Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, argued on CBS Sunday that the government shutdown in October was not caused by the Republican party, but by Democrats and President Barack Obama.
"I think it was a mistake that President Obama and the Democrats shut the government down this fall," Cruz told "Face the Nation."
"The reason they did so is that President Obama dug in and said he wouldn't compromise and he wouldn't negotiate,” he said.
He insisted that Obama and Sen. Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., threatened and utimately caused the shutdown because they were unwilling to negotiate.
"I didn't threaten to shut down the government the last time," Cruz said. "I don't think we should ever shut down the government."
CBS host Bob Schieffer scoffed at Cruz.
“Senator, I know what Republicans were telling me, like John Boehner, who said this was a disaster and never again,” Schieffer said.
In October, Cruz and other Tea Party leaders refused to fund the government if the funding for the Affordable Care Act was not eliminated.
He called for the President to apologize for Obamacare in his State of the Union address and said Obama’s policies are driving income inequality.
“One of the things President Obama really ought to do is look in the TV camera and say to the over 5 million Americans all across this country who’ve had their health insurance canceled because of Obamacare, to look in the camera and say, `I’m sorry. I told you if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it. I told you if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. And that wasn’t true. I’m sorry,’” Cruz said.
He also said he supports New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“I think he is brash and outspoken, and I think it’s terrific that he’s been able to get elected twice as a Republican in a very blue state. I think it’s unfortunate he’s found himself in this mess, and I hope he can extricate himself. I’m certainly rooting for him to do so, because I think he’s an effective leader and I’d like to see him move on to governing New Jersey and not being mired in this scandal,” he said.
Cruz wouldn’t give a straight answer as to whether he is considering a run for president in 2016.
He just reiterated a familiar Cruz talking-point, “My focus is standing and fighting right now in the senate to bring back jobs and economic growth. Economic growth is my number one priority.”