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."
Ted Cruz is only in this to make a name for himself for 2016. He cares nothing for millions of American citizens who live their lives day-to-day with no health insurance for them or their family, afraid that at any time a sickness could overwhelm them and ruin their lives. Ted, you are watching yourself in the mirror and think you are beautiful, but we can see you face-on and it's not pretty. President Obama, be presidential, stand your ground, protect the public from the House of Republicans, take out the terrorists, be who you were born to be, The President of The United States.
Oh, PLEASE! The American people know who's to blame for all this and it isn't the Democrats. The only reason this is happening is because the GOP won't stop obsessing over Obamacare. They keep putting n provisions to defund it when they KNOW Obama will NEVER agree to it, then hurl all the blame on him. All the GOP are doing is ruining their chances in the 2016 election.
You know Republicans already won the battle let me explain how. Senate budget is already very less than Paul Ryan's budget – that is the victory for republicans. They are getting 100 % what they want. On the other hand, democrats has to loose a lot. What Harry Reid and Obama are doing the correct !
It seems that only in America, a nation based on laws whereby we supposedly put high value democracy, can extremists find a way to roadblock a law, which has gone through both houses of government, was signed by the President and proved legal by the ultimate court of the land, the US Supreme Court, find a way to convince some portions of the American public that they are acting ethically, legally, and with actions that truly intend to protect our citizens.
Healthcare? Seriously? That's worth grinding the country to a stop and damaging our country in the views throughout the world? Every other industrialized nation already provides healthcare as a right of being a human being when at their weakest most vulnerable time in life. We want to stop a law that provides care to the sick and dying? Republicans have always been against providing healthcare to all citizens or they would have done something under the George Bush years.
Who is paying for Senator Cruz's healthcare? You. All of us. So it must be easy to be indignant about a law giving every citizen access to healthcare when he and his are already taken care of. If you happen to be employed, underemployed, or completely underemployed, and either cannot afford or have no healthcare, are you still happy that you're paying for Senator Cruz's healthcare when he doesn't want you to have the same? He wants your vote, not your health, and we play the fools by buying into it.
Pass the 'Clean Bill' to fund what should have been funded 200 years ago, healthcare. If there are issues following put forth an amendment to address disagreements. That's how our government works. But it's a law via every measure of Democracy that we hold dear, protects the sick and poor, and we should be proud of what we can finally provide for every member of our Republic. This including Senator Cruz and his family.
What will you do if you get seriously ill tomorrow and need extensive care? I can tell you what Senator Cruz would do and he wouldn't be in the bed next to yours. Guaranteed.
If Senator Cruz lived like you or like millions of Americans do, paid astronomical charges for healthcare, if it's even possible. Healthcare which won't cover what can avoided at your own expense, even if that includes your life, do you think he'd be pounding his chest so loudly? Someone please tell Senator Cruz that a government shut down is not equivalent to an Old Western Showdown since the only ones that get hurt are those he's supposed to represent.
Does Cruz stay with anyone in his household? How can anyone tolerate to be surrounded with such a person in the house even for a day? If he can behave like he does in public, it can be even more worse in his household.
Cruz should realize that it is not about democrats winning or the GOP winning as he keeps mouthing off each time he opens his trapdoor of a mouth, but is about whether the nation iswinning or not. However this sorry episode turns out, our country loses either way, in terms of reputation and unity.
Cruz is a fraud, as one Republicans Senator called him. And those who follow him will go down in flames with him.
Someone needs to pull that mask off his face so we can see the devil underneath.
Cruz and the fact he got elected is living proof of the failure of America's education system.
For a new Senator from Texas, representing a state with 30% of it people not insured, Cruz, Perry and other law makers that are preventing them from getting insurance should be a crime. Cruz thinks he is talking for his people, I don't think so. Most people want good health along with good health insurance. Cruz basis issue to providing any kind of care for people. He is the new Terrorist of this country. taking away the rights and health of the people. How can he get before a camera and an audience and say straight faced, people don't want health insurance, I am sure he has the best for his family. Cruz and the Tea Party are evil and trying to destroy this country.
The GOP delusion continues unabated. Boy, are they in for a surprise in next year's mid-term elections.
If the GOP wins, average middle class and senior citizens will be the losers.
All of you little panty waste liberals are the reason we are in thi mess. You elect a clearly communist president who is one by one taking away our freedoms, then someone comes along willing to fight for your freedom and you call him a terrorist. What a joke. If you want to surrender your rights for your messiah communist dictator wanna be thats fine, but i'll be damned if you're gonna take mine with you.
The sutdown is entirely John Boehner's fault because there is already enough votes in The House to pass the Senate's version of the budget. Why won't Boehner bring it up for a vote?
One can only hope that the electorate remembers and sweeps out Ted Cruz and all his supporters at the earliest possible time. I feel sorry for Texas and sorry that their problem has become the nation's problem. Shame on John Boehner.
The other important issue is the Republicans governors who are purging the voters rolls right now. Taking away the voting rights of millions of people. That is not being reported now by the media or press. They are taking away the rights of the people to vote.
Cruz and his party have hastage the white house and we have to pay this ?
Get ready to break that promise, Senator Cruz. Trying to fund the things you like and not fund the thing you started this all over is not something the vast majority of Americans are willing to fall for. This is YOUR shutdown. Try to blame anyone else you like. The reality is only those stupid enough to have voted for you or your ilk are too stupid to see the truth.
Ted Cruz is a cancer to America. Is there a doctor in the house?
It's too bad the cable TV is giving this evil guy a voice. He should be silenced. He is the new Terrorist trying to take over this nation.
Wow, Ted Cruz has been openly planning this shut down for months.
Now it's everyone else's fault?
Cruz and anyone who supports his low life tactics are anti American.
Please go back to Canada. We have enough problems without you.
Anyone who believes this is a "win" is someone who is not truly for the United States. There is not victory to be gained from keeping American's out of work because a small representation of people cannot get along. This is not a win for either side, but a loss for the American people. You have failed us government.
Is Ted Cruz a US citizen? He sure isn't acting like it, Texas does border Mexico so let's have his immigration papers examined maybe he's illegal!!