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 just as stupid as Anthony Weiner. He won't shut up until he is driven into hiding and ends his political career, which cannot come soon enough.
I think it's great that Cruz keeps talking and talking and offending and offending and crowing and crowing reminds me of a rooster I once had as a boy, he would attack his best friend.
LOL...we complain about our government and say it must go, or at least change. Out of that groups rise like the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street, and as soon as that happens we feel threatened and then protect the very thing we said we wanted gone. So, Cruz is a result of our crying and complaining and we cry and complain about him too- He wasn't enough like those people we claim to want to replace...but not with THIS guy. Part of the problem is those in politics understand this about us and know we all want change until change comes along and then we want it the way it was – and so they ignore us. Perfectly logical reaction.
"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." Poll numbers seem to disagree, Ted. A majority of Americans either DO want the ACA or feel it doesn't go far enough. Liar.
Cruz himself is the train wreck
@Dominica mamma, and Lynda
So true, you both are on point always.
Love it! Keep it up Rafael! Dems are loving it!!!
"Welcome back to the USA"? Didn't know that flying from Texas to DC meant leaving the country. That or Cruz has about as much knowledge of geography as he does government. You screwed up dude. You cost the tax payers billions, weakened our public image to the world (contrary to your belief that DOES matter a LOT), and you are so far a one-trick pony. You refuse to focus on anything except hating anything the President does. How about you start showing some leadership skills and work to improve our country instead of destroying it? How about you make some allies on the hill, which is important if you want to succeed...if you were a leader you would know that.
@Donna- maybe Texas should secede from the USA.
Donna i could not agree with you more, what are waiting for? question are you the real Donna?
Ted doesn't speak for all Texans. He's what's wrong with our current crop of Texas politicians. Don't like your house? Burn it down. How is that common sense? Obamacare is addressing an issue that needs to be address. It's not perfect but no perfect but at least doctors get a better chance of being paid and poor Texans don't have to go to ERs all the time because they don't have Health Insurance.
I take a special kind of ignorance to celebrate the terrorism this fool perpetrated.
Proven by the fact that he got elected in the first place.
can we let Texas seceded NOW.
they are not worth the trouble and take back almost $2 for every dollar the state contributes.
BUT they HATE the government that GIVES them this money.
In case you didn't get it – TEXANS don't care about anybody else but TEXAS. Also, Texas Republicans don't care about the Have Nots in TEXAS. TOM DELAY politics was and still is the epitome of the Texas Republican Party and their Gerrymandering Ways. TEXANS will gladly follow this CANADIAN PIED PIPER right off the cliff and all the way to the bottom.
"The American people want....." Mr. Cruz skipped the 4th grade class when addition was taught. That which gets the most votes is what the American people want and that is the Affordable Healthcare Act and a Liberal, not conservative, President.
Flash in the pan. It's not his politics, point of view, or ideology. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's his "freshman antics" that are pure idiocy/buffoonery.
Dear supporters of Cruz. Please keep him home next time. We have a country to run.
Signed – the rest of the country.
Bosses? Does he mean people with more experience, who are more willing to negotiate and less risky in their approaches to politics? If he means that, seems like he has a lot to learn. When does this guy come up again for a vote? Time to vote him out. The longer he stays is office, the more he keeps embarrassing the Republican party.
Drink the Cool Aid Ted 'Jim Jones' Cruz followers. You know where it got them.
To Name Henry Peace: Nigerian web scammers more than likely comes from all those spam emails of a few years ago stating someones great uncle, who was a king or some other wealthy honorary person, placed millions of dollars in an account for him before the uncle died. It goes there is a problem getting the money out and needs help. If the recipient of the email helped the spammer , there was a pledge to share his wealth. I cannot believe you have never received one of these- many I received claimed to be from Nigeria. As you probably see the Tea Party as racist the humor would have escaped you. As a former software technician/ help desk representative, this actually came across as a very funny non-racist joke. I do hope you are not awaiting a large sum of money from a nigerian stranger you helped on line.
Everyone should know this isn't about politics!! You have never seen anything like this until President Obama came into office. Why not just say what this is REALLY about. I'd have more respect for the argument because of the 'honesty', but don't hide behind calling it politics.
I love Ted Cruz. He'll be ever known as the man who destroyed the Republican party, tried but failed to destroy America and the head of the 50 or so congressman forever to be a minority party. Everyone get use to hearing this again.."Madam Speaker, Nancy Pelosi."
Ted Cruz did for the Democratic party what the party couldn't do themselves.
All Texans aren't Ted Cruz; Ted Cruz isn't all Texans. I wish he didn't represent Texas in DC. I will be voting against Mr. Cruz in the next election.
This is why the rest of the world hates us... O and Ted you don't work for the people you work for the rich and that's a sad truth.
Senator Cruz is running for President of The USA. He is giving speeches criticizing Republican leaders including Senator McCain, Senator Rand, and several others mentioned in this article. I really must congratulate Senator Cruz on being so intelligent that he alienated in his speeches many of the people that he hopes will vote for him. He really is a brilliant politician??
Cruz – you got your clocked cleaned. Biggest loss since Custer's last stand.
Keep it up – us Democrats gotta love a Republican party with an approval rating below 20%.
Ha ha ha. These last 6 years have been among the best in American history – health care for 48 MILLION people priced out by Big Insurance. Our troops are home. Our #1 enemy has been slain. We've ended Federal Discrimination on the basis of race and preference. And our unemployment rate is the lowest in 10 years.
Thank you President Obama for your steady and moderate leadership. You are truly representing the middle of American politics, which is the role of the President.
While both parties are truly dysfunctional now, Mr. Cruz's solution (destroying our entire political system) is a cure that is arguably worse than the disease. It would be good to throw the entire bunch out, starting with Cruz.