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."
It's always sad to watch someone in total denial of reality.
Ted Cruz is a joke, he wanted and said he wanted this shutdown days before it happened . he should be taken out back and cracked in the head with a shovel
Cruz, you narrow-minded hick, youre going down, clown. ur 15 minutes are up, bee awtch.
This guy is a tool. He could care a rat's *ss for the people in this country, He's only interested in feathering his own nest.
Texas politician...there in is the problem...the law and order party doesn't like the law...shut the government down or change the LAW...Stuff it cruz!!!
Cruz is a con man. The Republicans will eventually shift to some trifling, face-saving budgetary item, because they know they can't do anything about the ACA.
Cruz is obviously the architect of the government shutdown. He and his ilk are like the 2 idiots in the movie 'Dog Day
Afternoon" holding everyone in the bank hostage. The Afordable Care Act is the law of the land and is history. The man shutdown the government because he didn't get his way.
You all ready lost! It's like a kidnapper that is holding my family and home hostage thinks I'm going to side with them. No I want the police to haul you away and lock you behind bars for the rest of your lives. Does that sound like you are winning anything? FYI I'm an independent that doesn't like either party.
Cruz is a nut, a thug, a power hungry maniac who cares about nothing but himself. He got a taste of power and is now so power hungry that he has lost all sense of reality. He tries to paint a picture that only he and some of his other Tea Partiers can stand up to the bullies in Washington when in reality he and his fellow Tea Partiers are the real bullies. He claims that he represents the wants of Americans which is a bold faced lie because he represents what MAYBE 20% of Americans want. For most of my adult life I was a happy supporter of the GOP but so long as the Tea Party associates itself with the GOP I will never support the GOP. Cruz and the Tea Party, they know they do not have the votes to repeal Obamacare, use fear and intimidation to get what they want. What's next? Tea Party members going door to door threatening voters who don't vote for their candidates? Maybe stand outside voting areas and threaten people? Cruz, Paul, Bachman, Palin and the rest are just a joke and they all know it but so long as someone is willing to cheer them on then they will continue their nonsense.
You already lost, it was called the 2012 elections. If you like you can continue counting ballots in a comfy padded room.
Why is CNN promoting Ted Cruz? Do they really want this man to be the POTUS?
I do not take this batch of Republicans seriously, and I voted for Republicans for four decades.
A demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ/ or rabble-rouser is a political leader in a democracy who appeals to the emotions, prejudices, and ignorance of the less-educated citizens in order to gain power and promote political motives. See Ted Cruz.
What is it you want to win?
You disrespect the career politicians like a recalcitrant teenager disrespects authority.
The American people are not behind you and your childish antics and boyish tactics of winning your game..
The majority of American people listen to the wise...not some upstart trying to get free campaign publicity.
You need to grow up and deflate that ego of yours.
Your small group of people may agree with you..but the other 99.99999999% do not!
Hmmmm. The "victory" of inconveniencing millions of people, damaging his party's credibility, interfering with the process of law, and (he hopes) preventing millions of people from having adequate health care.
That's a strange definition of victory.
What a tool.
Anyone still thinking in terms of winning and losing is an idiot.
Cruz has convinced nobody that forcing a shutdown to get what you want, would actually deliver the thing that you wanted. The President will not budge on this matter, and is justified in saying no. The Republicans will have to cave on this, because shutting down the government as a means to an end, was always an unsustainable plan which was destined to fail.
How can someone who isn't even part of the GOP leadership promise anything? To shut down the Shutdown, someone's going to have to shut down the Cruz.
He is a real joker. Because of guys like him GOP will lose again. Is there no more leaders in GOP?
Ahh..... Liberal CNN get it wrong again. The chief architects of the ongoing government shutdown is Obama, Reid and the Democrats. The "Vacation in Chief" is doing a fine job at keeping Americans divided. Sorry folks, but Ted Cruz got it right on this one.
Even the late Bin Laden could attract some followers in US. Could it be that this Canadian Ted Cruz took some lessons from him. In Nigeria City of Aba, Imo State, the people there dont normally waste words or wait for election day to deal with politicians who talk nonsense to them while causing them some hardship. They simply evoke their wrath on you by stoning. GWB suffered the same fate in Middle East, though by shoe-throwing. Its quite easy to stop people like Cruz from making public appearances after devilishly causing much pains and grieves to too many American families. Thats why US democracy seems very tolerant. As Kerry put it once, in US politics, you could afford to be foolish.
I live in Texas, and want Mr. Cruz to know that I will do him a favor and vote against sending him back to work in the establishment he so despises.
The GOP are a bunch of idiots and will be lucky if they don't end up arrested for economic terrorism.
The Bullies,Bigots,and Birthers in the Republican / Tea Party will not win. Americans will vote them out in 2014 !!!!