WASHINGTON -- Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a leader in the anti-Obamacare showdown that shut the federal government last month, is plotting how he might exploit the next budget crisis for another try at repealing President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act.
While members of Congress negotiate plans to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling, Cruz, during a Bloomberg TV appearance Thursday, jumped at the opportunity to reiterate his steadfast disproval of Obamacare and said he remains focused on its repeal.
Bloomberg's Al Hunt asked Cruz whether he would insist on the repeal of Obamacare as a condition in any budget legislation that results from the talks. Cruz didn't say he would. But he didn't deny the possibility.
“I think there will be plenty of time to worry about the specific text. What I think is critical is that we keep focus on Obamacare and on fixing things," said Cruz, a possible presidential contender in 2016. "I think what we need to do is repeal in its entirety. I don’t know [if I can do that in January]. I hope so."
He may have trouble dragging some fellow Republicans along for the ride, as he did during the crisis that sparked the Oct. 1 government shutdown. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in an interview with HuffPost earlier this month she views the budget negotiations as an opportunity for Republicans to prove that they can give up the "temper tantrums and non-compromise" to deliver a budget deal the country would approve.
"I think the Republicans have to sit back and say, 'Do we want to be part of that governing party system and compromise system, or do we want to be the group in the corner that yells and screams?' " Murray said. "That's what caused the government shutdown, the -- I'm sorry, I used to teach preschool -- the temper tantrum on the floor, to show how somehow they are powerful."