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."
In response to likening the GOP to the KKK ...
Phil Esteen said, " They are not the same organization, they just have the same demographic as members!"
He doesn't have a chance in hell to get elected for any national office.. Thank God
It will be a sad day for America if this guy becomes president one day. The media needs to stop all the free publicity!
In other news Canada and Cuba are duking it out to see who can reward their top operative with the highest honor.
The media needs to stop giving Ted Cruz so much free publicity! Or else we are going to get this guy for president in 2016 we have been though enough 8yrs with Bush and 8 yrs with Obama enough already lets get it right next time!
He is becoming the Sen. Joe McCarthy of this century !!
"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." HUH? The gov gets approx 250 billion per month in revenue. Praetorian media, keep it up.
Rand Paul 2016!
Not sure how Cruz can say that the American people don't want Obamacare when the latest polls show the opposite.I think he's there to promote his own agenda not America's.
Ted Cruz is a power-hungry maniac. A dangerous man who doesn't have a sincere bone in his body. His words are empty and void of conviction. Open your eyes, people... Sarah Palin with an Ivy League degree in a suit! In the end, he'll become wealthy from peddling his vomit.
Could someone launch that defective Cruz missle into space - please!!!
Ted, can you explain what you're up to. I mean, you can't run for POTUS as you were born in Canada, so what's up with the contrarian attitude? Do you need to dazzle the folks in Houston that bad? Did Osteen threaten to pull the support?
God bless Ted Cruz.
A mean spirited man who worships money and power. Oh... a conservative.
This > ""It was a fool's errand to start with. It was never going to succeed,"....
Yet it's better to step forward for something you believe in and thought a fool - than to do nothing and..... be.. a coward.
Ted Cruz is irresponsible and ignorant. There was a time when politicians cared about the entire country...not just their own voters. He should be ashamed of himself. I now believe that this man is a bigot. If the KKK had a poster boy, he is it.
Since Ted Cruz was born in Canada, he cannot be elected President here,most fortunately.
He does not like the party boss, because he wants to be the boss. Love it. when Republicans do not agree with each other. But, the Radio Talk show does not say anything about this. And these are the people who give the news fair and balance. Hypocrisy!!!! Well,they make millions at the cost of these ignorant Republicans!!!
Quit covering this guy.....he loves attention whether it be good or bad. He's a "selfie" and couldn't care less about Americans. Never said this before, but if he were to ever become President, I would leave this country!
This guy is going to do the Republican party in , and to say that he speaks for all 23 Million Texans is a joke.
This is not the way to go about changing the so called establishment and the millions that get hurt in the process..
Had he succeeded in us defaulting and us not paying our bills to the rest of the world, would have plunged millions into poverty.
He is on a dangerous path and you people that get up and worship him like some god are just plain ignorant and selfish idiots.
Ted Cruz don't think you are speaking for the Nation. You get free entitlements (like health care!) while the average American drowns in insurance premiums. You almost took this great Nation to the brink of disaster and cost American taxpayers almost $25 billion dollars in the process! I hope your 15 minutes are up- because you don't represent me or anyone who truly cares about a civilized democracy.
Actually, if he isn't happy with the GOP he should run as an independent. If the party remains split the next loss will have to be shouldered by kooks like him.
Ted Cruz it is way past the time for you to leave America and take texas with you.
The scariest part? Cruz has reproduced.