SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, returned home to a rousing welcome in Texas on Saturday after his attempt to derail Obamacare with a shutdown of the federal government led to sharp criticism of his tactics as reckless and futile.

“After two months in Washington, it’s great to be back in America,” Cruz joked in speaking to a crowd of about 750 people in a packed downtown San Antonio hotel ballroom.

Cruz was greeted with an eight-minute standing ovation in an appearance organized by the Texas Federation of Republican Women. People in attendance, many of them wearing red to show their support for keeping Texas a conservative-leaning state, lined up to greet him.

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