Ted Cruz Not Backing Down on Affordable Care Act

Ted Cruz Not Backing Down on Affordable Care Act

One-on-One Interview
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Ted Cruz has gotten criticism from fellow lawmakers and republicans for his hard stance against the Affordable Care Act.

And in a one-on-one with CNN's Dana Bash, he says he won't back down.

Bash: Are you planning on doing this again on January 15 when the current bill that was just passed to re-open the government, when it finishes?

Cruz: There will be time enough to talk about specific strategies, to talk about specific tactics. What I can tell you is that I think that we need to keep as the top priority providing meaningful relief from all the millions of people that are hurt from Obamacare. 
Bash: You are very deliberately not ruling it out.
Cruz: What I'm saying is the top priority; there are a lot of politicians in Washington who want to put Obamacare behind us, say, "Ok, fine. No more. No more discussing Obamacare." You know what, the American people are not satisfied with that.

Bash: But on a practical level what is frustrating some or many of your colleagues is that they think that you are turning your ire on them instead of focusing on trying to help elect more republicans to do what you all want to do. And I know you said that you're not endorsing any primary candidates, but your tactics are being used as fundraising tools for the very groups that do fund those primary candidates.

Cruz: Look, my ire is focused on Obamacare because it's not working, and it's hurting the American people. And I don't think it's acceptable, I'm not willing to go to the Texans who elected me and say, "Well, you're hurting because of Obamacare, but I wash my hands, there's nothing I can do about it. I'm not going to stand up and fight." I'm not willing to tell that to my constituents, and I am encouraging Senate republicans to stand together for principle.

Bash: And to those who say that you have tarnished the republican brand. That you have set the republican party back in efforts to, maybe, retake the Senate, and maybe get in a position where the republicans can take the White House in 2016?

Cruz: The single-most damaging thing that has happened to republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate republicans coming out, attacking the House republicans attacking those pushing the effort to defund Obamacare and lining themselves up opposite of the American people. Now I am hopeful this will change. I am hopeful there will be some time, some reflections, and that Senate republicans will come back. Come back to the principles they believe and they campaigned on. I'm hopeful we'll actually put action behind the campaign promises.

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