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."
and the old south is going to rise again....
Congress is doing it's job by representing the people that elected them.
It's Obama who can't provide leadership to bring them together.
Both Cruz and Boehner should be arrested for sedition and perp-walked on the evening news. What they are doing goes way beyond a negotiation that has gone past a deadline; they are extorting the American people and should be held accountable for their actions.
You sir, have lost sight of what matters. The only people who deserve to "Win" are the american people. Due to your selfish pride, Mr. Cruz. they are the ones suffering the most. You are still getting paid, yet 800,000 american citizens are out of work because you want to "Win" You are a selfish arrogant man who is making us the laughing stock of the world (more then we already are)
It is high time the american voters kicked these anarchists back to their homes............ these disruptive elements have no place in a political landscape............... or elect them and suffer their perversions as isnow happening
GOP, We, the people, will not forget come elections 2014.
Obama & the Dems own the shutdown including today in which nothing is being done. Congress has the right to fund anything it' want to or not. And even if include the dubious, -S obamacare was passed, is always subject to the the will of the people, why Obama & Reid want to short vets of retirement or kill kids with cancer is beyond me. The least they could do is get the non-related stuff funded & be reasonable.
I could understand backing Obamacare if it would deliver what it promised. All I see are massively increased rates for higher deductibles & inferior coverage. For those that say just let it crash & burn, which it will, it'll take out the infrastructure needed to return to market based solutions. It's like putting a shotgun to your face and firing it to prove that's a bad idea. And for those they say fund it because it was a passed law remember slavery was legal too.
I wonder if congress will think it was worth it, after we get invaded by a foreign country and all end up in concentration camps.
The GOP will win....but what about the USA?
Cruz is exactly what his Republican Peter King said about him, he is a fraud. He further stated, "We can't be going off on these false missions that Ted Cruz wants us to go on. The issues are too important. They're too serious, they require real conservative solutions, not cheap headline-hunting schemes" The show that he had put on for his lobbyists were the rantings of an adlebrained buffoon not a legislator or an elected official of the people.
Stop making this a game and give hard worker Americans back their income. The only thing anyone is going to "win" is infamy ... the American people have spoken and spoken and spoken – and a few people think they know better. Our forefathers are crying at the careless way these people are abusing all they worked for.
This guy is an IDIOT!! "The Republicans will win"??? Win WHAT?? It's your freaking JOB to work for the American people, not your stupid polital party! It's not a contest! And you can't just force the president to alter a LAW – a law voted on and passed by the group that you are part of and EMPLOYED BY – in order to pass a ROUTINE spending bill!! I don't care if you like the law or not, Congress passed it and it has nothing to do with the current issue at hand. Deal with Obamacare another day and do your JOB you flipping TWIT!
Ted Cruz is hated in Texas, and the US.
He is a terrorist he's not a US citizen Texas does border Mexico check his papers!!
Dad of a type 1, you hit it on the head. James, turn off your radio and quit drinking the Limbaugh/Hannity/O'Reilly Kool-Aid. There are living, struggling Americans out there...you know the 99% who don't have the resources to fund the care necessary for a life-threatening medical problem. Reduce the deficit? Okay, let's start by reducing the salaries of the fat cats in D.C. to what the average teacher in America earns. Let's take the profits from just the first year and build a giant no-frills dormitory and house all members of the House and Senate there; let them do their own laundry and make their own beds. Then, let's outlaw lobbyists. Might put our elected officials back in touch with the people they are SUPPOSED to represent.
“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.”
Translation: forget I bloviated for 21 hours on my "lets shut it" down grandstand.
So a law is passed. The R's cry and whine about it and blame Obama for not giving in to their demands to change the existing law. And they have the nerve to say its Obama and the Dems fault? They must think no one is paying attention.
Ted Cruz truly is a flaming moron. Repeat that mantra to yourself ten thousand times Cruz. Nobody believes it but you.
If the GOP wins the country loses. I blame the people. The lame "heartland" is really the heartless-land.
I did not know Candaidans had white trash too.
Ted Cruz wears pink panty hose.
This article is a hot mess. Everyone knows this whole thing is racist, republicans mad the president is mostly back...the evil all in theur eyes because hes a strong nlack president. Comment all u want behind me wont hurt me. What gies around comes around the world sees the republican evil,,thats what honest americans see clearly.
Few alive today remember how the German legislature was taken over in the 1930's bring on hitler and ww2. The hostel take over in Congress it's Looking more and more like USA will be hosting ww3 with teaparty terrorist running the show.
I live in the heart of Cruzville. I grew up here.I have many friends who are infatuated with the tea party and what they call the "Rare air" they breathe. They think using the N word is normal. They are ANGRY! They believe Obama is the anti christ because gop radio tells them so 24-7. They believe all gays should be eradicated and those that stand up for them. are no different.They believe this country belongs to them and nobody else. These beliefs are embedded in them from childhood by their parents relatives and yes churches. You or I will never change them. The hate is so deep it will only die when they die. They believe all of this in the name of God and Jesus Christ our savior. Go figure?
There is little doubt Obamacare squeaked through a Congress when it had democratic values. That no longer exists in the House and they want to turn back the clock to repeal it. ACA isn't perfect by any means, but is it better than the system it replaced? US Healthcare is a important issue, and something needed to done.
Let its dissenters produce a viable alternative, all the promote is obstructionism, not progress.