Sen. Ted Cruz hasn't given up the fight against Obamacare.
Despite Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's vow that another government shutdown won't be an option to try to derail President Barack Obama's health care law, Cruz and his supporters are saying not so fast.
A senior Republican aide told TheBlaze that the Texas senator is keeping all options on the table -- including the possibility of another shutdown -- to stop the Affordable Healthcare Act.
"Yes, he is keeping all options on the table," the aide told TheBlaze. "That said, he never wanted a shutdown. He fully supported, advocated and encouraged Congress to fund vital government services through the shutdown in order to focus completely on Obamacare."
The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said "the only reason we had a shutdown is because (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid and President Obama refused to pass the bill to keep government running and then rejected smaller bills to fund specific vital services, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs. I don't see why he would ever rule anything out."
One of the biggest obstacles working against Cruz's efforts during the shutdown were senior members of his own party, the aide said.
"Once people -- high-profile Senate Republicans -- started openly saying the effort was never going to work, Harry Reid and President Obama had absolutely no reason to negotiate," the aide said. "It was obvious Senate Republicans wanted to tank the deal to begin with."
Arizona Sen. John McCain is one Senate Republican who has been sharply critical of Cruz and dismissed the efforts to defund Obamacare as not feasible.
“This exercise will not achieve the goal that we seek,” McCain said in September, days before the shutdown began. “I do question whether the outcome is going to be what he is promising people, which is impossible as long as Democrats control two out of the three bodies of government.”
McCain, the GOP's 2008 presidential nominee, also called the shutdown "a fool's errand" as it approached the two-week mark.
“I think it’s been terribly handled by the White House, but let’s have a little straight talk ... they wouldn’t have had the opportunity to handle it that way if we had not shut down the government on a fool’s errand that we were not going to accomplish," McCain said.