Cruz: Send ‘search team’ if I don’t return from White House

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) joked that he might not be seen again after Friday’s meeting with President Obama at the White House.

"After leaving here, I'm going to be going to the White House," he said at the Values Voter Summit of religious conservative activists. "I will make a request. If I'm never seen again, please send a search and rescue team. I very much hope I don't wake up tomorrow morning among the Syrian rebels."

The line drew big laughs from the activist crowd, which ate up his attacks on the Obama administration and establishment conservatives.

Members of the crowd also whooped when he mentioned heading to the White House, a sign many want to see him run for president.

Senate Republicans are meeting with Obama Friday to discuss how to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government. Obama invited every member of the Senate Republican Conference to the meeting, including Cruz.

Cruz was one of the driving forces behind the call to defund ObamaCare in a government funding bill, which helped cause the shutdown.

The senator's poll numbers have taken a hit amid the shutdown fight. A Gallup survey released Thursday showed that 26 percent have a favorable view of Cruz, while 36 percent see him unfavorably.

The senator was defiant Friday and told the conservative crowd the battle over the healthcare law could be won.

"The greatest trick the left has ever played is to convince conservatives we cannot win. The media will tell us that believing in free market values, believing in the Constitution, believing in freedom are extreme views. It is a lie," he said to cheers.