Sen. Ted Cruz shakes hands with David Barron after his nomination hearing, Nov. 20, 2013.
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Ted Cruz ends 2013 defiant


Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz ended 2013 on a defiant note, blaming Democrats for the October government shutdown he stongly supported and insisting he is focused on governing rather than politics.

In an interview with ABC’s This Week, Cruz called his first year in the Senate a “whirlwind” and decried the partisan rancor that has made legislating nearly impossible. “This is a city where it’s all politics all the time. And I’m trying to do my best not to pay attention to the politics, to focus on fixing the problems,” Cruz said.

Before the 16-day shutdown, Cruz pushed the most conservative House Republicans to oppose any compromise that would have kept government services functioning, a move that earned scorn from Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Cruz also faced derision from members of both parties for a 21-hour speech in which he railed against the Affordable Care Act.

Cruz, one of several radical conservative leaders who is seen as a likely candidate for president, also said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News that he had hired a lawyer to help him officially renounce his Canadian citizenship.

Hardball with Chris Matthews, 11/29/13, 1:05 PM ET

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Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz ends 2013 defiant