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."
I'm happy to hear Ted Cruz claim that he represents the 26 million people of Texas but there are more people in Texas who have no health insurance (6.2 million, 22.5% highest rate of uninsured of any state) than voted for Ted Cruz (4.4 million). Is he so arrogant that he feels he is really representing what is best for them?
Texas along with Ted Cruz back to Mexico ...
Can we have a recall election to get rid of Cruz? He is a disgrace to Texas.
The Republicans should see this as an opportunity to gain centrist support, and attack the Tea Party with both barrels.
"I say, Mortimer! People are holding us accountable for the shutdown we demanded. How could the FOX opinion polls have gotten it so wrong?"
These posts are a bit ridiculous, most of you have no idea what your talking about. First off unemployment rates are not low, just because somebody couldnt find a job and gave up trying it doesnt mean they arent unemployed. if Americans really wanted obamacare you wouldnt have to make a law forcing them to pay for it. also congress hasnt had the money to pay for their bills since 1913, dont believe me? look it up, a debt is a debt, they are just paying bills with an I O U that will never be paid considering there hasnt been a national surplus in a long time
Time to clean out the 'party bosses' of BOTH parties. Like diapers, they should be changed often – and for the same reason!
"Sen. Ted Cruz was greeted by a screaming crowd of supporters and cheers of "Thank you Ted!" and "Welcome Home!" Monday night in Texas." Only in Texas...
The GOP can only survive in elections on a State level where the idiots vote in like minded idiots.
Cruz is beyond pathetic. It would be interesting to look at his bank account to see what the main source of his "income" is, and it probably will show that he is much more a lobbyist for the private health insurance than a senator.
This guy is so clueless I can't hardly believe it.
Well, the American people overwhelmingly were against Cruz's policy to shut down the government, so stop claiming you were working for the American people... But then again, this is a man who is a pathalogical liar and has no grip on reality, so I guess because there are a few Americans who support him, that is America to him.
Write down you thoughts about this man. Check back in a year and see how accurate you were. This also happened in 2008..........remember?
At first I wondered whether Cruz is backing the wrong (Tea bag) horse, but then it occurred to me that he is from Texas, so there's no other horse in the race – unless he wants to be President.
This creep costed the American economy $24 BILLION - how does that compare to the cost of Obamacare? and we got NOTHING. Shut up Ted Cruz. You do not speak for this Texan. Go back to Canada, please.
"I don't work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for 26 million Texans." God bless Ted Cruz. If he can't save the USA, I would love to see him be the first President of the Republic of Texas.
To Tommy – What happened to the Republican Party, the Party of Abraham Lincoln? Simple, the Tea Party hijacked it as their own and continue to systematically expell the traditional members. The Senate needs to expell Senator Rafael.
okay, so he doesn't work for the party bosses. He "works" for Texans – tho I doubt that many support what he helped do.
But, then he says he wants republicans to unite?
But, senator, those other senators don't work for you or the tea party. A lot of people want the ACA. Only about 30% want to see the ACA repealed. Another 30-40% don't think it goes far enough. Cruz is a nut job taking the opinions of some, telling them lies and then getting these people to parrot his nonsense.
A democracy depends on an EDUCATED electorate. Cruz and his followers aren't smart enough to make an informed decision.
Give 'em hell, Senator.
And some people will think he can unify America.
Anyone who thinks President Obama is a socialist has not studied socialism. Admit it folks you just don't like a minority being president. As far as Cruz- if it takes you anymore than a couple of days to figure out that this guys is a maniac you are dim.
Look at the photograph of this man. Would you buy a used car from this character?
Cruz is one of the most illogical, irrational thinking people of his time, who in their right mind would deny 40 Million people a chance at healthcare? Answer:A Big Fool
Senator Rafael works to his patrons – Charles and David, and they live in New York. However, spending 22 cents on a dollar more than we take in is a problem that needs some attention. That Congress has not agreed on a budge in four years is a problem. Immigration needs worked on. The trade deficit needs attention. The ACA needs some serious attention, but surely there is some good stuff in there somewhere. There's lots that the Senator from Texas should be working on other than making a rediculas mess of things.
Each time I hear/see Cruz on TV, I have to disinfect and shower because of how slimy he is.
Can only hope 26 million Texans don't make the same mistake twice (but... I'm betting they probably will... along with the Ohioans who will probably vote Boehner back in office...) At least Hillary will have a majority of the House and the Senate as the next President...
Yes anyone who says the individual should take responsibility, that the government is not the answer and that all those that the government has brainwashed to believe they are their savior will vilify a man who is willing to stand up and tell the truth. A Democrat has never ever stood against the status quo. WHy? Because they created it to give them power and money and the idiot in the White House is their winning race horse. Never mind that he has led us down the path of destruction. Oh, I love America, Right Obama, the only thing you love is yourself and your power. What a Joke. I wish we had hundreds more like Ted Cruz. Here is the deal all of you sucking at the government teat, when it all falls apart you will knock on my door and beg for food and when I refuse you will try to take it. Yeah I said try because what I worked for I keep. You live off the government so go knock on obama door. We need to Kick Dems and Rep sycophants out of office now and put true conservatives in office. If not we best prepare for a real revolution it is the only way to save America.