A defiant Ted Cruz vowed to continue fighting Obamacare on Sunday, and criticized his fellow Senate Republicans for not coalescing around his failed strategy.
“I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare,” the Texas Republican said on ABC’s This Week.
His comments came three days after Congress pulled together to reopen the government. A battle over defunding President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, spearheaded by Cruz, led to a 16 day government shutdown that some estimate cost the country $24 billion.
“We didn’t win this battle, but I am encouraged that we have demonstrated that when the American people stand up, the House of Representatives will listen, and I hope in time the Senate will listen also,” he said.
Asked about his appetite for another standoff when the current debt ceiling extension expires, Cruz signalled his willingness to do it again. “What I intend to do is continue standing with the American people to work to stop Obamacare because it isn’t working,” he said.
In an interview played on CNN’s State of the Union, Cruz reiterated that he is not finished attacking the nation’s fledgeling health care plan. “There are a lot of politicians in Washignton who want to put Obamacare behind us, who say, ‘Ok fine, no more. No more discussing Obamacare.’ You know what? The American people are not satisfied with that.”
Cruz insisted he was acting on behalf of Americans who share his position. While his statement is not necessarily supported by national polls, he is able to assert enough anecdotal support, particularly in Texas, to form the basis of a critique of some of his Washington colleagues.
He continued to blame Senate Republicans for not supporting the House in its endeavour. “The reason this failed is simple: Senate Republicans didn’t unite,” he said. Implicit in Cruz’s criticism is an admonisment of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. Without critizing McConnell directly, Cruz expressed a lack of respect for party hierarchy, saying “I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington.”
On ABC, Cruz repeated the line that is quickly becoming his trademark: “I’m not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate.”