September 20th, 2013
03:18 PM ET
10 years ago

Ted Cruz: Obamacare fight 'just beginning'

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz used Friday's House vote to defund Obamacare to issue his own rallying cry against the law.

"The House was just step one. Step two is the Senate," the Texan said in a statement.

Cruz's words come at the end of a week where he's taken a beating from his Republican compatriots in the House of Representatives, who accuse the Texas Senator of not being committed enough in his quest to dismantle Obamacare.

On Friday, Cruz mentioned neither a government shutdown nor House Republican criticism by the likes of Rep. Peter King, who has called Cruz "a fraud." Instead, Cruz's focus was on what he said is the destructiveness of Obamacare and the need for a united GOP.

"Now is a time for party unity; Senate Republicans should stand side-by-side with courageous House Republicans," Cruz said.

"The fight to save America from Obamacare is just beginning – it may well go back and forth from the House and Senate several times – and a united Republican front means that [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and the President cannot ignore the American people."

The language is some of the strongest Cruz has used on Obamacare this week. While Cruz spent much of the summer trying to build a "tsunami" of grass-roots support against Obamacare, statements earlier this week left House Republicans feeling as if they were hanging in the wind.

In a statement issued by Cruz and fellow Senate anti-Obamacare stalwarts Mike Lee and Marco Rubio, Cruz said that Reid and Senate Democrats would "no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so."

"At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people," Cruz said.

House conservatives quickly attacked Cruz for taking the onus of defeating Obamacare off the Senate. King, himself no fan of tying the plan to defund Obamacare with the continuing resolution to fund the government, said Friday that his Republican colleague in the Senate, "is a fraud" who will "no longer have any influence in the Republican Party" after the House vote, which could potentially lead to a government shutdown.

House Republicans question Cruz’s Obamacare-defunding fervor

Even those in the House supportive of Cruz's anti-Obamacare stance were extremely critical of the couched language.

While he hadn't seen Cruz's statement at the time, Rep. Blake Farenthold, a fellow Texan, said the House GOP had given Cruz and other GOP Senators "what they asked for; I was more hopeful they would be more positive about it and fight for it."

Cruz has been on the defensive ever since. He's said he wants "to commend" members of the House and Republican leadership "for sticking their neck out" on the issue. Cruz has said he'll do whatever it takes to defund Obamacare, even a filibuster on the Senate floor.

–CNN's Ashley Killough, Deirdre Walsh and Ann Caldwell contributed to this report.

Filed under: Health care • House Republicans • Ted Cruz
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Just beginning? So 5 years of rabid, ideological demagoguery and legislative tempter tantrums was just the prelude?


    September 20, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    The American people are listening to you like you are listening to those funny voices in your head.
    It's not enough that we don't like you and think you Re a Canadian lunatic but your own party has had enough of you too!

    September 20, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Who gave this CANADIAN any authority? The last time I checked, the "AMERICAN People" elected Pres. Obama by a majority. That means we voted for his agenda as well which means the Affordable Care Act moron.

    September 20, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Wow. He's stepped over the edge, and wants everyone to go with him. He's too conservative to back down. Actually, being so conservative is what caused him to make this horrific tactical error. I'm so glad this man will never be POTUS.

    September 20, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Sack all GOP thugs in 2014, just remember this.

    September 20, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, OK, then, by all means Ted Cruz (R-Canada) ... fight on. Frankly, though, you bore me.

    @Dominican mama: I'm headed over to Data's. You in?

    P.S. (I'm done for the day. Have a great week-end.)

    September 20, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Romy Monteyro

    Keep it up, Senator Cruz. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! That's the American way of doing things when something stupid like Obamacare comes along and the liberals want to ram it down our throats! Like what John Paul Jones, the father of the U.S. Navy said, when he was asked if he wants to surrender: " Quarters? I have not yet begun to fight!" And he won! His ship the "Bonhomme Richard" was sinking, but he and his fellow brave American sailors captured the British ship "HMS Serapis"! Sink Obamacare and impeach Obama, and sanity will return to this great country of ours! Kudos to you, Senator Cruz!

    September 20, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    Well if it isn't Cuban Canadian born wannabe POTUS Cruz......

    Thank you Ted, and you too GOP, you are the greatest gift a dem could receive. Please continue alienating everyone that's not a rich, white, male republican.

    September 20, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  9. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, UFCW, UNITE-HERE support the repeal of Obamacare

    Three unions stand with the Republicans to stop the Obamacare train wreck. It will destroy the middle class and the 40 hour work week that built this country.

    No train wrecks. No 30 hour work weeks. NO OBAMACARE.

    September 20, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. just asking

    how many democrats voted with the republicans to defund obamacare???? haven't seen a list of the heroes yet.

    September 20, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    No unions stand with republicans!

    September 20, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Please publish the list of zeroes who voted to shut down government from the Democratic Party.

    September 20, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. jinx9to88

    I like how the Repubs say the majority of the American people have spoken, but what he fails to realize 90% of the American people wanted background checks on guns sales but "We the people" seen where that went. GOP dont represent the majority and never will, GOP represent the rich minority period.

    September 20, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  14. sonny chapman

    If we renamed it "The Bob Dole/Richard Nixon/Mitt Romney Personal Responsibility Health Care Act" would Repubs. still hate it ?

    September 20, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Donna

    The legislation was approved on a party-line 230-189 vote, with Rep. Scott Rigell (Va.) the only GOP "no" vote. Two Democrats voted for the measure: Reps. Jim Matheson (Utah) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.).

    Bipartisan support in the House to defund Obamacare! Very good!! But disappointing that only two House Democrats care more about their party and saving face than saving their country and YOUR healthcare system. Wake up America. You need to get rid of as many of these leftists as you can in 2014.

    September 20, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  16. Laverne

    This man is so divisive and I am curious to see how many dumb, scared republicans are going to follow him into destruction!

    September 20, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    @Romy, don't forget that Rafael McCarthy/helms/hitler is Canadian. He wouldn't know the first thing about American history.
    You are obviously as demented as he is. Restoring sanity? when our duly elected president is no longer president?
    Go back to watching that fat radio boy and insanity.

    September 20, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Tony

    Sorry, there is no other thing on the Republican agenda, unless they want to ban abortions 40 times. Some leader you are, Cruz- you didn't even believe that repeal will work in the Senate, yet you want the House to start what you can't finish in the Senate.

    September 20, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Bipartisan support in the House to defund Obamacare!"

    2 Dems? Then I guess you have to admit that opposition to it was also bipartisan. Do you ever have anything to say that ISN'T nonsense?

    September 20, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. don in albuquerque

    I thought the Antichrist was an individual, not a whole political party. The time has come to make the GOTP a part of long forgotten history.

    September 20, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. anonymous

    A majority of the American people want Obamacre GONE. We stand behind the Republicans in this matter.

    September 20, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  22. freedom

    This is courageous and right. How refreshing!

    September 20, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. don in albuquerque

    @anonymous-Put the colander back on your head and go outside to play. There are adults in here.

    September 20, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. jinx9to88

    @ anonymous – A majority of the American people want Obamacre GONE.


    LMAO!!! A majority of American people (90%) wanted background checks on gun sales. It didnt happen. Whats your point?

    September 20, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. Dallas

    I can't believe the people of my state elected this lunatic. As I've stated many times before and I feel it necessary to reiterate it here, it's not Obamacare these looney republicans hate (because for one thing they don't understand it and evidently have no regard for the SCOTUS decision) it's President Obama they hate and if you don't think all this is nothing but racisim, then you haven't been paying attention. November 2014 can't come soon enough to relegate these fools to the ash heap of history.

    September 20, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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