POLITICS
12/29/2013 10:09 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Ted Cruz Insists Role In Government Shutdown Wasn't A Mistake

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) doesn't think he made any mistakes related to the government shutdown, but he can think of things others should regret, he said in remarks aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

"I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown,” he told ABC's Jonathan Karl during an interview at the Tortilla Coast restaurant on Capitol Hill, where he had met with fellow conservative lawmakers during the shutdown.

Cruz ended the year insistent in a number of interviews that the government shutdown, which wounded the economy and put many temporarily out of work, was solely the fault of Democrats who refused to make changes to President Barack Obama's signature health care law as demanded by Republicans, including himself.

He said he has no regrets about the shutdown, even though many other GOP lawmakers have said the strategy he pushed -- which failed to defund Obamacare -- was the wrong one. Karl asked him about statements by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has been increasingly critical of conservative groups that Boehner says helped drive the GOP into its unsuccessful stance during the shutdown.

“I can’t help what other people say," Cruz said.

The Republican Party, and Cruz himself, took a hit after the government shutdown, with the senator's own approval rating dropping to 23 percent, according to a CNN/ORC International survey.

Cruz told the Dallas Morning News in an interview published Saturday that he had only one regret about his first year in the Senate, but it wasn't really about himself.

"I regret that Senate Republican leadership did not stand united with House Republicans during the fight to defund Obamacare," he told the Morning News. "That was a mistake, and it did real damage to the Republican Party."

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

PHOTO GALLERIES
2013 Government Shutdown
Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?

CONVERSATIONS