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."
Its kinda funny, but historically when RePukedAgains are in power they have spent WAY more money than when the Democrats are in power. Hey RepukedAgains? How does it feel.. I really do not like Repukedagains.... they really annoy me. Arrogant Bstrds......
What chapter of the KKK in Ohio & Texas do Boehner & Cruz belong too.
And when are they "coming out" of the closet!!!
See the halves that buddy up with Ted Cruz want to make sure if you are poor you are a disease to America. Since him and his buddies use scripture as a weapon. Here is one to remember 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than this Mark 12:31.
Ted Cruz for president! At least Ted Cruz has the decency to act as a statesman instead of a politician. We are proud to be Cruz supporters, keep it up Ted!
Can't wait for the inevitable split screen on Stewart or Colbert where they feature Ted Cruz on one side and Charlie Sheen saying "WINNING!!!" on the other. The joke kinda writes itself, don't it?
Why must it be a win lose situation ... this is why our government is so messed up ... both parties must be the winner .. how about working together and getting things done
Any member of a Tea Party organization or anyone claiming sympathy with them should be rounded up, jailed, then shot without trial for treason. In order to get human rights, you have to be human first, and none of those inbred idiocrats are remotely human.
History will show that getting rid of the 'ruling class' in Washington saved the USA and the free world. Only people that stand up now to this government will save the future for the next generation.
Do not get me wrong as I believe that a federal government and government in general is needed to an extent. There is no doubt of that.
It is the current size and scope of their involvement in everyone's day to day living that is really scary. Ask any immigrant who has lived in a country with a government who has a huge presence in their lives why they have come to the USA? Their answers will give you the reason why we must get back to the roots of why we formed this country.
God Bless the USA
Can someone please explain this to a "non-american"? You need to pass a law or motion or something like that to pay your bills? I understand that – it sounds like a reasonable process. But one party wants to include something completely unrelated to paying your bills into that "bill paying" law? What am I missing?
It's high time Ted Cruz was arrested for treason.
Ted Cruz is an Alberto Gonzales(former atty gen under g w bush) all mouth and no brains.
Budgets were put up in the Senate and the Republicans have filibustered against all of them because they didn't get their way. Had it come to a simple majority vote, these would have passed in the Senate, but probably never brought to a vote in the House, because the House refuses to vote on anything that isn't approved by the Tea Party. A minority faction has been holding the government hostage since President Obama took office. I thought a democracy was where you took a vote and the majority wins....
Ho hum. And the beat goes on.
let's also be very clear. This Cruz guy is a moron and should not have been elected in the first place to hold any political office. Wise up and throw this bum out of office ASAP.
Wonder if he's Baghdad Bob in disguise?
Actually, yes there is a way to change a law. But the GOP and the Tea Party members of the GOP don't want to change the ACA law, they want to take it off the books. The GOP and the Tea Party members of the GOP have absolutely no intention of working with the Democrats to make the law better because that would make President Obama and the Democrats look better than the GOP and the Tea Party members of the GOP. Which they are anyway.
As for Cruz and the other wacko-bird Tea Party members of the GOP that are thinking about running for POTUS, all I can say is please, PLEASE run! Hilary will not only be the first women elected POTUS, but she will be the first to be elected with 98% of the popular vote and 100% of the electoral college.
I did not vote for shut down.
John Boehner says: "This is no damn game." Ted Cruz says "we're going to win." I just don't know who to believe.
These clowns are too busy trying to place blame that they literally stopped serving the people. It is nearly time to take up arms and reclaim this country. It has become the only way. We have been too complacent for too long, we are coming close to a time of action. Just remember, when you first hear reports of a "terrorist" organization of Americans striking within America, the media refers to any rebel force as terrorists (except if they are in Syria, even if they ARE Al Qaeda). They will call the rebels terrorists even though we are the true patriots. This gov't no longer serves the people. If the military serves the government, and the government is only worried about self-preservation, we should very much fear our own military. So many down-sides to taking action, but allowing things to continue on this path would be far more tragic.
Creuz this is not a game you fool!!!
Cruz == Mr Double Talk.
There are of course some Americans that buy his bunk. Not me.
Textbook definition of "psychotic break": Ted Cruz speaking to Conservatives. And some see this guy as the Republican's "great white hope" (to use a once common figure of speech) for regaining the White House? It's shaping up to be a fun run to 2016, a run that may even surpass 2012's for accidentally laughable futility.
It's pretty clear the nation will default. So the answer is to protect yourself by no longer paying your taxes and preparing for doomsday. Food and self protection are now the investments to make rather than sending tax money to DC.
This jerk should have shut his mouth and not wasted hours of time before the shutdown..maybe those hours could have been used to avoid it. for him to blame others is insulting to the public. Just another example of how out of touch the Tea Party is with what America wants/needs. Hope he has a back up plan for 2014 because he won't be coming back to the house.
In the article is said Cruz's profile had risen among the conservatives in this year. Yes we know, now we have two U.S. Senators from Texas who are high level members of the KKK.