SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, returned home to a rousing welcome in Texas on Saturday after his attempt to derail Obamacare with a shutdown of the federal government led to sharp criticism of his tactics as reckless and futile.
"After two months in Washington, it's great to be back in America," Cruz joked in speaking to a crowd of about 750 people in a packed downtown San Antonio hotel ballroom.
Cruz was greeted with an eight-minute standing ovation in an appearance organized by the Texas Federation of Republican Women. People in attendance, many of them wearing red to show their support for keeping Texas a conservative-leaning state, lined up to greet him.
The speech and another talk earlier in the day at a panel in Austin marked Cruz's first public appearance in his home state of Texas since his part in the showdown in Washington over the rollout of Obamacare that resulted in a 16-day shutdown of the federal government that ended on Thursday.
A related stalemate over the debt limit threatened to lead to a default on U.S. government debt until the Senate on Wednesday voted 81-18 to end the crisis and the House of Representatives followed with a vote of 285-144 to approve the plan, allowing government to open without defunding Obamacare.
Cruz in his speech in San Antonio blasted Senate Republican leaders for "failing to stand with House Republicans against the train wreck that is Obamacare."
He declined to criticize any Republicans by name. Continue reading via Reuters...