Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) conveyed his sentiments in the aftermath of a late hour vote by the Senate in which the so-called “skinny” repeal of Obamacare failed in a 51-49 vote. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), joined two other liberal Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska to sink the bill. While Obamacare proponents could be heard outside of the Capitol chanting “Thank you, John McCain!”, Cruz held court for the press. He said, “Three Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!" He added, "There are going to be a great many Americans who tonight feel a sense of betrayal. Feel a sense of betrayal that politicians stood up and made a promise.”

"I tell you this, if you stand up and campaign and say, we're going to repeal Obamacare and you vote for Obamacare, those are not consistent," Cruz said. "And the American people are entirely justified in saying, any politician who told me that and voted the other way, didn't tell me the truth. They lied to me."

"You know, Senators are going to go home the next few weeks. They're going to go home to their states. And they're going to face their constituents. They're going to have hard questions of people who look them in the eyes and say, 'Why did you lie to me?'" Cruz said.

Cruz predicted that Republicans, and even some Democrats, will return after facing constituents during their recess and vote to honor their campaign promise to jettison Obamacare. "I believe we'll come back after all of the victory laps by the Democrats, all of the media exultations, I believe we will come back and we will honor our promise," Cruz said.

With regard to McCain, who once billed himself as a “maverick” willing to cross the aisle to placate Democrats, Cruz said  "If you campaigned on repealing it, then the voters should expect that you will keep your word." The Texas Senator said, "I think Republicans should keep our word, and I think we can."

"Despite unfortunate nights, I believe we can and will honor our promise to repeal Obamacare. Tonight, I'm filled with optimism. Despite a setback, truth matters. The truth is, Obamacare isn't working. It is hurting millions of Americans, and the people who are getting hurt by Obamacare, it is the biggest job killer, it's hurting small businesses, it's hurting working men and women."

Transcript of Cruz's remarks:

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): The losers tonight are the millions of Americans who've been hurt under Obamacare. The millions of Americans that have lost their jobs, who have been forced into part-time work, forced into working 28 to 29 hours a week. Millions of Americans have had their health care coverage canceled, who have lost their doctors, who've seen their premiums skyrocket.

The 6.5 million Americans each year who are fined by the IRS because they don't make enough money to afford health insurance. So not only do they get health insurance, but they get a fine from the IRS and 80% of them are earning $50,000 a year or less. Nearly half are earning $25,000 or less. It's the single moms, the truck drivers, it's the steel workers, it's the working men and women who are left behind tonight. That's unfortunate. 

And there are going to be a great many Americans who tonight feel a sense of betrayal. Feel a sense of betrayal that politicians stood up and made a promise. 

I tell you this, if you stand up and campaign and say, we're going to repeal Obamacare and you vote for Obamacare, those are not consistent. And the American people are entirely justified in saying, any politician who told me that and voted the other way, didn't tell me the truth. They lied to me. 

But I will say also the democratic process is a long process. In the next 24 hours, in the next week, Democrats will crow exaltedly. They'll claim total victory for a collapsing and failing law that is Obamacare. 

And the media will write story after story about how Obamacare will remain, even though it is failing and hurting millions of Americans. But after all of the chest-beating, after all of the proud victory laps of the left, I believe this Congress will come back and in time, we will honor our promises. 

You know, Senators are going to go home the next few weeks. They're going to go home to their states. And they're going to face their constituents. They're going to have hard questions of people who look them in the eyes and say, 'Why did you lie to me?'

And by the way, it's not just the Senators who voted no. The Senators who voted yes are going to be asked, 'Why did you lie to me?' Because the voters are not going to distinguish. They will say, you guys promised to do this and you failed. 

I understand the frustration and anger of the American people. And I think the frustration and anger will be heard by members of the Senate. 

I believe we'll come back after all of the victory laps by the Democrats, all of the media exultations, I believe we will come back and we will honor our promise. 

[...]

And by the way, when your premiums go up next year, the Democrats are happy for you to pay more year, after year, after year when you are struggling to provide for your family. That's not right. The five years I have served in the Senate, there is no issue I have fought harder on and devoted more time to then stopping the disaster that is Obamacare. 

Mark my words, I am committed to this fight.

As long as there is breath in my body, I will be fighting for the working men and women of this country that have been hurt by Obamacare, and I believe it will be repealed. No party can remain in power by lying to the American people. And I hope and pray that our party doesn't try to do that...

REPORTER: Senator, did John McCain lie to the American people when he campaigned on repealing Obamacare last year and then took this vote today. (Editor's note: McCain voted against the 'skinny' repeal late Thursday night/Friday morning)

CRUZ: You know, that is a judgment the voters of every state will have to make. For each and every individual politician. I think what we should do is do what we said we would do. If you are a Democrat, and you campaigned on keeping Obamacare, okay fine. Then the voters can expect you to do that. But if you campaigned on repealing it, then the voters should expect that you will keep your word. 

I think Republicans should keep our word, and I think we can. Despite unfortunate nights, I believe we can and will honor our promise to repeal Obamacare. Tonight, I'm filled with optimism. Despite a setback, truth matters. The truth is, Obamacare isn't working. It is hurting millions of Americans, and the people who are getting hurt by Obamacare, it is the biggest job killer, it's hurting small businesses, it's hurting working men and women. 

The people are hurt by Obamacare, you are being heard, and I believe we will in time honor our promise. And I give my word I will devote every waking moment I have to urge my colleagues let's tell the truth and let's simply do what we did -- lower premiums and make health insurance more affordable for everyone. Recognize that Obamacare is a dismal failure that is hurting millions of Americans.

Separately, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), who chairs the House Freedom Caucus, urged the GOP to continue repeal efforts despite the defeat in the Senate. “I just think that we've got to regroup and continue to stay involved and find something that has 51 votes in the Senate that we can make work,” Meadows told reporters. On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared resigned that the fight is finished, saying after the failed vote that “it is time to move on.” Meadows said he understands McConnell's sentiments, but "I still believe that we can make it work,” noting that he remains in touch with the Senate.


 



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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