The Republican Party's approval ratings hit a record low this week, and Sen. Ted Cruz's hometown newspaper slapped down the Texas Republican. But former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) insisted on Thursday that most people in the "real world" consider Cruz and the House Republicans to be heroes.
"When you're in a fight, people just don't like the fight, so they're going to respond negatively," DeLay said on CNN. "It's who wins and comes out of the fight that has long-lasting effects. And I got to tell you right now, out here in the real world, outside of New York and Washington, D.C., these people think Ted Cruz is a hero. They think that those Republicans in the House are heroes. And they think that Obama is destroying this country."
Cruz helped kick off the congressional chaos by speaking on the Senate floor for 21 hours in a symbolic filibuster of the Affordable Care Act. House Republicans then joined the fight, refusing to pass a spending bill to prevent a government shutdown unless it included a provision defunding or at least delaying parts of Obamacare.
When the shutdown finally came to an end on Thursday, most Republicans conceded they had lost the fight and came out with almost nothing.
But DeLay blamed the media for "completely trash[ing]" Cruz and congressional Republicans generally and said polls are "run to push a media narrative." He also said that polls are "not dynamic" and therefore, he argued, do not accurately reflect people's changing attitudes toward certain politicians.
"Ted Cruz is a leader," DeLay said. "People in this country for years have been begging for leadership, and Ted Cruz filled the void of leadership."