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."
The GOP has about a -1% chance of winning this or anything else in the next 8 years now.
I watched the interview, Cruz never said "We will win". And trust me, I'm not a Cruz fan.
Michele Bachmann said that they, the Tea Party, got exactly what they wanted with the government shutdown.
Now Cruz just said he did not want a shutdown.
The Tea Party is just like the rest of the GOP when it comes to lying through your teeth.
If Mr Cruz can't remember who won the last two elections, he might at least recall who pays his bills and paid to put him in office. That would be the same political party he's now ignoring and confounding–the party of Repugnants. Does he think that they will continue to do any of that after this? Not likely. Mr Cruz will find his campaign contributors' list reduced to two geriatric patients in a locked ward. This is what happens when we elect as our government leaders people who profess to hate governance. See that picture? He's waving bye bye.
"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." – Samuel Adams
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." – Samuel Adams
Hold it! Hold it!
Didn't the GOP scream bloody murder last week when some Democrat talked about winning???
And now Cruz is boasting that his side will win?
The GOP had better stop and think about this:
They allowed a FOREIGNER, Raphael Cruz, born in a foreign country, sent to America as a young child, brought up as an American but indoctrinated with anti-American, anti-Government views and a purpose and goal to topple our democracy – the GOP allows THIS guy to take over the Party of Lincoln, bring our government and democratic way of life to a screeching stop... and they cheer and support him as he tries to make our Land of Freedom a third-world dictatorship!!!!
Why isn't the news media pointing out the fact that Senator Raphael Cruz is doing to America what the crazy Tea Party branch of the GOP accused Obama of wanting to do to America????
GOP – WAKE UP BEFORE YOU ALLOW RAPHAEL "TED" CRUZ TO CHANGE AMERICA INTO A LATIN AMERICAN DICTATORSHIP!!!!
the tea party group are very narrow minded in their focus. Just let them keep shooting themselves in foot. Let all the news shows keep inviting these guys on to do interviews.this is a good thing. The more exposure they have, the more moderate republicans and independents will turn away from them. They will be safe in their districts, lose control of the house and never get back into the white house, and be powerless to change anything.I am a democrat who was actually considering looking at candidates like christi(nj) for president.i do think we have a big spending problem that needs to be addressed but rest assured as long as the tea party is lurking around in the republican party that will NEVER happen. They are too dumb to see the big picture.You frighten americans with your absolute hatred of government and your willingness to destroy this country to defeat your enemies, so people want nothing to do with you.sensible repulicans realize this you guys had the upper hand. obama appeared weak in his strategy with syria, obamacare had problems with the rollout. He was on the ropes and you let him off. Now he has excited his base, accused you guys of being terriorists wanting to destroy this country. That in itself will make even some republicans turn against you .Now the conversation switches to saving the country from the tea party and less about your agenda unless destroying the government is your agenda.So as a democrat I applaud mr cruz.keep it up go on every show that will invite you. Just keep tallying more votes for dems in 2014. Excites the base that usually dont turn out in mid election years.Can u imagine the commercials of mr cruz that dems will be using in 2014,please keep him in the spotlight.tea partiers are already angry and will show up to the polls.we need mr cruz to keep parading himself and his foolish ideas across tv and angering a base that was content. He wiill forever be the face of the government shotdown in 2013. how did that turn out for mr gingrich?????we now realize and will be campaigning just as hard for 2014 as we did in 2012.i have never donated money to the democratic party, i did for obama, But today i will. thanks mr cruz!!!!!!
Cruz and the rest of the GOP are delusional to the point they have become master psycological projectionists, and should be on meds. Luckily, Obamacare covers mental illness.
Of course, defunding Obamacare is their biggest Cash Cow ever, and since they worship money over everything else, they'll ride this for every last cent they can bleed out of their mindless base.
The one hurting millions is Cruz!
He accuses others of wanting publicity and adulation, yet he is on TV more than anyone else ever has been before him , as a junior senator. He speaks lies.
Ever thought of impeaching this Cruz? You people voted him in, vote him out!
I'm reminded, Romney was certain he would win up to election night. Didn't even have a concession speech. These guys are delusional.
we are being held hostage by nut jobs like the one who just wrote in to say the president is a communist. Unbelievable that in this day we still have so many kooks who support these lying fools. These congressmen are safe in their own districts of crazy voters but as a whole are not representative of the nation. they have redistricted all the crazies and now the country suffers. next censes let independent people set the districts and stop this nonsense
Cruz is taking his cues from the terrorists' playbook. Threaten to blow something important up (the U.S. Economy) while holding someone (the American people) hostage.
i can wait for this blowhard texan to lose his next election,
Last time I checked Sen Cruz was not voting in the House, nor participating in their caucus. Odd that he should be blamed for the shutdown, but democrats like to point fingers. Too bad the republicans don't seem to realize that in politics principle can be a big loser. All the republicans had to do was make an effort and punt, then watch the democrats crumble under the weight of Obamacare, but this is one party America so they handed the democrats a lifeline.
I thought it was the American public that was supposed to win.
JUST MY TWO CENTS – but why are the facts about Raphael "Ted" Cruz foreign birth not being given the media coverage that CNN, FOX, MSNBC and other media gave to what was being said about Obama's birth and citizenship by the GOP and the TEA Party???
Are they all COWARDS????
Talk about an out of body experience. This guy is from another planet. The shut down is 100% the fault of the GOP. they own it and the American people will rememebr this at the next election. That is, if they haven't been purged from the voter roles...
What does Canada have against us ?
First Boober, and now Cruz ?
Cruz stated that "Republicans would win the shutdown fight but offered little in the way of concrete solutions." For Cruz and the Tea Party the shutdown and resulting economic chaos IS the victory. The Tea Party would rather see an economic collapse than an economic recovery under this President. Having convinced themselves that President Obama is a secret Muslim pretender born in Kenya they'd rather their fevered conspiracies be proven right at the expense of even the global economy.
The reason why Cruz does not seem to have an "end game" is because chaos fueled by hate is not a strategy for governing. The current dysfunction is the end in itself. There is always a fringe that would rather see the world burn rather than share power, and the fruits of economic power, with those who look, speak and think differently. This bunch would rather reign in a hell of their own making than serve in heaven. The GOP's hate and John Boehner's cowardice may prove to be a lethal union for our democracy.
Official party of venezuela equivalent to republican;
Official party of Iran equivalent to republican;
Official party of nicaragua equivalent to republican;
Official party of cuba equivalent to republican.
Boehmer said this wasn't a game. Um remind your tea party buddies too.
Our elected officials – all of them – have failed. One side will continue to blame the other until #$%! freezes over and none will take responsibility. If we want to be clear, we should first admit that we have elected the wrong people to represent us. Those we elected represent themselves and whatever rich corporations feed their families. The American people have failed to demand that our elected officials not be BOUGHT. We've failed to elect those who care more about themselves than they do about anyone else. This week, while all of them go home and sleep without worry of not having money to pay their bills, many Americans are losing sleep trying to figure out how to make ends meet.
Our job as Americans is to ask them to step down unless they can get the job done. That's what would happen to each and every one of us if we failed to do our jobs.
My request is that if, by Tuesday of this week, our elected officials cannot restart our government and compromise, that we tell them we do not want them to represent us anymore. We tell them to step down and let someone better qualified do it. After all, we hired them. It's time to expect that they work FOR us, rather than against us.
Thanks for making things so simple, Ted. GOP wins; America loses.
You can't draw it much clearer than that.