Cruz promises Republican victory in shutdown fight
October 5th, 2013
11:12 PM ET
5 years ago

Cruz promises Republican victory in shutdown fight

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.

Watch CNN's "State of the Union" for an exclusive interview with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz at 9 a.m. and noon ET.

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."

Filed under: Government Shutdown • Ken Cuccinelli • Ted Cruz
soundoff (1,025 Responses)
  1. pragmatic

    Let's say I think Obamacare doesn't go far enough, and that we need single-payer, fully socialized medicine in the United States. By Cruz's logic, it would be A-OK for a group of progressive house members who feel the same way to use budgetary procedure to shut down the government unless we, I dunno, disband the insurance companies - and then blame everybody else for "not negotiating" when they balk.

    Sounds ridiculous, right? But see where this is headed? There is a legislative process in place to pass and repeal laws. It has worked for over 200 years. Yet, those responsible for the shutdown don't have sufficient votes to avail themselves of it, so they are using the budget pro.cess to refight a battle they have already lost.

    October 6, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Don

    This back and forth is really getting very childish. First the GOP wants to negotiate by repealing the ACA which was voted into law and backed by the supreme court. If they want to repeal the law they need to do this by introducing legislature to do so as the democratic process provides not using shutdown and debt ceiling as a threat.. This battle backfired on them.

    Now they are trying to fund individual parts of the government not to help the people but to leave the ACA out of the funding, tactics again that go against the democratic process. It is entirely preposterous that the GOP can blame anyone for the shutdown. The ACA is law and using the budget negotiations to change it is in itself negligent and undemocratic whether we like it or not. Fund the government as the law stands today and legislate to change the future.

    I have nothing against the GOP per se but Ted Cruz is hiding his true intentions and thinks the American people are idiots. Ted we see right through your false intentions. If you don't want to shut down the government you wouldn't!!

    October 6, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Old soldier

    Cruz, like Rand Paul and others, is a fool who needs to exit public service. He and his ilk place party above nation; power in place of service; and partisanship in lieu of care of hi fellow Americans. After bombasting 21 hours reading Green Eggs and Ham, wasting time and taking attention from fixing political problems, he immediately voted against the position he espoused while wasting Congressional attention. He made the point he voted and worked the way his voters wanted him to vote. As a Tea Party product, he puts TP above American interests. He also made the point he doesn't answer to voters outside his state, so he doesn't answer to the majority of American voters. And that is good for him. If I could vote on his political position, I would vote him out! He is just the poster child of some really anti-American mentalities. He, Paul, and similar people need to leave DC forever! Unfortunately, dumb bunnies in their states likely will return them to office despite the damage they cause. In order for the GOP to "win" in Rand Paul's comments to Mitch McConnell, America must "lose". I voted straight GOP since Nixon, but no more! Not until the GOP removes its head from its third point of contact! Tchuss!

    October 6, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. independentchoice

    The time for term limits is upon us.

    October 6, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  5. yogi

    The GOP freak show continues, and since they cannot help themselves, we, the sane majority will help them by voting them out in the next elections.

    October 6, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. AJ

    >“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.

    Which is why it's so important for the democrats to 'compromise' and do what the Republicans say. So Ted Cruise doesn't want the government to be shut down? Of course not. What he wants is the dissolution of ACA. The government shutdown was created by the democrats because they didn't compromise and kill it.

    October 6, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. LastOne Standing

    Universal healthcare is long over-due in the country. Universal healthcare is a necessity for the survival of any community, city, state, country. It is here finally, and it is what the majority of people want. The genie is out of the bottle, and it's not going back. Let's work out the details together and make it better.

    October 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. iski

    Could there be a bigger d-bag than this guy?

    October 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  9. dennis schmidt

    As an outsider a Canadian, I find the republicans stand on healthcare to more about greed and power than serving the people they elected to serve.. Its absolutely about big private health care providers and insurance company's running your congress and the tea party is nothing more puppets for those can elected Representative sleep at night knowing that millions of Americans go with healthcare on a daily basis!! same on the GOP!! what answer lets shut down our government that showed them..leaving thousand good honest federal workers without a pay check!! If this happened in Canada that political party would nothing but a memory to the canadian voting public at next federal election wiped off the political radar for many to come!!

    October 6, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. The people have spoken

    And we are not behind you Cruz. You are an extremist right wing Tea Party nut holding this nation hostage. It's easy to talk to a group of people who are equally as crazy as you but take your speech to a middle of the road crowd an i guarantee you will not get the cheers and applause but rather people will tell you how it is. You are not the answer...please step aside.

    October 6, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. AJ

    > It is nearly time to take up arms and reclaim this country.

    So, can you walk us through that? A militia appears in the capitol with guns. They come up against our police, secret service and military. Then what happens? I'd like to understand your vision of how this plays out...

    October 6, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Miami

    And the blame game begins! Guess what Cruz, it is your fault and the rest of the republicans that we are in this mess! You should think about spending cuts when you were starting two wars on the credit card! Now you want the hard working people to pay for the mess that you created and blame the democrats?! Shame on you !!! You totally own this shutdown!!!!!

    October 6, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Meat

    I mean, seriously. You get paid to read comments and censor the public? If only we had the power of censorship over the media. To be able to censor all of the bold-faced lies you print right here on CNN.

    October 6, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Name1

    Will win? I'm sorry I didn't realize the livelihood of 310,000,000 was a game.

