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."
Will someone remind Crus that MLK Jr. (I have a dream) died a long time ago.
Although I'm not overjoyed about the shut down, I understand the Tea Party, which was elected as a DIRECT result of Obamacare in 2010.
CBO projects "depression or near depression" in the not distant future unless we change fiscal course NOW. Medicare, Medicaid and SS are projected to consume ALL federal revenue in 27 years.
10,000 if my Boomer generation retire every day, each on track to collect 3 times what they paid into Medicare on the backs of their children, but Obama does nothing.
His solution was to park a fiscal TRUCK BOMB next to this bonfire. All to fulfill Democrats dream of a large, impenetrable, easily manipulated under class voting bloc.
The Tea Party is like The Grown Up with The Check Book, saying "Now, Johnny, we're sorry but we just have put our foot down here. We just CANNOT afford your new red Ferrari. The best we can do is a used Ford Focus."
Cruz and his fellow GOP zealots are delusional if they believe they will "win" when America loses by their lies and games.
This guy is a liar. He knows GOP – and particularly himself – are the cause of this problem.
Ted Cruz 2016!!!
What a piece of work this Cruz character is! Ignorance and arrogance on display for all to see. Its a game for him, just playing up to his Tea Bagging friends. He is an example of the worst representation a voter can have. Congratulation Texas for sending one of the biggest idiots ever to Washington! Mr Cruz, I pray to God you and your ilk do not win this fight, for you are a big part of what is wrong in this country.
Having a Hispanic name, It would be interesting to find out what the senator from Texas's view is on immigration.
Cruz is delusional.
Evangelical Christians are fueling, at least in part, Ted Cruz's overinflated delusional ego. I hope they all crash and burn.
Indeed, the GOP just might win.
As America loses.
Speaking for myself, I do not approve of the shutdown in Washington. However, it has become obvious that both sides are unwilling to work together to come to a sensable resolution. Senator Cruz has spoken some truth in printed in the above article. Too many career politicians on both sides are indeed responsible for getting us into this mess and creating many of the problems we now face in our government. His point on this aspect is well taken. On the subject of the Obamacare issue, what I have seen thus far, workers in the Hospitality and Food Industries, (Servers and the like), are being hardest hit as restaurants and hotels lay off workers or reduce work hours because the employers cannot afford to pay for the new medical care programs for their employees. So once again that responsibility will fall on the backs of the employees. The bigger picture is that these same people will be forced into working two or more jobs in order to meet their financial obligations. Another point is the fact this once again places the USA further behind in the global economy.
Instead of getting our economy rolling by changing some laws like NAFTA, and a few others; this administration has seen fit to argue about health care, gun control, oil control, middle east control, military control, and other such nonsense like debating the potential to go back to war with yet another 3rd world country. Our legislature needs to be concentrating on their domestic responsibilites instead of these other issues. This is not to say these other issues are not important, but they are not a priority when a significant portion of the working class remains unemployed. Bottom line here is Senator Cruz is absolutely correct in the assessment that too many politicians are working the Washington DC scene to their benefit, serving themselves instead of serving the people whom they were elected to represent.
Beings of Hispanic origin, It would be interesting to know, what the congressman's view is on immigration.
Congress need to get their act together .and stop behaving like kid .obviously they do note care about the people. Only their agenda and their ego.shameful
This guy is the biggest nothing the GOP has produced. But then everything is bigger in Texas.
Win? I thought this wasn't a game?
Ted Cruz is delusional to the point of idiocy! He has no end game except trashing the AHC (Obamacare). Together with his tea party they are obviously losing the argument. He thinks he can win by cherry picking certain areas of the government to re-open.
All Cruz is doing is taking care of insurance companies interest.
What a complete liar. Ted Cruz and other TeaParty republicants are responsible for this. The democrats cut spending to below 2011 levels, below the Paul Ryan plan, and the Republicans are asking for even deeper cuts. That's how the republicans "win"... by asking for things, getting their way, then turning around and demanding more. When they don't get more, they then say the democrats aren't working with them and shut the government down. This is extremely obvious to anyone who has any idea of what's going on in our government. Also, look at what's on the to-do list for the house as soon as government is reopened... Bank deregulation. Now the banks will be able to gamble with an even greater percentage of the tax payer's money. Good luck having any kind of a 401k when you want to retire kiddos. There is going to be a massive collapse of our economy and I'm sure by that time republicans and democrats will still be pointing the finger at each other for the issues. Well let the record show that Republicans want to deregulate banks, not the democrats.
Who does Senator Cruz think we are? Does he think the American people are stupid? I think it's time for him to wake up and smell the coffee. He is an embarrassment to the U.S. Congress. And yes, I'm a registered Republican.
Ted Cruz is holding all Americans hostage. How can he win when his party lost the presidency and the affordable healthcare act is the law of the land. He is totally delusional and a FRAUD!
Cruz is an opportunist and a pathological liar. He told several lies in his marathon Dr. Seuss speech, all calculated to foment opposition to the ACA.
Didn't Boehner say... "This Isn't Some Damn Game"
Thank God this lunatic chose to live in the US rather than Canada. Now if only Harper would move to Texas!
I sure hope they give this guy the nomination.
Try covering the Democrat's responsibility for the govenment shutdown. I guess it would make too much sense to have some balanced reporting. Why don't you ask the Dems who shut down the WW2 Memorial? Absolute disgrace. Imagine fighting at Omaha being elderly and your Govt. shutting down a walk-in memorial. They have no shame. Anything for political gain. Why don't you report the gross inequity of Congress being exempt from Obamacare? That might make too much sense too.