(CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz argued Thursday that people are starting to understand why he and other conservative activists embraced a strategy that tried to derail Obamacare this year but instead resulted in last month's government shutdown.
Speaking at the Aspen Institute's Washington Ideas Forum in Washington, the Texas Republican said the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov and revelations of people losing their health care insurance have led to changed feelings about his strategy.
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"A few weeks ago there were lots of people - particularly in Washington - that were saying, 'Why are you guys fighting so hard on this?' And with just the passage of a few weeks, people aren't asking that anymore," he said.
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Cruz added that those who joined him in the effort are feeling "vindication" in the wake of a barrage of negative headlines about the botched Obamcare rollout.
"We've seen that those millions of Americans were right, and I wish Congress had listened to them before" people began getting cancellation notices, he said.
Asked if the shutdown was worth it, Cruz said, "Absolutely."
Among those who are changing their tune, he said, are some of the same congressional Democrats who refused to compromise on Obamacare earlier this year.
"In the last few weeks over a dozen Democrats have publicly called for delaying Obamacare in significant respects," he said, referring to some vulnerable Democrats up for re-election who want the administration to push back the deadline for enrolling in health care insurance because of the turbulent launch.
The reason they didn't support delaying parts of Obamacare earlier, Cruz said, was because "it was a simple, partisan, political decision by the White House" to let the government shut down.
"I remember in the middle of the shutdown the president invited the Republican senators to the White House. We all sat there in a room and he came out and said, 'I'm here to tell you I will not negotiate. I will not compromise on anything.' That's not a reasonable position," Cruz said.
"That's why we had a shutdown. Because the White House believed, politically, it benefited them to shut down the government."