It was classic Cruz, smoothly delivered and carefully worded.
“I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown,” Sen. Cruz (R-TX) told ABC’s Jonathan Karl in an interview that aired this morning on This Week, about the 16-day partial government shutdown of October 2013.
Karl shot back, “The only reason 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.”
Not only that, Karl pressed, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blasted far-right conservatives for a failing strategy. “I can’t help what other people say,” replied Cruz.
The firebrand freshman senator, named a 2013 This Week game changer by ABC News, said conservatives have been “trying to ... listen to the American people, listen to those over two million people who were saying [about Obamacare], This thing ain’t working,” Cruz said in the interview.
Cruz gained national attention when he spoke for 21 hours during the filibuster in September without taking a single break. He was later lampooned on late-night talk shows and elsewhere for his spotlight-hogging antics, which included reading Green Eggs and Ham during the anti-Obamacare filibuster, the second longest filibuster in congressional history.
Separately on Sunday morning, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said he’s standing by earlier claims that an organization connected to al Queda was involved in the September 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. “It was accurate,” Issa said on NBC's Meet the Press. “There was a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with al Qaeda."
The assertion by Issa, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s handling of the attack in Benghazi in September of 2012, came after a detailed report by David D. Kirkpatrick in The New York Times on Dec. 28 attributed the raid to local militants, rather than to al Qaeda or some other international terrorist outfit.
The Times report said a major cause of the attack, which killed four Americans, was outrage over an American-made video that was offensive to Muslims. “The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs,” according to the article.
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