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 the Senate (and eventually the President) refuses to accept the money the House authorized to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ACA, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.
You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.
Cruz (and company) comments about Democrats is parallel to the arsonist saying to the firefighter – "Why didn't you spray water on the fire I started – what is wrong with you guys. Such a same things are burning down and it is all your fault."
Line item funding of the government? The president does not have line item veto power so why would we want to give line item funding power to a minority portion of Congress? Crazy!
Not only does the Tea Party want a negotiated agreement on total dollar amounts for budgets (which was agreed to already), they also want to specify what specifically gets funded as well. Do we really need one more mechanism for this and future Congresses to use to increase their dysfunction even further. It's time to take away the matches from the children.
I can't believe how my chronic gastritis has improved in the last 2 years since I started ignoring what goes on in the U.S. Congress. Dropping the evening news from my TV viewing habits is better than TUMS.
For you nonsense57......the people who hate cruz the most are his fellow republicons, the sane ones that is. Liberals, the greatest political tradition in our history and the one behind every great political move forward of the last 150 years, love cruz because he says out loud what most teapublicons know they are only supposed to say behind closed doors with no video or recording going on. He shines a white hot spotlight on what conservatives want to do TO the country, not for it.
And as always, thanks to anyone who calls me liberal. It puts me in company with all the greatest leaders the nation has ever produced. Rather stand with Obama, Clinton, Kennedy, FDR, TR, Wilson........than cruz, bachmann, nixon, harding, hoover, mccarthy, gohmert, mcconnell.......
I believe Boehner said it best " This isn't a damn game". Get your head out of your ass and listen to the people who are paying you!
He was with the Federal Trade Commission one time in his gov career. In private pratice, he was a counsel for a Chinese company invoved in an Intelectual Propery theft case, which was slalled by the Judge for $24M.
He is now lurking at the Capitol.
Ideologus like Obama and Cruz are directly responsible for our mess. THe center is vacant. Where are the LBJ's and Ronald Reagans? When the crash comes, Cruz and Obama will be as popular as the Edsel. entimesurvivalguide.com
I have never seen a more self centered egomaniac that Ted Cruz. He is a total disgrace to the GOP and America. The only good thing one can say about him is that he is single handedly destroying the Tea Party. His lies and tactics will catch up with him soon.
The only thing missing with the Tea bags is a brown shirt.
It's kind of a limited limited shutdown to begin with having little to no "real" impact on most people. The Republicans continue to pass exclusions for Federal Workers to return to work, the military exempts contractors adding another 400,000 back on the payroll, thus, the impact is dwindling. So they are not really holding firm, the Republican Party.
Win what, Ted? The ignorance medal?
what a clown. Does the GOP really think Obama will negotiate on ACA? most Americans are not much concerned about the shutdown anymore. Ted is speaking to an audience of uneducated fools. the fac that cucinnelli left speaks columns.no one wants to be associated wwith tea party folks.
I'd be curious to see how Ted Cruz's approval rating is doing in Texas. I'm sure his far right base loves what he's doing. The reality is that you cannot get elected without appealing to moderates and Independents. How do they feel?
"WIN"...???? It is not supposed to be a win/lose situation. The American people are the ones losing, along with ALL members of Congress.
I don't understand how my party, the GOP can follow this black bean and fried banana eating bloated windbag. Has anybody truly checked his background. Did he actually escape from Cuba or was he release to live here and undermine our government by Fidel and his dictator buddies. It may be time for the FBI to step in and make some arrests.
"GOP will win?" I cannot believe that Cruz is the best that the GOP can come up with. This nut has caused this "fight" that he wants so badly to win. ACA is law. This is no way to change a law. The GOP, due to their inability to keep the 35 or so extremists in line, are all going to be LOSERS. (And if they get their way, the public will also lose.) Get these creepy few out of the GOP, or the GOP will fail. Actually... never mind. The GOP NEEDS TO FAIL!
After reading the NY Times front page article this morning on how this whole shut-down situation was planned and financed, I must say words like freedom, independence, fiscal responsibility and all these catch words being thrown around sound incredibly silly and people like Cruz come across as mere puppets. Wake up America.
