But Cruz said the proof of the shutdown's success would emerge over the long term and that the strategy had cast a floodlight on Obamacare's problems, which eventually led to the GOP being favored to retake the Senate this year.
Cruz suggested GOP "graybeards" are failing to give credit where credit is due.
"They’re reaping the fruits of the battle, which is perfectly fine," Cruz said. "But we need to take a moment to acknowledge the lesson of the battle.”
Cruz and other Republicans declined to fund the government if that funding included the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare. They held out for 17 days before GOP leaders agreed to pass a continuing resolution that included Obamacare funding. At the time, GOP leaders including House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) acknowledged they had lost the fight.
Cruz said one battle does not define his war.
"Any wartime general will tell you that not every war is won in a single battle," Cruz said.