    October 6, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. GetReal

    Cruz ant the Tea Party are Anarchist who want to dismantle the gov't. They do not believe in compromise or the legitimacy of a two party system. If they succeed, they will have done what no other enemy could. They are dangerous, without conscious and intend to do irrevocable harm to our country. To say they don't care about others is an understatement. If denying people jobs, healthcare and a voice helps them take over our country then so be it.

    October 6, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Larry L

    I've never seen a politician I respect less than Ted Cruz – including Nixon, Gingrich, Huey Long, and Eric Cantor. His "Green Eggs" efforts to shut-down our government were purely orchestrated by his handlers – the Koch brothers and the Tea Party. I've personally know a dozen former Republicans who now claim to be either independents, or Democrats. The Republican Party of the past has been replaced with nothing but bigoted radicals who literally hate America. Cruz is the Tea Party poster child for hate and division.

    October 6, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Meat

    It is a First Amendment thing, guy. I should be able to say what I want, where I want to say it. CNN gives that same freedom to its writers. They simply attach a note that states that the following article is merely an opinion of the person who wrote it. If you can get away with printing ANYTHING, then why can't I express an opinion without being moderated?

    October 6, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. maryc

    If you count the destruction of the nation from the housing meltdown and every other national service that has been affected by this shutdown and every political disaster caused by the republicans, more than 3000 have died. The finances of the nation were damaged and are in a precarious state now. The replicans have done more damage to this country than 9/11 and Pearl Harbor combined.

    October 6, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. page4

    Congress has not passed ban actual budget since before 2010. This is a fight over the CR-continuing resolution to fund the government for 6 more weeks so they can have an all nor nothing fight for the debt ceiling. Cruz needs to stop peeing on the American public and stop making some of them think its rain. The tea party is holding the president and supreme court hostage over the affordable care act. If the president let's them change it, it will set a BAD pressident for all presidents and congressional behavior in the future. Funny the tea party and republicans have gotten every tax cuts and lower spending they have asked for and still.... they remind me of Picard's speech about the assimilation of the Borg...We've made too many compromises already. Too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again! The line must be drawn here... THIS far, NO further!

    October 6, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Daryl

    Cruz is hurting the GOP. Cuccinelli will not get elected by connecting himself with Cruz. It won't matter too much if Cruz and Cuccinelli are liked by the conservatives in Richmond. Most of the impact of the the shutdown is felt by northern Virginia which typically votes democrat and holds the majority of the voting power of the state.

    October 6, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Meat

    Is it a Plutocracy when a single wealthy man can stop the entire government from running? The 1% continue meddling

    October 6, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. CM46

    Cruz is a conspirateur with the Koch brothers to bring down our government.

    October 6, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Skeptimist

    Ted Cruz is a "one percenter" in two categories.

    He (and his wife) are obviously members of the top 1% of the professional and economic overclass. He has been highly successful in both his public and private law practice. Mrs. Cruz is a high-ranking executive in Goldman-Sachs' Investment Division.

    He is also a member of that 1% of the population that is clinically described as exhibiting narcissistic personality disorder. That condition, formerly labeled "megalomania", is characterized as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.

    That rare combination of an extreme skill set and severe egocentrism produces a very concentrated and effective pursuit of narrowly focused goals. In turn, that focus operates to the exclusion of all other considerations and principles. Thus, Ted Cruz is very good at being Ted Cruz for the satisfaction of Ted Cruz... and those who think they are clever enough to make use of him and avoid the consequences. Is John Boehner having fun yet?

    Meanwhile, a dysfunctional nation wallows in the wreckage wrought by political opportunism. It is as if a pathological fever has burned away any recollection of civic principles. When, in recent memory, have you heard of a public figure gaining national attention for speaking of – let alone exhibiting – concepts of stewardship or statesmanship? Indeed, how many among us today use the term "we the people" to mean all the people? Mr. Cruz is certainly a perpetrator (and proud of it) but more than that, he is a symptom of a mean and diminished national spirit. .

    October 6, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. H R mickelson

    It is simple, the man is certifiable. He should return to Texas and dig back under the rock he crawled out from under. How can one sick person cause such a mess?

    October 6, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. califcowgirl1955

    You realize this is not about health care? This is about taking down Barack Obama, President of the United States. The Tea Party Republicans lead by Michelle Bachman, hate him, they haven't event taken the time to explain which policies they hate, because they only know they hate him.
    Mitch McConnell and the House Republicans stopped governing in Nov of 2008, when Barack Obama had the nerve to become President (sarcastic here). That man had to be stopped, "we are going to make him a 1 term President". Guess what it didn’t work.
    In comes the Tea Party and with help from the rest of the Party of do Nothings, they filibuster, obstruct, deny, gerrymander, suppress and disrespect the American people who voted for Barack Obama, President of the United States, not once but twice.
    They have dug a hole so deep, with Cruz supplying the shovels the Republicans don’t know what to do next. Someone has to be hero, McCain, Graham, Tommey, I don’t know but someone needs to step up and say enough is enough, let’s get back to the business of governing and do what is best for the American people and this country that we love. Jobs, Health Care, Education, Infa-structure, Voter’s rights, all of those need our attention. Oh and the gerrymandering thing needs a reset, too. Candy Crowley, don't let them bully you either, you are great.

    October 6, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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