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 Ted. McConnell, Collins, Garaham, Cornyn, Hatch,.....the entire Senate leadership are politically motivated and unprincipled politicians to their cells. Harry Reid beat them down on the ACA's passage and now, instead of fighting back on TV, they are running for cover.
When conservative Grover Norquist calls out Ted Cruz for throwing the Republican House into traffic and walking away you know the GOP civil war is going to tear the party apart.
“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."
Yeah, let's not do the very thing that helped to create and maintain this nation to begin with. Let's act like a bunch of 5 year olds until we get what we want. What the Republicans are doing lately reminds me of a Lord of the Flies scenario. Both parties are responsible for the mess that we call DC these days, but this stunt by the Republican party takes the cake.
Dear Senator Cruz, trying to push through piecemeal changes while the government is shut down, doesn't suit the country's needs, it suits your needs. It is neither conserative nor constructive. It's greedy. Shutting down the government was truly your intention, your words have no believability. You are untrustworthy. Quit with the hocus pocus, you are a failure at managment and decision making. All your collegues both left and right are failures. There is no confidence in the goverment at this time by many voters. Time will tell. You play a game with our livelihood. It is not something that is looked upon with favor.
When are the Republicans going to wake up and realize that the Tea Party is going to be their doom
Ohhhhhhh.......now I get it!
Ted Cruz is DELUSIONAL. That explains a lot.
Hope he gets some help.....and that his insurance covers his treatments.
Poor guy......tsk tsk.
Ted Cruz makes me want to throw up. Him and people like him make me ashamed of my country. He should be locked down on some psych ward and never let out because mental illness is the only way i can explain his opinions and behavior
A man who cares nothing for the opinions of those he aspires to join is a strange creature indeed. His most likely motivation is to secure power and influence for his own views over those of the elected representatives of the rest of the country's population. How safe is it to trust a creature who earnestly, passionately and publicly vows to resist all attempts to persuade him otherwise, that there is no Democrat, no Republican, no President, no media, main or branch, and no court, Supreme or otherwise, that will detour him from his self-appointed path to the salvation of America? Be afraid, America, be very afraid.
Wait, I thought it wasnt a game? I really wish the GOP would make up their minds.
Headline: Cruz promises Republican victory in shutdown fight .. LIES, where and when did Cruz state this. There is no reference to statement in story above. The punk who wrote this is a hate monger, no way is he a journalist.
He says the best way to get health insurance is to get a job. Than says the ACA is a job killer because employers will cut back hours. Why are they cutting back hours so they don't have to provide health insurance. So it isn't as simple as this crazy delusional freak would lead some to believe.
Ted Cruz's definition of "winning" intrigues me. "Winning" to Cruz means gutting the social safety net. We are entering political armageddon.
Talk about being delusional.
Waaah, waaah. If you don't play my way, I'm going to take my ball and go home. This Cruz guy is intelligent but a nut case. Knowing he was not going to accomplish anything good, he wasted 21 hours of congresses time when they should have been working on the nations problems. The whole lot of them should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Now they voted to pay government workers retro-actively. So why not pay them to work instead of paying them while off. That's almost like welfare. Oh well, we are fast becoming a welfare nation.
Nice try, Cruz, but most people aren't buying it. And please run for President - I will enjoy watching you be on the wrong end of a landslide.
I just read an article stating that Ed Meese and Cruz planned this in August
Thank god for Sen Cruz! Now the Republican Party has to work to get rid of all the Rino's......
Ted Cruz, you won't win anything outside of Texas. So enjoy it while it lasts.
So, Cruz. Tell us again how great it feels to single have handedly overthrown the American government.
Makes you feel all important and such, eh?
Like father, like son.
“This isn't some damn game,” Boehner told Cruz.
Cruz is like a rapist who says he'll burn your house down if you don't let him rape your daughter. Then when he's told no, he sets the house ablaze and says the fire is your fault for not letting him have his way.
Cruz' priority is raising his visibility with tea party voters and bringing in campaign donations, no matter what the impact his actions have on this country.
“'Let me be very clear, I don’t think we should be in a shutdown,' Cruz said...."
This from the same man who spent 21 straight hours telling the Senate why he's rather shutdown the government than not defund Obamacare.
Sorry, Ted, we are NOT buying the story now!
Life must be easy when you're delusional:To not have to deal with the burden that is reality....just turn your brain off...it sounds so nice.
and the 3rd anti-Christ has made his appeareance. This man will divide and tear down first America with this shutdown, then the world economy on October 17 when USA debt ceiling is not raised, again with this man's hand in the chaos. While we stand by distracted talking about Miley Cirus and the Kardashians, life as we know it is being taken away from us by this greedy self serving false prophet. PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE! ITS TIME.