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."
Why does he continue to say that he knows what the American people want when the polls show differently? Doesn't this make him a liar?
Is it actually possible to expel someone from a political party?
When people get wise that the Tea Party cannot deliver on their populist messages, only then will people realize what toxic and dangerous fools these Tea Party politicians are.
Until then, we are stuck with them. That doesn't mean the GOP should follow them over the cliff though. Time to separate and concentrate on widening the GOP base and appealing to a larger percentage of America or become the minority fringe party that the Tea Party seems quite willing to occupy.
Cruz and his Tea Party friends are exactly what is wrong in Washington. They are a minority of the Republican Party that seems to hijacked the party for there special interest friends. The reality of the Tea Party is they lost. The polls show it. But Cruz seems to think the views of the american people don't really matter......that they need moral leadership amd to be told what to do. I guess he wants a one class society one with the wealthy and the those that are not. Mr Cruz and his Tea Party friends are destroying this great country!
Somebody should sue those arrogant GOP morons for $24 B damage to economy they caused by their stupidity.
Between this dee bag and "Bayner" the GOP has no chance in 2016. It's sad really. Democrats have only to sit back and watch them destroy themselves. And why does everyone call him "Bayner"? Sound it out folks, you have elected a "Richard" into congress.
You actually believe it is just the TEA PARTY that doesn't want to deal? So the both sides stating they wouldn't accept a deal unless it was THEIR deal has everything to do with the TEA PARTY? Wow ignorance in America is alive and well.
Cruz and Boehner... Who elected these people?
Ted Cruz will easily win re-election in TX.
I wish I had Cruz fighting for my state.
Texas picked a lousy senator in Ted Cruz. Texas was already a political joke. For reference, see Rick Perry in his debate performance. Ted Cruz has no legislative accomplishments. Cruz does not have any ideas to make government more efficient and address real problems. He is just the latest version of stupidity and obstructionism in the Republican Party. Republicans are so bad they cannot even figure out how to make Obamacare better. They don't even know where to start.
Don' believe the media, The reason they talk bad about Cruz is because they perceive him as a threat to their liberal viewing base.The Democrats and RINO's are scared to death of him as well. Ted Cruz is highly respected by the majority of Texans. The ones that don't are lazy and taking government checks from the people that work for a living. I don;t know about you, but I'm tired of paying for them to eat fast food all day and drinking 40oz malt liquors all night off the free money this stupid government gives them.
Let's remind everyone that 41% of Texans voted for Obama and that trend is going up, up, up.
We rational Texas would like to apologize for that wacko/loco.
Why is the media giving this guy the importance? He is the talking head and doing damage to the country. Just ignore him and let him talk to himself and his "friends". Tuue Americans and I don't need to hear him. He is too repulsive.
Texas the living result of what a very bad education system does to people, Just ask Rick Perry LOL! Ted Cruz a legend in his own twisted mind.
Ted Cruz ... the mouth that bored.
Cruz is a complete lunatic.
The Tea Party may not be perfect, but when it comes down to it, they want the same things the majority of us want. Liberty and fiscally responsible spending.
If Cruz doesn't like his party then just become an independent!!! No need for the drama!!!
He works for 26 million Texans? Does that include the miilions of them that don't have health insurance and that he (and Rick Perry) are trying so hard to keep from getting it?
"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."
NOPE – I'm just fed up with Cruz!!!!!!
"Is it actually possible to expel someone from a political party?"
You just made a very important point. I am an immigrant from Venezuela and am surprised to see the poor, inferior way in which this is handled in the US. A party should be like a club or any organization: people should APPLY for admission, being ACCEPTED with the possibility of being FIRED (don't care about the procedural details).
Like in entertainment parties, you shouldn't be able to go a a party sabotage it and take the partygoers somewhere else.
If this mad egomaniac is not stopped in his tracks, America might most likely see nation-wide riots on racial basis.
It's a game to him. Unbelievable
If you don't hew to the extreme Right's line, you're called a RINO. I would suggest that it is the far Right that are the real RINO's, since the party of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and even the sainted Reagan would not recognize what the GOP is becoming today with Cruz, Paul, Bachmann et al. Shameful.