By Justin Sink
President Obama swiped at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on his home turf Wednesday night, telling supporters at a pair of fundraisers in Dallas that Republicans had pursued a “radical” and “destructive position” during last month’s government shutdown.
“Right now there’s a group that — and a few of them are from Texas — who just aren’t willing to do the hard work and compromise necessary to move the country forward,” the president said.
The president added that he was interested in getting the GOP “functioning” again following the shutdown.
“I have to say that I am a proud Democrat and committed to the values that the Democratic Party represents, but I’m also interested in getting the Republican Party back in a functioning state because this country has two parties. We need both of them operating in a way that allows us to move forward,” Obama said.
Obama never mentioned Cruz by name, but references to “one senator from Texas” as he was discussing last month’s fiscal battles were clear.
Cruz was a pivotal figure in the showdown, rallying Republican lawmakers to resist passing a continuing resolution without securing a promise from Democrats to delay or defund ObamaCare.
The president was in Texas on Wednesday to attend an ObamaCare event with individuals helping to sign consumers up for healthcare coverage, in addition to a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraiser.
Earlier Wednesday, Cruz blasted the president’s visit to his home state as bringing “nothing with it but broken promises.”
“He promised that Americans could keep their health care plans. We were told premiums would go down, that jobs would be created. And we now know these are all false promises,” Cruz said in a statement.
The Texas lawmaker has defended his role in the shutdown, which ultimately ended without Democrats agreeing to slow the healthcare law.
“One of the things we accomplished in the fight over ObamaCare is we elevated the national debate over what a disaster, what a train wreck, how much ObamaCare is hurting millions of Americans across this country,” Cruz told an audience in Iowa late last month.
Obama’s remarks came at a pair of events benefiting Senate Democrats. The first, at the home of Dallas lawyer Peter Kraus, hosted around 100 people at $15,000 per plate. The second, a high-dollar affair with a $32,400 ticket price, was at the home of attorney Russell Budd.