Updated 10/22/2013 at 1:48pm
(CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz was greeted by a screaming crowd of supporters and cheers of "Thank you Ted!" and "Welcome Home!" Monday night in Texas.
The freshman senator said he was happy to be back home in Houston, and wasn't afraid to be honest about his feelings on Washington.
"It is terrific to be back in America," said Cruz as supporters waved homemade signs promoting "#MakeDCListen," a hashtag that was a prominent part of Cruz's 21-hour speech on the Senate floor in late September.
In the opinion of many on Capitol Hill, Democrats and Republicans, that speech was the kick-off of an irresponsible and destructive campaign to defund Obamacare at the risk of all else.
With the White House and Congress unable to settle their budgetary differences, the federal government was partially shut down for more than two weeks, and came very close to running out of money to pay its bills.
Cruz's colleagues in the Senate didn't stay quiet. "It was a fool's errand to start with. It was never going to succeed," Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
On CBS's "Face the Nation," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said, "Shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy."
Back in Texas, Cruz was quick to admit that he had made some enemies when he told the crowd a story about his two young daughters.
Catherine had announced at a family outing that she wanted to grow up to work in the Senate "like daddy." However, Cruz's other daughter, Caroline, immediately dismissed that as "boring." She also pointed out the fact that "by then daddy will be dead anyways."
Cruz went on to say, "I kind of wondered if Caroline had been talking to Republican leadership in Washington, if she knew something I didn't know."
If this isn't evidence enough that Cruz isn't too concerned with the "voices in Washington," when asked whether he was hoping to repair his relationships with Republican leaders, Cruz laughed. "I don't work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for 26 million Texans."
Ted Cruz won't rule out another shutdown, aide tells CNN
Cruz had some fun with the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov as well, saying, "the Nigerian e-mail scammers" had been hired to run the site.
The senator also had some harsh words, laying the blame for "a lousy deal" squarely at the feet of the Senate Republicans who didn't "unite with House Republicans."
The deal that ended the shutdown and raised the debt ceiling was passed with 87 House Republicans joining 197 Democrats to vote 'Yea' and 144 Republicans voting 'Nay.'
"We didn't ultimately win this battle," said Cruz. "But listen, no one in this room started this fight thinking it would be easy. We all knew that if we took on the Washington establishment the establishment would fight back."
Cruz assured the crowd that the past two months had seen enormous progress and that if they "follow the model" of grass-roots campaigns and citizen engagement they would "change the debate" in Washington.
Movements such as the constituent support of Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster on drones, and the backlash against gun control legislation after the shooting in Newtown, Cruz said, were evidence of effective campaigns Democrats and the White House were forced to listen to.
Cruz said the message of the rally was clear: Texans and the American people don't want Obamacare and they're fed up with Congress.
But for all his talk of blowing off the party bosses, Cruz acknowledged that success for the Republicans lay with a unified message.
"I'm hopeful, with a little bit of time and reflection, that Senate Republicans will decide to come together again," Cruz said.
"I would love to see Republican unity, to see all of us stand together against this train wreck that is Obamacare and with the American people."
Ted Cruz is mad that the entire crew does not support sinking the ship out from under themselves. Poor misunderstood guy.
Not all Texans are supportive of Cruz. There is a sane group out there that will vote against him.
Let me be the first to welcome you (and them) to REAL America!
"The Nigerian e-mail scammers?? Really Ted? Gotta keep your base of bigots happy. If Texas hates the government so much, why don't they secede?"
Yeah, they don't even use dog-whistles anymore; just right up front with the racism. The old tribalism seethes away, even when quiet; put a black man in the Oval Office, and it bursts open like a pustule.
As far as Texas seceding, I dunno - I kinda like the idea of forcing them to stay in the Union and abide by Federal laws, just out of pure spite. Texas 'necks being unhappy kinda makes ME happy. I admit, it's childish of me.
maybe Texas should secede from the US
Cruz who's that? Bozo?
"Nigerian e-mail scammers"? Classy guy, that Ted.
What about your bosses? The Koch brothers...
@Data Driven "we should probably reciprocate". WAIT!!!! Let me leave first!!!!
