrepresented on Capital hill. Remember how those groups on the left responded in the 70's were they felt short changed by Washington. So keep up with the simple minded one sided coverage it is really helpful.
Why do the Republicans think a government shutdown is more damaging to Democrats? Why, in other words, did Boehner's extortion plot include something that was as damaging to himself as to Harry Reid? Don't Republican voters work for the federal government or use government services? I think they do.
Boehner's extortion plot went something like this: "Delay the individual mandate, or else I'll burn down both our houses!"
He obviously failed Extortion 101.
This shutdown is a good thing. People are seeing that they really don't need this size of a federal government and that the federal government is purposefully trying to make this as hard as possible on American citizens. We are not falling for it. Keep it shut down, shut down more!
We need to allow Texas to leave the union. Their politicians are doing more harm to this country than any terrorist group.
Ted Cruz ideology is simple, "Screw the citizens, just pay me to do nothing"
Screw the GOP garbage of America!!!!!!
i think this dude meant to say...the GOP will lose. Please help this Texas guy out on what Win is and what Lose is. He reminds alot of G. Bush from Texas..
How many members of the GOP does it take to replace a light bulb?
1. One to deny that a light bulb needs to be changed,
2. One to attack the patriotism of anyone who says the light bulb needs to be changed,
3. One to blame President Obama for burning out the light bulb,
4. One to tell the nations of the world that they are either for changing the light bulb or for eternal darkness,
5. One to give a billion dollar no-bid contract to Halliburton for the new light bulb,
6. One to arrange a photograph of Bush, dressed as a janitor, standing on a step ladder under the banner "Bulb Accomplished,"
7. One administration insider to resign and in detail reveal how Bush was literally "in the dark" the whole time,
8. One to viciously smear #7,
9. One surrogate to campaign on TV and at rallies on how the Tea Party has had a strong light bulb-changing policy all along,
10. And finally, one to confuse Americans about the difference between screwing a light bulb and screwing the country.
And after all is said and done, no one will notice that they never actually managed to change the light bulb.
I'm conservative and I'm saying: Ted Cruz must go. He is a dangerous egomaniac. He filibusters for 21 hours, preaching AGAINST Obamacare, then within 2 hours of that speech being completed he votes FOR Obamacare. The man is schizo and doesn't belong in public office. He and John McCain need to get in with their buddies on the Left and go open an avocado farm or something where they can't do any more harm.
Ted Cruz is a very crazy dangerous man. People who listen to his b.s. Are just as crazy. He does not care for anybody but himself and his political life. What kind of health insurance does he have? Is he being paid during the shutdown?
The GOP moderates are in a bind. They need Cruz and the small band of tea party extremists to keep their numbers up to control the House and have at least a chance in general elections. If the Tea Party is banished from the GOP and run as a third party, the Dems will be permanently ensconced in the White House, Senate and the House. Boehner is stuck between a rock and a rad place....I feel sorry for him.
It seems to me he already "lost" actually...with that weird behavior.
In my opinion, you're joke
Cruz: His is the face of fascism in this country. And treason.
Win what? Take away heath care from people who really need it. You call that a win.
Headline: "GOP will win; Americans who aren't multi-millionaires will lose" But by all means, middle- and low-income Republican voters, shoot yourselves in the foot, cut off your nose to spite President Obama, and re-elect your millionaire Princeton and Harvard Law grad hero with the Goldman Sachs wife and live happily ever after. Cruz is surely a "man of the people," a "freedom fighter," a "patriot." At least Hitler was a working man before he got into politics.
What exactly are they going to "win"? More House seats? More Senate seats? The next Presidential election? More monetary contributions? What exactly is the prize so worthy of putting so many (more) people out of work and uncertain about their future and the future of their families?
Sad and pathetic when alleged conservatives elect a wetback to represent them.
This Is Exactly WHY : Friends Don't Let Friends Vote Republicon..!!!
He seems to care only for the GOP party and not the American people
Anyone who begins an opinion on this matter with "there are politicians in both parties..." should be ignored.....the Tea Party wing of the GOP, have gone off the cliff, again and as they fall they are yelling "we're not falling, we flying downward"
The shutdown is 100% the result of the arrogance of the Democratic Party and their continued determination to cram down the throats of Americans a dictatorial outrage that over half of us never wanted in the first place.
Yo Bobby J. It's still the stupid party. No change. Waiting....