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HOUSTON (CBS Houston/AP) — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz compared the glitches plaguing the website for President Barack Obama’s signature health care law to the methodologies of “Nigerian email scammers.”
The Tea Party favorite received a rousing ovation during a rally of more than 1,000 supporters Monday in Houston while speaking out about the Affordable Care Act, known also as Obamacare.
“You may have noticed that all the Nigerian email scammers have become a lot less active lately,” Cruz said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “They all have been hired to run the Obamacare website.”
Cruz told supporters that he’s working for them and not for D.C. “party bosses.”
“People are saying mean things about me,” Cruz said, according to the Chronicle. “Who cares? At the end of the day, I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington. I work for each and every one of you. What they don’t understand is that we’re standing here together. We’ve got a problem in Washington. They’re not listening to the American people.”
Cruz staged a quasi-filibuster for over 21 hours in the Senate late last month, helping spark a budget fight in the Republican-led House that partially shuttered the government in an attempt to sever funding for the nation’s new health care law.
Then, with the country facing a debt default, leaders in the Democratic-led Senate brokered a deal to end the standoff — which Cruz dismissed as “selling the American people down the river.”
“You don’t win a fight when your own team is firing cannons at the people who are standing up and leading, which are the House Republicans,” he said.
The deal sets up the potential for another budget showdown in January. Senate GOP leaders, however, have suggested that there won’t be a repeat of the shutdown or a potential default crisis like in recent weeks.
Some political observers now see Cruz as Texas’ most popular Republican. But his approval ratings across the country may be slipping.
National polls have shown that while Americans in general don’t love the health care law, they oppose defunding it — especially if it means shutting down the government. And many of Cruz’s Senate colleagues have bemoaned the shutdown for tarnishing the GOP’s image.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)