By Elise Viebeck - 10/26/13 10:04 AM EDT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) predicted Friday that Democrats will pay a high political price for supporting ObamaCare, a law he says is guaranteed to fail.
Cruz made the prediction during a speech to top Republicans in Iowa, a high-profile event for the senator following the recent government shutdown.
Addressing an Iowa GOP fundraising dinner, the Texas Republican argued that the shutdown had not been in vain because it drew attention to 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 said.
The trip to the key presidential nominating state has bolstered predictions that Cruz will seek the GOP nomination in 2016. Friday's speech marked Cruz's third visit to Iowa.
With just months before the midterm election season reaches a fever pitch, Republicans and Democrats are fighting about who will benefit most from their stance on ObamaCare.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) said Friday that her party will "run on the Affordable Care Act and win."
Wasserman Schultz noted that the law provides many benefits to women, a key voting bloc.
But other Dems have signaled fears concerning the disastrous rollout of the healthcare law's online enrollment site, which continues to face problems nearly four weeks after its debut.
A group of 10 Democratic senators, many of whom are facing challenges in 2014, are urging federal health officials to extend the enrollment period to allow applicants more time to navigate the troubled system.
Cruz predicted Friday that Democrats would be targeted next year for supporting a traditional employer healthcare subsidy for members of Congress and staff.
Critics have described the contribution as a "special exemption" now that Capitol Hill will obtain coverage on ObamaCare's new insurance exchanges.
“I promise you, come October and November of 2014, we’re going to see TV commercials all over this country of Democrats who voted to give themselves a special exemption to ObamaCare that their constituents don’t get and there are going to be some Democratic members of Congress and of the Senate who are suddenly going to be experiencing the joys of the private health-care system,” Cruz said.
Reports described Cruz's reception in Iowa as "polite" but not nearly as enthusiastic as his support in Texas, where the senator has drawn major crowds in the last week.
Cruz argued that the Republican Party's path to victory lies in arguing for policies that spur economic growth.
“If we don’t have growth, we can’t achieve anything,” he said.
"That’s what the Republican Party needs to be about. We need to be about economic growth all the time, every day, that’s how we turn the country around."