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."
Cruz does not want the ACA as law because it has a mandatory mental health screening. He would fail.
"We didn't ultimately win this battle," This guy just gets funnier and funnier. This will become real interesting if he gets arrest power like McCarthy.
Bucking the system of the party and going after the bosses. Worked so well for Christie, I'm sure it'll work even better for Cruz.
The republicon party will come together again. But tailgunner cruz will not get an invite..........and neither will lee of Utah. Party unity does not include self immolation with the craziest members leading the charge.
And how many Texans are deeply ashamed that this Cuban/Canadian is making their state look even worse than it usually does?
Yes! How dare the party bosses tell him that an idea that cannot work and can only do harm and then have it not work and cause harm?
I don't want reality! I want reality to be as I think it should be! How dare these bad people stop my dreams? Waaaaah!
Yes Ted, blah, blah, blah – keep making the mid-term elections even better and better for sane Americans (i.e. those that aren't stupid enough to live in Texas). Here's hoping to a Palin/Cruz ticket in 2016.
for the love and good of alll americans , even the red necks, yes red necks. stop covering this liar, racists. hypocrite and dihonest man cruz
Cruzs should go hunting with dick cheney.
Ted Cruz is a terrorist. Send him to the bottom of the ocean!! How can you SHEEP not see how CORRUPT that him and the rest of CONGRES are??!?!??! Your governemnt DOES NOT have your best interest in mind and NEVER has or WILL!
You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir?
As long as this narcissistic sociopath is surrounded by reporters hanging on his every word there will never be a return to sanity in Congress.
It's a shame that the flock is being led right off the cliff. I'll put my money on Cruz and individual liberty to choose.
Suggestion: Why doesn't the Tea Party create it's own party, separate from the Republicans, and make Cruz the head of that Party!
You have a great country and I enjoy U.S. politics and history. Very few, if any, Canadians are like Ted Cruz.....please don't send him back! He makes our politicians appear well balanced and reasonable.
You don't work for 26 million. You work for a minority of red necks that give you the marching orders. You are a sold out and should be a shame of your self.
Politicians like you are destroying America.By the way i belong to the 47% that voted for Obama. I have worked 51 years in this country . I am a proud Viet Nam Vet and have a Republican Household Iincome.
The Republican party doesn't have the guts or sense to expel him from the party. Best thing they could do, show the the Party has control of itself.
"Ted Cruz represents the people of Texas the way we voted him into do. We are sick and tired of the old establishment Republicans and Democrats and we sent him up there to let them know and shake things up. He did exactly that. Blame us for hating on ya'll. He just did his job. Those that don't like him are racist because he is brown. Shame on your racism. Cruz for President 2016!"
Let me assure you, cjb, that I worked very hard for Paul Sadler's campaign for the U.S. Senate in Texas last year. There are some strong Democrats in Texas that know Cruz is not only bad for Texas, but bad for the country. There just aren't enough of us at the present time to chance things, but it's coming. It's definitely coming! Rest assured, Ted Cruz does NOT represent the majority of Texans.
Believe the guy is being paid by Obama to screw up the Republican Party.
What a nut job.
Memo to Sen. Cruz......There are 49 other states in America besides Texas.....I already hate the Dallas Cowboys ....Now I hate you too Teddy!
Ted Crud: He embodies what is wrong with Texas..
Only kidding about that, but if he split the GOP with his own club, with jackets with teacups on the back, he might as well declare for Obama.
He does NOT represent all Texans. I'm a Texan, and I don't want to be associated with this guy. Most of my Republican pals don't either. Hopefully our state will come to its senses and stop letting this guy represent us.
You have to feel sorry for Texas. Clearly, the state needs more mental health funding.
A third party, a teabagger party, would make the Republic party what it actually is, a small minority that acquired it's voice only through manipulation of voting districts. Need more like Cruz