We spent the afternoon talking with Cruz, discussing his reaction to what's happening in Washington and what it's like to be in the center of the storm. Cruz is happy to be back home in Texas, but it may be he is happy to be anywhere but Washington D.C.
"It's really good to be back. It's good to be back with my wife and two little girls, first of all. It's great to be back with Texas," Cruz told us. "I've got to tell you, the reception that I've received back home has been night and day from the reception in Washington D.C."
Cruz knows he is a lightning rod, attacked in D.C. as angrily by Republican colleagues as he was Democrats for his role at the center of the fight to defund Obamacare. He is blamed by many for causing the October shutdown but tells us he has few regrets.
"The demonstration the last couple of weeks is that when the American people stand up, we can make D.C. listen," Cruz said. "The House of Representatives listened. The Senate didn't. But I'm inspired by the ability for the people to stand up, and I think that's the path forward."
A grassroots rally for Cruz was being held Monday night in Houston. The rally at the King Street Patriots headquarters in northwest Houston was one of three he is holding across Texas this week. Cruz will return to Washington next week, where the federal government is once again set to run out of money in January.
Obamacare will continue to be the fight, and Cruz vows to keep it up.
"I regret we didn't win this fight, but I am encouraged by the American people standing up," he said. "And that's the way we are going to win this fight."
Cruz told us his team is writing a bill to reform heath care nationwide. He said his plan, though, can't work unless the country first gets rid of Obamacare. Cruz returns to Iowa on Friday -- his third visit this year where the first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses are still three years away. Cruz said he's just trying to influence the national conversation.