CONVERSATION WITH A CONSERVATIVE
Real American: Have you heard about the Affordable Care Act?
Conservative: Yes I have. I've heard some great things about it.
Real American: Like how kids can stay on their parents insurance until age 26?
Conservative: Yeah that's great.
Real American: And people with pre-existing conditions can't be turned down for coverage?
Conservative: That's great too. That will really save lives.
Real American: How about the fact that the law closes the "donut hole" for millions on Medicare?
Conservative: I'm on Medicare. That's my favorite part of the whole thing. I've saved money.
Real American: Well what do you think about ObamaCare?
Conservative: Obamacare? I HATE it. We need to repeal it and we need to IMPEACH Obama !!
Real American: Really? Impeach him huh?
Conservative: Somebody better tell Obama to keep his Kenyan hands off my Medicare !! And how did that guy ever get elected anyway? You do know that his birth certificate is fake right? That America hating communist despot wants to destroy America. And what about Benghazi? He lied and four Americans died. How about Fast and Furious? And his wife is a piece of work huh? Some First Lady she is, and what about Syria? Putin and Assad made a fool of Obama. The guy is the poorest excuse for a President I have ever seen. Now no one fears us and the the whole world is laughing at us. Obama is a failure. Bush was way better.
Real American: Wow you really hate Obama don't you? Has he done anything right?
Conservative: No..nothing. Not one thing !! Reagan would have never let this stuff happen. He would never have raised taxes, exploded the debt, sold arms to foreign countries or raised the debt ceiling. When Reagan would draw a red line that was it. No one ever crossed. No foreign leaders ever gassed their people when Reagan was President. And of course there was peace in the Middle East under Reagan !!
Real American: Well okay. You have a great day now sir.
Conservative: You too and just remember...implement the Affordable Care Act and impeach Obama !!
Our government was set up with the concept of majority rule. The majority has spoken and the law has past. It is time the house to do the job they are being paid for. No place else would you get away with this counterproductive
Give him a wig, put him in a dress, give him a cute pair of glasses, and he could be Palin! Take the glasses away, and he's Bachman. This kind of character is leading the GOP??? What a joke the party has become. LAUGHABLE.
LOL, this guy is a head case.
The republicans, who honestly have not had such a good chance of stealing control of the government from the Insane democrats, are squandering their future by playing kiss-ass with the likes of Teddy.
I do not think we need any further proof that the government is completely in need of an overhaul.
Repeating a lie does not make it true. No matter how many times he attempts to shift the focus, he and those other house members that are following him are to blame and will not be allowed to hold government hostage to their extreme demands. It's the ACA today, what if it's gay marriage next? Or teaching religion in the science classroom or defunding scientific research that could save or end the suffering of millions of lives because of their religious beliefs?
I do not want to live in the Christian version of Iran.
HIstory tells us what happens when good people refuse to stand up to extremists like Ted Cruz. His rhetoric reminds many of us outsiders looking in as something from histories darkest days, think Hitler and Macarthy. Ted Cruz has no love of democracy, he and the Tea Party have set out to undermine it. A fascist state or theocracy would be more to their liking. Unless the GOP finds the courage to stand up to this it will be their darkest day. Maybe for America's as well.
This is not a joke, riling the world should not be funny and should not be children's reading time. How does he spin this again?? He is a joke.
Cruz is suffering from delusions. He and his cronies have embarrassed the conservative Republicans by putting on this stunt and forcing the hand of Congress to say "No". The healthcare act, whether popular or not was already a law and not negotiable by attaching modifications to a budget amendment. It can easily be dealt with and modified LATER, after the budget is approved and the country continues to operate normally. Now they have cost the country billions by shutting down the government needlessly and offering to pay the people for work they didn't do. If that is "winning" he really is delusional. The conservatives stop short of calling it "stupid" and just say they respect his views...Call it what is folks...total failure, so bind your wounds, admit defeat and get to work. Next election, don't vote for Cruz and his cronies. Problem solved.