"It is terrific to be back in America," said Cruz as supporters waved homemade signs...
I don't care which side of the aisle you're on, if you're NOT offended by this remark, then you're NOT an American. Raphael, my ancestors have been here since before the beginning of recorded history, and I've never set foot in that cesspool that you adopted as your "homeland". How dare ANYONE – especially YOU, you foreign born POS – accuse those of us who inhabit the remaining 49 states of not being American!
Why doesn't Ted just go ahead a formalize the Tea Party as a National party? He should leave the republican party if he is unhappy with their leadership..
Cruz won his Senate seat by gaining a majority of votes in his home state, so there must be some support for him. He is doing exactly what his supporters want him to do. Will he win again? We will have to wait and see.
As for those 800,000 government employees laid off during the shutdown: they might want to think about being considered non essential by their government bosses.
As for Obamacare: I know people that have lost their insurance due to Obamacare and how have to go into the exchanges even though they were happy with what they had. Obama said we could keep what we had if we wanted to, but I guess not.
One personal friend lost his insurance. His wife has serious medical conditions. The only insurance he can get through Obamacare costs $400/month more than he was paying, and no doctors around here will accept the new insurance.
Obamacare will only increase our dependence on the Federal Government. America was not founded on the principle of having to depend upon government to take care of us. Quite the opposite.
We have to keep spreading the word that republicans need to unite under the banner of "FIX the Economy" "Fix America"....
We also need to stand united against the amnesty program the DEMs are calling Immigration reform...
He's supposedly quite intelligent, you could have fooled me. But everytime he opens his mouth he's more unlikeble – keep talking Ted.
You gotta watch out for the folks that have a chip on their shoulder. Before corporations became people, the only legal source of the larger campaign donations were your party's leaders. The leaders could make you or break you, and so you had to answer to them. Thanks to Citizens United, that is no longer the case. Politicians answer to private anonymous donors. Isn't our democracy great?
Nigerian email scammers huh Cruz?
Race baiting at its finest.
The American people do want ObamaCare. That is what the lastest polls are showing. A large percentage of people don't believe that the ACA goes far enough. Cruz, your 15 minutes of fame are over.
I love it when the media uses words like blasts, irate, livid, and the ever popular outraged. They usually use these words to describe the feelings, or body language of republicans. Those poor, poor republicans. They are just misunderstood, and so misrepresented by the mainstream media it's shameful. Until you have a chance to catch one in an interview, and see the lack of compassion and depth of understanding for the people. They believe they are on a righteous path, and they'll take down any roadblock, barricade or barrier that dares get in their way. And that includes trampling on you.
Mullah Cruz is a Reactionary. He is not a leader. he only reacts to current political situations, all the while padding his campaign funds.
Notice that no one estimated just how many people were there to welcome Ted home. I would bet it was a fairly small crowd. His extended and dysfunctional family maybe?
I feel bad for his daughters. Not only do they have to listen to their father criticized, they'll grow up to learn that he doesn't think they or any other woman between the ages of 12 and 52 has the right to manage her own life and body.
"...crowd of supporters and cheers of "Thank you Ted!"
Thank you for the billions of dollars you wasted on keeping the government shut down, putting people out of work, the trickle-down effect of those workers not doing their jobs for those who rely on teh FED (research grants, contracts, etc..) and raising the unemployment figures.
Yahoo TX voters! Bunch of yahoos. :/
Time for real Americans to stop electing these unAmerican tea party people like Cruz, who don't believe in American government.
Elect people who will make America stronger, not sabotage our government ..
Wake up Texas ! America is 50 states, not a 'lone star state', anymore.
Congress needs to censure this guy NOW. He has attacked the American people and spit on his own oath to defend the Constitution and Amendment 14. He is unfit to serve in Congress.
After he destroys our economy by wrecking our credit next year it will be too late but THEN Americans will rise up against him in anger. After it is too late.
Joseph McCarthy reincarnated.
Thank you for what? Spending 27 Billion Dollars and getting nothing? WTG Idiot! This guy will be gone soon along with the Tea Party. They will never win a "national election"