Tags: cruz | mcconell | shutdown | strategy

Ted Cruz: Not Ruling Out Another Shutdown to Fight Obamacare

By Cathy Burke   |   Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 07:00 PM

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reportedly hasn’t ruled out the possibility of another government shutdown to stop Obamacare.

The Blaze reported Thursday that Cruz isn’t in line with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s vow that there won’t be another shutdown strategy to derail President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.

But an unnamed senior Republican told The Blaze Cruz is keeping all his options on the table — including the possibility of another shutdown — to stop the Affordable Care Act.

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

"Yes, he is keeping all options on the table," the aide declared. "That said, he never wanted a shutdown. He fully supported, advocated and encouraged Congress to fund vital government services through the shutdown in order to focus completely on Obamacare."

The aide blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the president for the shutdown since they "refused to pass the bill to keep government running and then rejected smaller bills to fund specific vital services, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs."

"I don't see why he would ever rule anything out," the aide said. The aide also took a swipe at Republican leaders — without mentioning any names — for the colossal impasse, saying they made failure an inevitability from the get-go.

"Once people — high-profile Senate Republicans — started openly saying the effort was never going to work, Harry Reid and President Obama had absolutely no reason to negotiate," the aide said. "It was obvious Senate Republicans wanted to tank the deal to begin with."

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain has been among the sharpest critics of Cruz, dismissing efforts to defund Obamacare as not feasible, and branding the shutdown  "a fool’s errand."

"I think it’s been terribly handled by the White House, but let’s have a little straight talk. . . they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to handle it that way if we had not shut down the government on a fool’s errand that we were not going to accomplish," McCain said last month.

GOP strategist John Feehery told the Dallas Morning News Cruz’s shutdown strategy will make it impossible to win the GOP nomination for president in 2016 — though Cruz might score a third-party nomination if the tea party splits off.

Urgent: Do You Support Sen. Ted Cruz's Efforts to Defund Obamacare? Vote Here.

"He’s become a tea party hero," Feehery said.

But other Republicans noted that ironically, the shutdown overshadowed the glitches when the Obamacare insurance marketplaces went online Oct. 1, shielding Democrats from embarrassment.

"Obamacare is going to be the gift that keeps on giving," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

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