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In Austin, Cruz Calls Obama Actions "Dangerous and Terrifying"

Ben Philpott/KUT
Sen. Ted Cruz (R) says Democrats are to blame for last government shutdown, and can control whether it happens again.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz was in Austin today speaking at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's annual policy orientation. He spent his time attacking what he sees as a disregard for federal laws by President Obama.

Senator Cruz’s speech to lawmakers, policy wonks and grassroots activists gave several examples of the President using executive authority to supersede federal laws. Pointing specifically to immigration reform, marijuana prosecutions and the Affordable Care Act.

"Rule of law is the notion that we are a nation of laws and not of men. And that no one, and especially, especially those in political office are not above the law," Cruz said. "If we have a system where the President can pick and choose what laws to follow, at utter whim and discretion, then the whole rest of our constitutional structure becomes superfluous. That’s dangerous.”

Dangerous and "terrifying" Cruz emphasized during his speech.

Cruz's speech may have also given a nod to the 2016 presidential election...and his expected participation in the GOP primaries.  After being introduced by former Senator Phil Gramm, Cruz reminded the crowd of Gramm's efforts to block healthcare legislation in the early 90’s.

Cruz referred to the proposed legislation as HillaryCare -- after former Secretary of State and expected Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton -- who was heavily involved with pushing the effort as First Lady.

When talking with reporters afterwards, Cruz also expressed concern over a looming Federal budget debate. He was asked if another government shutdown could happen.

“I sure hope not," Cruz said.

Despite leading a 21-hour talk on the Senate floor in the days leading up to the shutdown on October 1, Cruz blamed the situation that followed on Obama and Senate Democrats. 

"I think it was a real mistake for President Obama and the Democrats to force a shutdown the last time. The last time, over and over again, the House of Representatives passed bills to keep the government open, to fund the government, to fund vital priorities. And over and over again, President and Democrats, refused to compromise, refused to negotiate and forced a shutdown.”

He told reporters he hopes they won’t force another shut-down.

Cruz is spending the next several days in Texas, hopping from county to county to speak to local conservative groups.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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