Ted Cruz: Obamacare Defunding Fight Wasn’t Winnable

In a wide-ranging speech to the Club for Growth winter meeting Friday night, Sen. Ted Cruz looked back on his 2013 crusade to defund Obamacare — an effort that consumed Washington, led to bitter Republican party infighting, and resulted in a partial government shutdown — and concluded it was a fight he probably never could have won.

“Is it likely we would have altogether defunded Obamacare then?” Cruz said. “Probably not. That would have taken an almost perfect storm. I was never Pollyannaish about the political factors it would take for that to happen.”

As the 2013 battle began, Cruz said victory was within reach if Republicans simply stuck together. But Friday night, he explained that what was actually possible was “a middle ground compromise” in which President Obama would have been forced to give way on some aspects of Obamacare. Such a compromise “would have provided some significant relief to the millions of people losing their jobs, losing their health insurance, losing their doctors because of Obamacare,” Cruz said.