Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) claimed he “didn’t want a shutdown” at The Atlantic‘s Washington Ideas Forum in Washington, D.C. today, after supporting the shutdown for months.
Sen. Cruz was asked by the forum host, Fox News host Chris Wallace, if he hurt the Republicans by calling for a government shutdown, notes RawStory.com.
“That ignores who I think was responsible for the shutdown,” Sen. Cruz said. “I didn’t want a shutdown. Throughout the whole thing, I said we shouldn’t have a shutdown.”
The audience laughed in response.
“Now, folks here can disagree, but repeatedly, I voted to keep the government open,” stated Sen. Cruz. “In my view based on where things are right now, I think stopping Obamacare is the essence of pragmatism. The most pragmatic thing we could do is say, ‘Listen, this isn’t working. Let’s start over.’”
However, as far back as July, Sen. Cruz told Republicans not to vote for any budget deal that did not include the repeal of Obamacare, even if it meant a government shutdown, reported The Washington Post. He then did a 180 reversal and voted with Democrats for a budget plan, noted CNN.
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At the same forum today, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) skewered Sen. Cruz.
“Where I disagree with Sen. Cruz and I made this statement to him, publicly and privately, was shutting down the government injured the people my state!” stated McCain. “I am elected to represent them.”
“I have to say, ‘Stop! You’re wrong, you’re crazy!’” McCain yelled. “That’s what I have to say and if I sound angry, it’s because I have met and talked to constituents of mine who are on minimum wage who had to resort to go to food banks. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
Sources: RawStory.com, The Washington Post, CNN