(CNN) — Tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t ruling anything in our out in his continued fight against Obamacare, including efforts to force another government shutdown, an aide has told CNN’s Dana Bash.
It was Cruz’s ultimately futile attempt in the Senate to tie renewed federal spending to defunding the health care law championed by President Barack Obama that helped trigger the two-week shutdown.
Critics of the Texas Republican in and out of the GOP argue that Cruz knew the tactic would never work, with any substantive change to Obamacare unacceptable to Democrats.
While the GOP’s favorable rating in opinion polls plummeted even worse than Democrats during the shutdown and debt ceiling saga, Cruz’s star has shot up among conservatives.
The freshman legislator now enjoys widespread name recognition and popularity with the tea party, potentially key ingredients for a 2016 White House bid.
While the defund tactic failed and shutdown was lifted with a predominantly cosmetic change to the Affordable Care Act, Cruz has declared victory nevertheless.
“Months ago, when the effort to defund Obamacare began, official Washington scoffed. They scoffed that the American people would rise up,” Cruz said Wednesday as the compromise that ended the fiscal impasse was heading toward Congressional approval.
Cruz spent those months traveling the country, calling for a “grassroots tsunami” that would force action on Obamacare, a tsunami Cruz claims to have gotten.
“We saw, first of all, millions upon millions of Americans rise up all over this country. Over two million people signing a national petition to defund Obamacare,” Cruz said.
CNN’s Bryan Koenig contributed to this report.