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."
Go away cruz, and take the other reckless tea baggers in the minority bringing this country down with you. This isn't Burger King, you can't have it your way.......
Ted Cruz didn't know he had duel Citizenship to Canada and he went to Princeton. His father Fought for Fidel Castro but didn't know he was Fighting for a Communist. But Ted Cruz already knows the GOP is going to Win this Fight. What a Joke.
It is extremely annoying that Republicans keep saying "the American people want this and that". What does it take for them to understand that they lost the elections, and that the GOP only represents the minority in this country, and that minority will be even smaller in the next elections. GOP, RIP.
Keep 'er shut down. Boehner is a liar and a gutless wonder. Cruz is clearly running the show. And Boehner, on Meet the Press right now is talking around a mouth full of rocks. This is making me want to throw up.
Ted Cruz went to the States because his political views and right wing rhetoric didn't have a chance of being listened to or plausible up here...
"The only reason the libs hate Ted Cruz is he is refusing to play along and let them continue their BS! Good for Ted! "
Oh, is it only the "libs" who hate Ted Cruz? Because it sure seems like a lot of Republicans do, too.
I suggest you revise your rhetoric. California is doing just fine thank you. Our finances are back where they belong and not on the backs of the poor. With the use of a stronger economy and yes, new taxes the state had a budget surplus this past year. Our infrastructure is being repaired. Our insurance rates have dropped thanks to early implementation of the ACA regulations. Texas still has Cruz and Perry. To paraphrase one of your past governors- Poor Texas.
Now on to Cruz- The House has never given a clean bill for approval on the Debt ceiling, choosing instead to add ridiculous riders. Let's see what happen if the Tea party stops playing politics and acts like mature adults. Oh, and Teddy, stay on your side of the aisle.
Cruz is a moron ! The republican tea party have already lost and they know it.
- I see... so the same party that is publicly telling the Democrats that they need to compromise for the good of the country, is privately saying that we need to abandon compromise.
Cruz is the most delusional bagger in Congress. He wants the baggers to look at him as some sort of all-knowing bagger-god who will lead them to the promised land of no governance at all, no healthcare, no regulation, no education, no welfare, no social programs, and guns for everyone everywhere, no taxes. Al Qaeda, the baggers chapter, has a new leader and it’s Cruz.
Crus Says GOP will Win- And herein lies the problem. It should NOT be about either party winning, rather what is best for the nation as a democratic republic.
It is hard to understand why some Americans are listening to a foreigner like Cruz about something so important to America as the operation of its federal Government. How can a red-neck Canadian from Calgary, Alberta position himself so strategically in a foreign country so as to be able to shut it down?
Oh well, I suppose I shouldn't complain. At least we do not need to listen to him.
Thanks Texas, first Bush tax cuts to put the budget permanently in the red, now this idiot crying about the debit. secede! Please!!
Isn't the country supposed to "win"?
people this is not a game and none will win!! And the republican Cruz said We as in the people will wim.... here is what he 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.”
So the only people who think this is a game and one party is going to win is my party the democrats but they are wrong and this will bite them in the end... the democrats won the first shutdown and now they think they can make a shutdown and put false evidence that the Republicans are doing it... Democrats need to stop lying that vote for what I want and next year we will compromise, they said that last year and then Obama reneged , so we Democrats are responsible for this "game" and we will not "Win" in the end
The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. This guy's father was with Fidel Castro during the revolution and much later defected to the U.S. And as far as the earlier remark about Cuban upbringing, that depends on your parents too. Mr. Cruz's upbringing should be the one scrutinized... more than the so called nut jobs who insists the President is a muslim and a dictator or socialist. You want to see what a REAL dictatorship and socialism is all about.... kindly hop over to Cuba and start making anti-castro remarks and see how fast you wind up arrested!
the fact that cuccinelli left so soon speaks volumes on what an idiot Cruz is. not surprised he has support in VA. Ted Cruz is am sick person and his continuation of this circus brings the GOP more destruction. polling for GOP next week 0%. Does the GOP reallybelieve the president will blink on ACA:? Most Americans have move on from the shutdown. x
GOP will win? When will America win? When we get rid of you lobbyist owned politicians and elect Statesmen again. Make lobbying and the bribing of elected officials illegal, the 1% have had the peoples government far too long.
Cruz is dillusional. Scary guy. Not playing with a full deck. Even Republicans are scared of him.
It is resentful how hard the GOP is fighting to keep the old broken down health system with fraud and graft. They were elected to fix the health care system. They can't even agree on getting rid of the fraud, let alone the pre-existing condition problem. I am very angry and want the Democrats to hold firm. Enough is enough. We have waited long enough for resolution. This is not the GOP that I voted for in the past.
The GOP already lost. It's over. If they want to "win" anything on Obamacare (steal affordable health insurance from millions of people), they need to do a little thing called winning elections. Until then, too bad. They lost and they need to do their jobs instead of holding the nation hostage.
Obama and his communist Senate are responsible for the shut down -Repeal comrade Obama care
LOSER! It's all about HIM winning. What a pile...........
Isn't it the "American people" who should win and not GOP, the Dems or the President? What a m o r o n?
The picture says it all. Heil Cruz