Ted Cruz hits back at Republican critics: ‘The polar opposite to the reaction outside of Washington’

Brendan Bordelon | Contributor

Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz responded to those in his own party attacking his “fiery talk” against Obamacare, dismissing them as “career politicians” and claiming “the reaction in Washington DC is the polar opposite to the reaction outside of Washington.”

Cruz spoke with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Tuesday about the president’s healthcare law, which is currently under Supreme Court scrutiny for forcing employers to provide birth control and other services that violate their religious beliefs. The Fox host asked whether it makes more sense to chip away at Obamacare through the courts rather than directly attack the law, as Cruz has repeatedly done.

“I think today it is the essence of pragmatism to acknowledge this isn’t working,” he responded. “It’s hurting millions of Americans. We need to start over.”

Cruz also asserted that the Republican Party’s bright prospects in November are due to his tough stand against Obamacare last fall — not the pussyfooting of some of his colleagues.

“I think the result politically where we are, in terms of the national elections, is in many ways a result of millions of Americans who rose up last fall and said Obamacare is a train wreck, it’s a disaster, it is hurting millions of Americans,” he declared. “I think that elevated the national debate. And as a consequence President Obama has plummeted in the polls. Obamacare has plummeted in the polls.”

But Cavuto still wouldn’t let up, noting that most Republicans “like your message. They agree with your message. They just think that you’re a sort of ‘burn-the-house-down’ messenger, and you do more damage to the party’s prospects with that fiery talk than just dialing it back.”

“You know, it’s interesting Neil,” Cruz replied. “I think the reaction in Washington DC is the polar opposite to the reaction outside of Washington. You’re right, in Washington DC there are a lot of career politicians in both parties that don’t want change, that are invested in the status quo.”

“The greatest frustration that people across the country have is that our elected officials in both parties aren’t listening to us,” Cruz continued. “You hear that from the man and woman on the street. You hear that from Republicans, from Democrats, from independents, from libertarians: They’re not listening.”

“And so, are there folks in Washington who are dismayed that I’m doing my level best to fight for free market principles and the Constitution? Yes,” he admitted. “But at the end of the day — you know, it’s interesting, you mentioned fiery rhetoric. You’re not hearing any rhetoric from me.”

“What I’m saying is we need to listen to the people who elected us and solve the grave fiscal and economic problems we have,” the senator concluded.

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