Exclusive–Cruz: Only Grassroots Can Ensure Victory in Obamacare Funding Fight
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) told Breitbart News Monday that he and other Senate conservatives like Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) need help from the grassroots around the country to take down Obamacare.
Citing his recent speech in Colorado at Denver’s Western Conservative Summit, Cruz said “the rise of the grassroots [is] being able to drive policy outcomes in Washington. In Denver, I talked about how we saw earlier this year, both with the drone fight and with guns, the grassroots rose up in incredible numbers, and changed the entire debate in Washington and won the fight.”
“With respect to defunding Obamacare, if traditional Washington rules apply, we cannot win,” Cruz said in a phone interview. “If success depends on convincing senators in the Republican cloakroom, it will not work because far too many are afraid of the electoral consequences. As a result, I cannot win this fight. Mike Lee cannot win this fight. Marco Rubio can’t win this fight. No politician in Washington can win this fight. The only way we will win this fight is if thousands upon thousands of Americans rise up and demand of our elected officials that they do the right thing."
Cruz and his conservative colleagues launched a national online petition at DontFundIt.com to support their efforts. "What will change this dynamic is if thousands upon thousands or even millions of Americans pick up the phone in the next 63 days and call their senators and call their elected representatives to say ‘enough is enough. Stop telling us you’re opposed to Obamacare. Actually be opposed to it. Do not ask to vote affirmatively in favor of funding Obamacare,’" Cruz said. "If that happens, that’s how we win the fight. So, for the next 63 days, I am spending each and every day working trying to help mobilize the conservative grassroots to stand up and demand accountability of our elected officials.”
Ultimately, Cruz said that if the "tremendous frustration" the American people have with Washington is directed in a positive way here against Obamacare funding, there is a shot conservatives can win this battle. "I think voters are getting more and more sophisticated," Cruz said. "One of the things I found most surprising in Washington is how many politicians crave fig leaf votes, crave votes that make them appear conservative but have no chance whatsoever of prevailing, rather than looking for instances where if we stand for principle, we can win the fight. Part of the reason this fight is so important, is if we do not defund Obamacare now, it is likely we never will."
After the exchanges and subsidies kick in on January 1, Cruz said it would be much more difficult for lawmakers to take down Obamacare. "The administration’s plan is to get as many Americans as possible addicted to the sugar, addicted to the subsidies," he said. "And in modern history, there has never been a major entitlement that has been implemented that has ever been unwound. And so if we don’t stop it now, what every Republican who is saying they oppose this strategy, what every Republican who is saying that is really saying is that they’re willing to allow Obamacare to become a permanent feature of our economy because, the question I’ve asked over and over again, and never gotten a good answer to is, what’s the alternative? If we don’t defund it now, how do we ever successfully get rid of this train wreck of a law? No one has come up with any alternative. This is our last stand. Will it be an easy fight? No. The only way we can win this fight is if millions of Americans come together and demand it.”
Cruz said the weaknesses the Democrats and the left are showing in their defenses of Obamacare are another sign that there is no better time to defund Obamacare, and get rid of the law once and for all.
“Right now is the single best moment we have to defund Obamacare and it may well prove our last chance. Obamacare isn’t working,” he said. “The lead senate author of Obamacare, Democrat Max Baucus, has described it as a ‘huge train wreck.’ Even the unions are turning on President Obama. The president of the Teamsters, James Hoffa, said Obamacare is destroying the 40-hour workweek that has been the backbone of the American middle class. And just a few weeks ago, President Obama was forced to admit how badly things are going when he unilaterally and contrary to law delayed Obamacare for larger companies until after the next election."
Cruz said that Obama's decision to unilaterally delay the employer mandate of Obamacare while still forcing all Americans to comply with the individual mandate is unfair. Cruz said that Obama's actions on that front mean he made "two important admissions."
"Number one, if Obamacare were going well, if it were working, he would want it to kick in before the election," Cruz said. "The fact that he and Democrats are very, very concerned about being held accountable at the polls for the train wreck that is Obamacare, is very revealing. But secondly, if President Obama is willing to give a waiver for large corporations, why is he unwilling to give the same waiver for hardworking American families? And that’s why I believe we should defund Obamacare in its entirety. This represents our single best opportunity to actually succeed in defunding Obamacare.”