Ted Cruz faults his party for agreeing to 'lousy' deal to reopen the government

Politics Confidential

The Texas Republican, who many Republicans and Democrats alike blame for triggering the confrontation that led to the shutdown, told “Politics Confidential” that the agreement that allowed the government to reopen late last week is “lousy.”

“The deal we got ... was a lousy deal,” Cruz said. “The Washington establishment sold the American people down the river. It provided no relief for the millions of people who were hurting because of Obamacare.”

Cruz faulted Senate Republicans for accepting the last-minute compromise that was struck between Senate leaders Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“The reason this deal -- the lousy deal -- was reached ... is because unfortunately Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans,” he said.

With another possible government shutdown looming on Jan. 15, 2014, if Republicans and Democrats fail to reach a long-term compromise on the budget, Cruz would not rule out the possibility of once again threatening a shutdown unless the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

“What I intend to do is continue standing with the American people to work to stop Obamacare, because it isn't working, it's costing people's jobs, and it's taking away their healthcare,” Cruz said.

Still, Cruz insisted that he never wanted a shutdown in the first place.

“Let me be very clear, I said throughout this, we shouldn't have a shutdown,” Cruz said. “I don't want a shutdown, I repeatedly voted to open the government.”

Instead, he said, the responsibility for the shutdown should be placed on Democrats for their unwillingness to compromise on funding for the Affordable Care Act.

“There never would have been a shutdown if Harry Reid and President Obama hadn't said ‘we will not compromise, we will not negotiate, shut the government down,’” he said.

Asked about the fact that he has faced public ridicule from his colleagues in Congress, including many members of his own party, Cruz said he’s only concerned with the opinions of his Texas constituents -- not his fellow senators.

“I'm not serving in office because I desperately needed 99 new friends in the U.S. Senate,” Cruz said. “Given the choice between being reviled in Washington, D.C., and appreciated in Texas, or reviled in Texas and appreciated in Washington, I would take the former 100 out of 100 times.”

For more of the interview with Ted Cruz, including his explanation about why he says Washington is broken, check out this episode of “Politics Confidential.”

ABC’s Robin Gradison, Betsy Klein, Tom Thornton, Wayne Boyd and Barry Haywood contributed to this episode.