Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says that Republicans could have won the fight to derail President Barack Obama's health care law by shutting down the government if they had just accused the Democrats holding children with cancer "hostage."
In an interview that aired on Sunday, CNN's Dana Bash asked Cruz if he was bothered on a "human level" that so many colleagues in his own party were angry at him for instigating the shutdown.
"Not remotely," Cruz insisted. "I work for 26 million Texans, that's my job to fight for them. I don't work for the party bosses in Washington... The reason people are frustrated all over the country is that far too many people get elected and they think they're there to be part of the club."
The Texas senator observed that things could have turned out differently if Senate Republicans had "marched into battle side by side" with House Republicans to defund Obamacare.
But Bash noted that Democrats had the successful strategy in the end.
Cruz, however, reminded Bash of an exchange she had with Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) about a Republican plan to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other selective parts of the government during the shutdown.
A controversy had erupted at the time when Bash asked Reid if it would be worth it if he could help "one child" with cancer.
During the interview that aired on Sunday, Cruz said that Reid showed Democrats were "vulnerable" and that Republicans should have used children with cancer as a pressure point to win the fight against health care reform.
"President Obama and the Democrats' position throughout this is, 'We will not negotiate, we will not compromise, shut it all down.' That's not a reasonable position," he explained. "If Senate Republicans had united and supported House Republicans, if we had 46 Senate Republicans on television every day, in the media every day making the point, 'Why won't they fund the VA, why are they holding our veterans hostage? Why won't they fund the NIH, why are they holding kids with illnesses hostage?'"
"That's a fight we could win because their position was unreasonable."