Cruz, in Iowa, calls for 'grassroots army' to trample ObamaCare

The Texas Senator wowed them at the Ronald Reagan dinner in Des Moines on Friday night. And yesterday, he continued his cautious tour of Iowa, testing the waters for a possible run for president in 2016.

The Hill:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Saturday that his 21-hour Senate speech was a long time, but that's almost as long as it takes signing up on the ObamaCare website.

He was taking a shot at's technical setbacks, referring to his 21-hour floor speech in which he attacked the law ahead of the government shutdown.

Cruz made the comment in his keynote speech at the Defenders of Freedom event in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday afternoon. 

"I seem to recall two weeks ago when every newspaper, every political TV station was saying that it is impossible for the president to delay any part of ObamaCare. You guys are nuts," the freshman senator said. "This week, the president and the Democrats are saying 'holy cow, this thing is really not working.'" 

President Obama, members of his administration, and Democrats on Capitol Hill addressed the website problems this week. The Department of Health and Human Services said Friday it should be running smoothly by the end of November.

Cruz said Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), who hosted the event, made a good indication that it's a good example of 'our president leading from behind.'

The Tea Party senator said he's trying to build a grassroots "army" of Americans to surround the U.S. Capitol, and bring down ObamaCare. .

Cruz said he launched a national website,, for people to submit their stories about how the healthcare law is hurting them. The URL leads to another:

"Telling people's stories about how ObamaCare is hurting real people, right now. That's how we're going to do this," he said, referring to his effort to repeal the law.

Besides the healthcare law, he also railed against his colleagues in the Senate, and even made fun of Vice President Joe Biden. 

There's no doubt Cruz is the most popular Republican politician in the country right now. How does he translate that popularity among a minority of Republicans into tangible support for a run in 2016?

Cruz is not going to win with Tea Party support alone. He's going to have to reach out to other factions in the party and cobble together a coalition that will win at the polls. It won't be easy because he'll be competing for the same votes with others; Rand Paul in particular would cause some split in the Tea Party vote making outreach to other GOP factions necessary for victory.

So far, Cruz has shown a knack for angering other Republican factions, not winning them over. But the Texas Senator claims he knows how to unite the party; "growth and principles are ideas that unify Republicans," he says. That may be. Many would love to see him try it.