MANCHESTER, N.H. — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz promised grassroots conservatives here on Saturday that the fight over the Affordable Care Act will not end with the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Cruz took aim at the media during a 20-minute speech here, particularly keying on one column from Vox’s Ezra Klein that proclaimed “Obamacare has won” in the aftermath of Sebelius’ resignation on Friday.
Cruz didn’t mention Klein by name, but used his piece as one he thought exemplified the media consensus.
“The greatest lie the media tries to play is to try to convince us the American people don’t believe the values this country stands for. It’s simply not true,” Cruz told the crowd here at the Freedom Summit, which is hosted by the conservative groups Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity.
“If you listen to Democrats, if you listen to the media — although, I repeat myself — they will tell you there is no hope. They will tell you we cannot turn this around. They will tell you you cannot stop Obamacare. They will tell you that Kathleen Sebelius resigning is a result of Obamacare’s success. Well if that’s true, then I hope every Democrat will follow her path and resign, as well!”
Cruz predicted to reporters before his speech that Republicans will win back the Senate in 2014. He spent much of the second half of his speech here previewing how Republicans plan to use the confirmation hearings of Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next HHS Secretary, as a chance to refocus on Obamacare.
Cruz again pledged that Republicans will “repeal every single word of Obamacare” — a comment for which he earned a standing ovation.
He was one of the headline speakers here at the Freedom Summit, along with possible 2016 presidential candidates Rand Paul, the U.S. Senator from Kentucky; and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Cruz’s speech was similar to Paul’s on policy — they both ripped into Obama for what they see as a disregard for the principles of the Constitution on issues like Obamacare and the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs. They also both said Obama’s policies crumble the most vulnerable people in the U.S. But both were also optimistic about the country’s turnaround.
“New Hampshire is going to be ground zero in the battle to retake the U.S. Senate,” Cruz told reporters before his speech. “The stakes in this country have never been higher.”
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