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."
If it's true that Cruz has presidential aspirations, one has to wonder what on earth he's thinking with this strategy. As a way to solidify his local Texas base, I get it. He may well get re-elected as a senator. But his current strategy surely precludes him from any chance of getting elected president.
As an aside, this individual's self-serving inanities and lies are so over the top, he comes straight out of a comic book. Now that I think about it, Seth MacFarlane should create a cartoon featuring Cruz, Michelle Bachman, Glenn Beck, Wayne Lapierre, and the rest of the extremist freak show.
Cruz, you alone are going to cost the country a whole lot of money. The Health Care Law is a mandate approved by the citizens of this country. The SC has held it up. There have been umpteen attempts by nuts like you to get rid of this law anyhow, somehow.
Give it up, sore losers. It is time the country moved on, with or without you losers. Spineless Republicans are solely to be blamed for this fiasco.
And Cruz can blame others because he stood for 21 hours and read children's stories and this is how issues get resolved???? Crus and Cuccinelli need to take a hike.
They are all one big dysfunctional group in Washington, and so are the people who voted for them.
Harry Reid and the Democrats are to blame for the shutdown? Unbelievable nerve. Is this because the Dems will not bend to blackmail by this narcissistic bloviator? The gaul and hypocrisy of this man is stupefying. The real blame should now be put on House Speaker Boehner, who does not have the courage to stand up to the bullies in his party and put a clean budget bill to a vote because he knows it will pass. He, and only he, can bring this whole disgusting debacle to a close. And the nerve of Republicans, like Bachman, who are responsible for the shutdown, to go to the veterans at the WWII memorial and shake their hands as if they were blameless. And the other Republican who verbally assaulted the Park Service worker telling her she should be ashamed for doing what he voted for her to do. How the Republicans can twist things around and blame others for their behavior is truly an amazing thing to see. I wonder. Do they attend seminars in this kind of treachery?
ted cruz sucks!! tea party is like the idiots that caused segregation in this country. they divide and separate based on their ideological beliefs which are not inline with current views.
Republicans stand up. Let the shutdown continue. I can't wait until the next election. Ted Cruz for president 2016. If not him then Rand Paul. Sarah or Michele for vice president. Republicans sure know how to pick candidates. How about that last batch of bumblers they picked in the last presidential election. That is the type of candidate the Billionaire's money buys. The Koch brothers and their friends want these dim witted puppets but you lemmings are to foolish to see through smoke and mirrors.
This guy needs to give it up. He has no shot at being president, especially after doing this mess.
Yah, republicans will win defeating the Americans!!!
Americans want health care yes. they just do not want it shoved down their throat. obamacare is an obomanation. (dare I smile at the joke?) obamacare is not going to do it. it is not the solution. it is a trillion dollar loser.
Every doctor, nurse or other health care provider I have talked to is against obamacare. they need to scrap it and start over. throw out the what is it now 5000 pages of new laws and regulations? forced to pay premiums on a policy we do not want, having to spend significant ammounts of cash before ANY benefit is given and fined if we do not go along with it. Thats UNAmerican.
GOP has been completely evil since the early 20th C. Spreading hate and lies. The entire World wants your empty, black souls gone. From opposing SS in 1935 until this debacle. Here's your rope, your millstone is over there, by the water.
I'm NOT crazy! I am brilliant! I am superb; I am unequalled. I am better than Adolf Hitler, Barack Obama and Jim Jones combined! I am even better than GOD!! Worship me. I speak the truth!!
is that a Heil Hitler pose ted???? lol
“How do we win?”
Cruz – you incredible simpleton, this isn't about winning or losing.
"Cruz made clear he cares little for the approval of his colleagues in Washington, Republicans included."
Uhhh can you say "narcissist" and "egotist".
Kinda reminds me of...........(wait for it)
HITLER = the supreme egotist..
This makes me wish I lived in Texas so I could not vote for him.
Please help boot these tea party crazies out.
How I hate this man. My own father, a staunch Republican is giving up on them. He is completely disgusted with where the GOP has been sheep-herded by the T.baggers. What an embarrassment to our great country.
Just come right out and ask the Koch what they want. There is no point wasting time with their proxies!
What we are seeing is Cruz's ambitious plan to become President. This shutdown is all about posturing for power, not protecting the American people.
Ted Cruz, a few screws loose.
"obama is communist
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."
These kinds of ridiculous comments continue to further alienate a party already in trouble. You do the conservatives a disservice.
I was watching a DVD by Lindsey Williams called " Elite Emergency Data" Lindsey had talked about when Obamacare went into full effect 1-1-2014 that the "elite" were going to crash all the world currencys " money" all at one time and that all banks were going to close does anyone think this will happen? I hope this WILL NOT HAPPEN!
Mr Cruz says “It’s about time that someone abandoned the notion that compromise is the best way to win,” , It is interesting to note the name Congress, means effectively together-step, which infers, to me anyway, some kind of cordination and compromise. It seems the current group defines Con-gress as Con-accubabit
I thought Boehner said "this is not a damn game".....?