Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) continued this week to be in denial for his role in the 2013 government shutdown even after ABC’s Jonathan Karl told him that this claims to the contrary were unbelievable.
“This is a city where it’s all politics all the time,” Cruz told Karl in an interview that aired on Sunday. “And I’m trying to do my best not to pay attention to the politics, to focus on fixing the problems.”
“Really?” Karl exclaimed, clearly not buying that the Texas Republican was not paying attention to politics.
“I know that’s hard to believe because no one in this town does that,” Cruz explained. “This is a time for people to step up and do the right thing. And that’s what I’m trying to do.”
And when it came to the government shutdown over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law — that even House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blamed on tea party-backed Republicans — Cruz insisted that his hands were clean.
“You have had a couple of months to think about this whole government shutdown strategy,” Karl said. “Now that it’s over in hindsight, are you prepared to say that it was a mistake, it wasn’t the right tactic?”
“I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown,” replied a defiant Cruz.
“No, I mean, but come on,” Karl shot back. “I mean we’re a couple months away from this, the only reason why this happened is because you insisted, Republicans insisted that Obamacare be defunded as a condition of funding the government. If you didn’t — if you took away that insistence, there would be no shutdown. I mean, really.”
But Cruz refused to accept responsibility: “You’ve got conservatives who stood strong and said let’s stop the train wreck that is Obamacare, and you’ve got Democrats in the middle of the shutdown, President Obama called every Senate Republican to the White House, sat us in a room and said, ‘I called you to tell you, we’re not going to negotiate, we’re not going to compromise on anything.'”
“Repeatedly Republicans were compromising, trying to find a middle ground. And repeatedly Democrats said, no compromise, shut it down,” he said.
Cruz, however, did disown a recently-published coloring book that praised his efforts in the Senate and claimed that the Affordable Care Act was “worse than any war.”
“But Obamacare is not worse than war,” Karl noted.
“No, of course not,” Cruz agreed.
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Dec. 29, 2013.