Despite the non-stop criticism of his decision, Sen. Ted Cruz said the partial government shutdown was a success because it has increased discussion about the fight over Obamacare.
"One of the things we accomplished in the fight over Obamacare is we elevated the national debate over … how much Obamacare is hurting millions of Americans across this country," Cruz said.
His announcement at the GOP annual fundraising dinner in Iowa is an example of what Republicans are calling the party’s lost way, and what has been at the root of intraparty fights and lost presidential elections.
During the dinner party, Republicans rarely mentioned Cruz’s attendance, instead lauding governors for creating paths to Republican success.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad praised Wisconsin and Michigan governors for trimming union rights and reducing regulation, ignoring Cruz’s efforts to defund Obamacare entirely.
In Cruz’s 40-minute speech at the fundraiser, he was vague about continued efforts to defund Obamacare, though he called it the largest impediment to economic growth.
“There will be plenty of time the coming months to talk about specific tactics and strategies,” Cruz later told reporters. “What I think is critical is we keep the focus on Obamacare, we keep the focus on the fact that this bill isn't working.''