Cruz: Shutdown was worth it

Anne Wernikoff

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has no regrets about spurring the 16-day government shutdown.

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace asked Cruz at the Aspen Institute’s Washington Ideas Forum Thursday if it was “worth it.”

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“Absolutely,” Cruz replied.

Democrats and centrist GOP lawmakers blamed Cruz for provoking the standoff that led to the government shutdown on Oct. 1. He led the charge to push House Republican leadership to only fund the government as long as ObamaCare was defunded.

In the days leading up to the deadline, Cruz spoke on the Senate floor for more than 21 hours about the consequences of ObamaCare. The law’s insurance marketplaces launched Oct. 1. 

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After the government reopened last month, top Republicans approached Fox News’s Wallace, he said, and offered research and questions to confront Cruz.  

“If a Republican in Washington attacks Republicans from the left, this room will stand up and cheer for them. That’s a very popular thing in Washington,” Cruz said Thursday. “But if someone stands up and makes a point that I tell ya, people are feeling all over the country — which is that career politicians in both parties are focused on their own reelection instead of the pain people feel in this country — that is not a message people want to hear in Washington.”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) spoke at the Ideas Forum just before Cruz and commented on his colleague's tactics.  

“Shutting down the government injured the people of my state,” he said angrily.  

“I am elected to represent them. When we have to fly food from the food banks in Phoenix up to Tucson, a community outside the Grand Canyon, because people are out of food, then I have to say, ‘Stop. You’re wrong. You’re crazy.’ ”