'This Week' Transcript: 2013 Game Changers

CRUZ: We saw the House of Representatives take a courageous stand listening to the American people, that was a remarkable victory.

KARL: As the year draws to a close, Republican leaders have made it clear they think the strategy pushed by Cruz and outside conservative groups was a total failure.

BOEHNER: Frankly, I just think that they've lost all credibility. You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. If you recall, one of these groups stood up and said, well, we never really thought it would work. Are you kidding me?

KARL: But the year also ended with Ted Cruz as the most high- profile Tea Party consecutive in congress. Again at Tortilla Coast, Cruz reflected on all of that.

When you think about the tradition of first-year senators, they tend to be seen but not heard, you have had, you said, a whirlwind for a first year as a U.S. senator, does that surprise you? I mean, you're on TIME magazine's list as the runner-up to the pope for person of the year.

CRUZ: That was a very strange thing.

This is a city where it's all politics all the time. And I'm trying to do my best not to pay attention to the politics, to focus on fixing the problems.

KARL: Really?

CRUZ: I know that's hard to believe, but because no one in this town does that. This is a time for people to step up and do the right thing and that's what I'm trying to do.

KARL: You have had a couple of months to think about this whole government shutdown strategy. Now that it's over in hindsight, are you prepared to say that it was a mistake, it wasn't the right tactic?

CRUZ: I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown.

KARL: Now you know even John Boehner has said this was a Republican shutdown.

CRUZ: Look, I can't help what other people say.

And Jon, I understand that in the media, every day the media reported the Republicans shut the government down...

KARL: No, I mean, but come on. I mean we're a couple months away from this, the only reason why this happened is because you insisted, Republicans insisted that Obamacare be defunded as a condition of funding the government. If you didn't -- if you took away that insistence, there would be no shutdown. I mean, really.

CRUZ: You've got conservatives who stood strong and said let's stop the train wreck that is Obamacare, and you've got Democrats in the middle of the shutdown, President Obama called every Senate Republican to the White House, sat us in a room and said I called you to tell you, we're not going to negotiate, we're not going to compromise on anything.

Repeatedly Republicans were compromising, trying to find a middle ground. And repeatedly Democrats said, no compromise, shut it down.

KARL: One of the odder signs of Cruz's new celebrity is the new coloring book about him.

There is a Ted Cruz coloring book. This is the number one selling coloring book on Amazon.

CRUZ: Jon, if ever there were a sign that the world is a crazy place, that is it. I didn't know about it...

KARL: You obviously had no idea until it came out. I don't want to take a coloring book all that seriously, but it does say in this coloring book that you're filibuster was so important, because millions of citizens believe Obamacare is worse than any war and that more people will die as a result of illness because of Obamacare than in all of the wars since World War II.

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