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."
Boehner: "It's not a game" BOZO!
The only reason the libs hate Ted Cruz is he is refusing to play along and let them continue their BS! Good for Ted! BTW for all the libs who are allergic to budgeting but want to squeal about "Texas gets so much federal money",,then imply it's some sort of welfare handout,,you're hilarious. You make yourselves look incredibly stupid so by all means, continue to bleat the baloney. The state is one of the richest beneficiaries of federal spending, with its sprawling military bases, Gulf Coast seaports, and nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico, which help account for more than 131,500 full-time federal employees. Only California, Virginia and the District of Columbia have more.
Where are the Senate budgets from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013? Where are they Dems? Why don't you care Dems? nevermind, the world knows the answer to that. Check Detroit, California and Illinois for the end-results of Dems and their "budgets"
Cruz is interested in himself not the American people. He is wholly disingenuous about his role in the shutdown. And has no alternative to the ACA. This guy is all about political theatre. He offers no authentic policy solution. He is no help to our country. And has only damaged us with his ridiculous antics and conduct. The Tea Party legacy.
I also thought the American people were supposed to win. What an idiot, showing his true colors. It's not about us people, it's about him and his gangster party winning.
Thank you Teddy, for helping the Democrats win the Governorship in Virginia.........what do you do for an encore now ??
I believe the word for any "victory" the GOP would win is "Pyrrhic". This is not a game and they would do well to remember that. This affects the lives and livelihoods of millions of taxpaying citizens. Instead of throwing a tantrum, they should offer something better than Obamacare. They can't or they won't and so they simply behave as spoiled brats, threatening to take their ball and go home.
I'm a political moderate and have voted Republican in the past, but will not do so again as long as they are dominated by children.
problem is he isn't smart enough to realize everyone else thinks he is being an idiot. hey, it's texas.
Mr Cruz, you are not there to fight for the Republican Party's interests - you have been elected to fight for the American People, and you are failing them - they do not care about your political goals - they care to have a Government that cares about THEM.
Give up that meaningless fight, and let the House and Congress vote on a clean bill.
Do not Fund PPACA. Do not raise the Debt Ceiling without an Amendment to Balance the Budget. HOLD THE LINE TEA PARTY!!
Windbag of the Year Award?
THis congress is a domestic threat to this country if I've ever seen one.
So lets get this straight. We as a people are going to be forced to have health care, that we can not afford as a people or a nation at this time in America. If a person has health care your good if not you have to have Obamacare ohh wait option three the government takes 2000.00 dollars from my tax refund before I get it so this is fair right >?< If your a single male your premiums go up almost 60% which is a lot higher than it should be. Sounds great not to mention how much this is gonna cost America to begin with and we are already 16 Trillion dollars in debt!!! Ohh wait thats not a factual number more like 70 Trillion dollars, But due to good book padind and the fact that the government does not have to account for every dollar spent is sad. By the way if we as a people would stop watching Football in Terms of our government and quit picking sides, and actually address the facts we might get some where but we rather divide and conquer ourselves instead of banding together and making a change. Just a little thought. Most of you will label me. I am nether of the parties that are in office or not in office i am just using a little common sense and not being blinded by media.
The GOP made a huge tactical error (one of many) with ObamaCare by dismissing it categorically, rather than admit it has strengths and weaknesses. Common sense says that few things are as black and white as the GOP wants to make this out to be. They would have been much more persuasive to at least acknowledge the strengths of ObamaCare, such as getting access to health insurance for people with pre-existing conditions, or letting parents keep kids on their insurance policies until age 26, than to dismiss the entire law as terrible.
Who gives a flying flip what Teddy "I can waste government time reading Dr. Seuss" Cruz thinks? Man is a totally clueless Tea Bagger.
Wake up America, the GOP are nothing but hired guns for people like the Koch brothers. They don't care about Obamacare, it about destroying our government, so they can gain wealth and power. Let face the facts if any GOP dare question they are censored and put back in the working world. We don't have a democracy but that's to the supreme court we now are forging a government run by corporations and we all know who benefits from that
Ted lives in fools paradise
Boehner recently state "This is not a damn game". Cruz says "GOP will win". Hmmmm.....
I am growing concerned about the future of our country with people like Ted Cruz in elected offices. I find it ironic his father fled Castro's Cuba and here he is forcing the minority backed vision of America down the throats of everyone out of his elected district. I'm sure the sound of King Cruz has passed through his mind more than once.
I'm one of the furloughed government employees and thanks to him and his tea bag backers I am out of work and scared for my family. I hope the more rational people in the country see him as the snake oil salesman narcissistic who would throw his own grandmother in traffic to get ahead. He and the rest of the tea bag elected officials are a disgrace.
What happened to "by and people, for the people"? How is this shut-down FOR THE PEOPLE? – just another reason I relinquished my US citizenship!
Sure he's not Sarah Palin in disguise? He just hogs the spotlight with nothing but ideology. Him being Canadian and all I bet Palin can see him from her house.
This should not be about a fight and winning senator. This should be about doing the right thing for American people. You are hurting millions because of your ego. Please stop this!!!
Read Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union speech. It applies to the Republican shutdown perfectly.
The GOP keeps quoting a poll that 54% of Americans don't like the ACA, but what they're not telling you is that 18% of those don't like it because it doesn't go far enough and have a single payer system...... so it's ACTUALLY only 38% that THINK the ACA is bad. I say THINK because half of them don't know a thing about it and are just drinking the Kool Aid and following them off the cliff.
Saddam Hussien, Gadhaffi etc. also said the same thing few days before they were caught..
Please Cruz meant we as the people of American here is what hw really said
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.”
I apologize as a democrat for this false headline, this is just the democrats after saying we will "Win the Game: and the republicans put it in their face that this is not a game!
So now we know my party (Democrats) thinks this is a game andthey think their party will win, but republicans even CRUZ states the people will have to fix this and the people will win....