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."
Cruz is a dangerous, delusional, anti-American lunatic. Get him on meds and away from politics!
Shame on the media for continuing to "blame both sides". This is a GOP shutdown engineered by thugs of the VERY far right. CNN NBC ABC And CBS have done a POOR job of reporting stone cold facts
So, a pastor introduced him, huh? A pastor said, “It’s about time that someone abandoned the notion that compromise is the best way to win." A pastor is worried about winning in politics? What kind of man-of-God is that? I know that everyone in America has the Right to speak out in public, but a pastor should be worried about his congregation. There might be people in his congregation that need access to affordable health care. There might be members of his congregation that have pre-existing conditions that need guaranteed coverage. There might be members of his congregation that want to keep their children on their employer-backed health care plans up to their 26th birthday.
The Bible says that Christians should not compromise on issues of Faith. It says nothing about issues of politics. The fact of the matter is, the ACA will help poor people who cannot afford insurance to get it. Jesus commanded his servants to help the poor. Jesus also said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
Finally, this pastor, by supporting Cruz, seems to be putting money first. To that, I remind him that Jesus also said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money."
Obama is communist: please go jump off a cliff. We'd rather that people like you simply end yourselves so we don't have to drag your disrespecting asses out of the 4th century and into the 21st. People who think like you are no better than the extremists of the KKK and NeoNazis. You have no place holding up the government over stuff you hate or no good reason.
Ted Cruz is mentally disturbed. That's just a fact. And what does that make people who believe and support him?
Yes, Ted – it's all about WINNING, right?
Screw the country. Screw the people with no insurance.
Go, team, go...right?
Now we know for sure, Cruz is completely delusional.
I thought Boehner said this wasn't a game? I guess Cruz didn't get that memo.
CRuz will never be president ...born in canada
We elected the folks. It's our fault. You can point your finger at the other guy, but don't forget you three will be pointing back at you.
Reid should be impeached, censured, and removed from office for dereliction of duty for failing to prepare a Budget for five years in a row!
Until five years ago, the government was funded through the appropriations process, called Regular Order (piecemeal). Around a dozen separate appropriations bills, each covering one or two federal agencies, made their way through Congress. Some passed through Congress easily. Others took much longer and witnessed more sustained and impassioned debate, and sometimes a government shutdown, as occurred 7 or 8 times when Tip O'Neil was Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The partial government shutdown of 1995 was another example where piecemeal appropriations bills were passed by both houses.
**Cruz wasn't even in Congress when Reid started refusing to allow budget discussions on the floor of the Senate. Dems are losing this fight and that's why every day they write even more fiction.
I thought only the President gets to make the State of the Union address to Congress once a year. Has CNN lost its mind and sold out completely to corporate cash to be the next Fox ? What gives Blitzer the right to do this? And you call this the Number cable news?
Order to bartender: give me that loose-goose Texas Cruz booze!!
Uh huh, we didn’t know about this government shutdown? Not us! Did Cruz live in a part of Texas where the manure stunk to high hell? Because the rest of American smells BS!
Senator Cruz, please explain to us exactly how Obamacare is hurting millions?
Cruz is a thug with no future. Don't worry. However part of the problem which nobody wants to talk about is the low efficiency of our government workers at ALL levels. Our spending would be much less if government workers would actually do what WE pay for: Public Service!
I have nothing but poor experience with any agency: slow, unfriendly and lazy!
Teddy Luze, no one will win but the average citizen of the US will lose. This is not a game of ping pong with the heads of the proletariat as the balls. Wake up!
Wow .. What i see here is a bunch of liberals for Obama.. He is going down as the worst president in US History.. I am for neither party and cant believe the comments i am seeing on this. Being an independent one would think people would wake up and see whats going on before us.. Obama health care is going to cost more among Ammesty which will cost the taxpayer 6.3 Trillion dollars if it is passed. Wake up people... Why do so many bow down to Obama??
“It’s about time that someone abandoned the notion that compromise is the best way to win,” said Rev. Mark Morrow.....
its about time you realized that compromise is the only way the system works.
So the media would have us all believe that Americans are ok with the Senate not doing its job for years! Maybe the Democrats are ok with it,,oh wait,,YES Dems are very ok with NOT negotiating budgets. Not everyone believes this is how to run a govt....only the DEms...who apparently will never again require the Senate to discuss a budget.
What exactly are you winning Mr. Cruz. Are you keeping your paycheck. I am not getting a paycheck because you closed the government down. Yes you said you would pay us later but are you going to pay my bills and feed my family. So whois winning. In the words of Mr. Boehner, this is not a game. The American people are going to lose. Apparently "We the people" are insignificant yo you.
Why is news media giving a freshman Senator Cruz so much important prime time? Do they really think he's worth the time after wasting valuable time with filibuster complaining about it then voting with Senate to pass bill that House later rejected? I call that two faced idiocy, like a lot of Tea Party goals of Plutocracy to replace our Democratic Republic, goal of Tea Party? Doesn't public realize they hate Government and should be moved to Somalia to see what "gun totin'" liberty without government social programs is like.
Three Stooges of Texas: George W. Bush, Ted Cruz, and Rick Perry
Cruz is just another Washington Puppethead. Not quite certain who is pulling the strings but it certainley is not the people he supposedly represents. Follow the money and the lobbyist. Congress has just become a Country Club where the millionares control the fate of a nation.....A cryin shame
I am on the liberal side of moderate but I believe the Democrats should be willing to discuss needed changes to the ACA. Everyone needs to close the terrible loophole in the law (unwittingly) created by the Supreme Court when it allowed states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. That loophole prevents everyone under the poverty line from getting any help on paying for an exchange policy in states that opted out of the expansion. If you make between 100% and 400% of the poverty line, you get help. but if you are below the poverty line you get nothing! (these people get their policies wholly or partially funded with the Medicaid expansion.
In exchange, the Democrats should allow private insurance companies to continue to sell "non-ACA compliant" policies. Sure, make all of the exchange policies comply, but allow people and businesses who don't need or want the new features to purchase cheaper policies privately. For instance, everyone in my small business has been insured for over ten years. The cost for the "no pre-existing conditions exclusion" is useless to us, since we have had insurance in effect so long that there are no pre-existing conditions.
The last thing to look at is why there is such a huge disparity in the cost of exchange policies from state to state. That makes little sense when you could have a contract rate for services that could apply to all exchange policies nationwide.
Finally, why won't Boehner allow the entire house vote on the last Senate proposal? What ever happened to the Hastert Rule?