The Washington Times - October 11, 2013, 09:52AM

Sen. Mike Lee won the first standing ovation of the Values Voters Summit Friday after he promised that he and Sen. Ted Cruz would not back down in their fight to to derail Obamacare.

“We must stop it. We must defund it. We cannot accept it,” Mr. Lee said. “We make no apologies. We stand with you.”

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The remarks came on the heels of a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that found that Republicans continue to bear the brunt of the blame for the ongoing government shutdown, which has lasted 11 days.

The poll also suggested the effort is backfiring. Mr. Cruz has seen his unfavorable ratings jump, while the popularity of Obamacare has increase over the last month, the poll said.

Peter D. Hart, the Democratic pollster who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff, said the numbers lead to “one inescapable conclusion: The Republicans are not tone deaf; they are stone deaf.”

The effort from Mr. Lee and Mr. Cruz, though, remains popular among some grassroots conservatives and tea partyers.

The Democratic National Convention, meanwhile, blasted out an email to reporters Friday highlighting the front page of The Salt Lake Tribune, Mr. Lee’s hometown newspaper, which showed that the freshman lawmaker’s push back against Obamacare is losing support among Utah voters and that the health exchanges in the health care law are producing low cost insurance for local families.

In his speech, Mr. Lee said that Republicans can bolster the party by putting a greater emphasis on the family and to embrace policies — such as lower taxes and school choice programs — that promote equal opportunity, reform the “corrupt corporate welfare system and continue to advocate on behalf of pro-life caucuses.”