Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is blasting members of his own party for blocking efforts to defund Obamacare, but he says there is a way to stop the president’s health-care plan which he calls a “train wreck.”
“If the ordinary rules of Washington apply, we can’t win this fight,” the Texas lawmaker said Wednesday on Rush Limbaugh’s radio program. “The only way we will be able to win this fight is if we see a grass-roots tsunami.”
"If you're fed up with politicians not listening to the people, if you're fed up with politicians not having the courage to stand up and fight Obamacare, go to dontfundit.com, sign the petition, pick up the phone, call your representative, call your senator, put Facebook comments on their Facebook pages and get 10 of your friends to do the same," said Cruz.
"If we get a million and then 2 million and then 3 million Americans standing up, holding our elected officials accountable, that's how we change the rules. That's how we get 41 Republicans in the Senate, and that's eventually how we get Democrats and actually stop this train wreck that is Obamacare."
Cruz admitted it was "unfortunate and disappointing" that Republican lawmakers were caving in to Democrats when they're needed the most.
"The people who are leading the fight to stop the effort to defund Obamacare are Republicans. It's not Democrats. That's a sad state of affairs. I hope it changes. I hope the Republicans stop trying to prevent us from defunding Obamacare, and instead we come together," he said.
"For months, Mike Lee and I and others have been pressing [fellow Republicans], saying, 'OK, what is your plan to stop Obamacare?' And for months, the answer has been crickets. It's been, 'Well, we want to take lots of symbolic votes, but we're not gonna do anything to actually stop it. And as you know, the exchanges are gonna be up and running shortly, on January 1, the subsidies are scheduled to kick in. And President Obama's strategy is fairly simple. He wants to get as many Americans as possible addicted to the subsidies, addicted to the sugar because he knows that in modern times, no major entitlement has ever been implemented and then unwound."
Some Republican leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner, have warned of a backlash against the party if their moves are perceived as shutting down the government, reminiscent of similar events in 1995.
But Cruz diminished that claim, saying, "There was some short-term political pain, but at the same time because Republicans stood together, we saw year after year of balanced budgets which never would have happened if Republicans had folded like they're trying to fold right now.
"I think what should happen [is] the House should pass a continuing resolution. It should fund every bit of the federal government except Obamacare. It should explicitly prohibit any funding – federal funding, discretionary or mandatory funding – for Obamacare. And then if President Obama threatens to shut down the federal government, he may well try to do that, if that happens, we gotta stand up and do something we haven't done in a long time: win the argument. Say, 'Listen, we have voted to fund the government, we want to keep the government open, why is President Obama threatening to shut it down?'"
The fight to defund Obamacare is taking place as the U.S. and other nations have been preparing for a possible attack against Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons on citizens of that country.
Cruz indicated he sees a connection between the two issues.
"You look at Syria and you look at Obamacare, and they're tied together," he explained. "They're tied together by an arrogance of this administration, that they don't believe they're accountable to the American people, and they're going to jam their agenda down the throats of the American people. And on both of them, the answer is the same as it was on guns, it's the same as it is on stopping amnesty, which is the American people have to rise up and hold every elected official accountable, Democrat and Republican, every one of us including me."