By JONATHAN ALLEN |
9/25/13 1:38 PM EDT
The White House isn't interested in going mano-a-mano with Ted Cruz — at least for now.
Asked twice about Cruz's 21-hour Senate floor speech in opposition to the implementation of Obamacare, White House press secretary Jay Carney sidestepped a direct confrontation with the Texas Republican.
Instead, he noted statistics on the cost of health insurance for families in Cruz's home state.
"A family of four in Texas will have available to it the option of purchasing affordable health insurance for $57 per month," Carney said at a White House press briefing Wednesday, citing a $50,000-a-year income for the family in his example. "That is a good thing."
"Certainly, we oppose any efforts to engage in a political battle of the past to try to achieve some sort of ideological victory" that would shut down the government and hamstring Obamacare.
The Senate is considering a House-passed bill that would extend government spending authority but also defund the president's health care law. Cruz was objecting to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to strip out the defunding provision and send the measure back to the House without it.
Asked whether Obama tuned in to watch Cruz, Carney said, "I don't believe so."