Ted Cruz gets pushback during closed-door meeting
October 3rd, 2013
12:01 PM ET
7 months ago

Ted Cruz gets pushback during closed-door meeting

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Ted Cruz got a lot of pushback from Republican colleagues during a closed-door meeting questioning his relentless effort to tie government funding to derailing Obamacare.

"Cruz was completely unapologetic about the ads that he is featured in on the Senate Conservatives Fund website that attack other Republicans. He sees himself as the only truly pure Republican. His colleagues are furious. He has no successful strategy but has managed to generate grass roots support for his position," one senior Republican source at Wednesday's meeting told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Cruz has urged Republicans in the House to stand firm and continue pushing any plan to fund the government to proposals aimed at curtailing the Affordable Care Act.

This summer, he appeared in ads produced by the Senate Conservatives Fund urging Republicans to push Congress to defund Obamacare.

This strategy has upset Senate Republicans and some House GOP members because some privately blame the freshman Texas lawmaker for causing the shutdown and boxing House Speaker John Boehner into a corner.

Cruz's spokesman did not have a response to reports of pushback during the Wednesday meeting. Cruz told Politico the media loves to cover internal Republican disagreements and "apparently some senators are content to fuel those stories with anonymous quotes."

Cruz also was unapologetic talking to conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham earlier Wednesday.

"We've had now three times, the House has endeavored to pass compromise bills that would keep the government funded, but at the same time would start to address the enormous harms that Obamacare is inflicting on the American people. And three times, Harry Reid has said 'no, absolutely not, I will not talk, I will not compromise, I will not do anything – no.' And as long as he maintains that absolutist position, both Reid and President Obama have said they won't even sit down to talk. They want a shutdown," he said.

At a previous meeting of Senate Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins spoke about some of the ads in Maine that said she was not conservative enough, blaming Cruz for helping to divide the party.

During the Wednesday session, many senators spoke out and aimed their comments directly at Cruz, the GOP source told Borger.

While Cruz initially drew the anger of some Republicans weeks ago when the House passed the first bill to keep the government operating only if Obamacare was defunded because Democrats controlled the Senate, he then staged a 21-hour talkathon last week trying to prevent the Obamacare provision from being removed. He lost that effort but helped cement his stature with the Republican base.

That caused some Republicans to go public with their consternation.

Asked why Boehner can't bring up for consideration any bill he wants, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, told CNN Wednesday night that the "leadership made a decision to take the position that we are going to take the Ted Cruz strategy, and we are not going to fund the government until we get rid of Obamacare."

Nunes blames Cruz for causing the GOP not to have a choice and causing a shutdown.

"John Boehner said we'll take this Ted Cruz strategy. You guys went out for two months, made these commitments. We'll take it. We'll implement it. And now, here we are, it's fully implemented. ... I think Ted Cruz is one of the best politicians that's come around in a long time. He's able to rally the base, he's got a lot of money … There's a lot of consultants making money off this and lots of TV ads going on. The problem with it is, it's one thing to be good at politics. It's another thing to be not good at strategy."

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, has previously called Cruz "a fraud" for his promises of defunding Obamacare. But other Republicans are not backing away from Cruz, including Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who is scheduled to hold an event with the senator on Saturday.

For Democrats, there is little question of who is in fact leading the anti-Obamacare effort and are eager to highlight Cruz's efforts.

"Senator Cruz is now a joint speaker," Reid said Thursday on the Senate floor. "He lectures the House on occasion as he does people over here."

Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement regarding Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus: "I think he probably has Speaker Cruz Boehner's number somewhere."

– CNN's Kevin Bohn and Bryan Koenig contributed to this story.


Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown • Ted Cruz
soundoff (508 Responses)
  1. Name

    Come on people this is not about debts this is about a hate for a black man in the white house, looking back doing George Bush's time, they started two wars that pushes the debts up and give the richest people tax cuts and never complained about debts and the same war is still driving the country, Obama didn't give any tax cuts nor spent on things he wanted, every bills the government pay was approved by congress so this a hate in the republicans party shut the government down not about spending any thing

    October 3, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Now all of a sudden he wants to sit down and conduct a budget conference after he's shut down government."

    No he doesn't. The GOP/Teatrolls are still refusing to conference on the long-term budgets the Senate and House passed in April. They have blocked and refused to conference on those budgets 19 times since then (the latest being yesterday). The only thing they are offering to "conference" on is a very short-term temporary continuing resolution...so they can manufacture a hostage crisis yet again in a few months.

    October 3, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Floridian Business Owner

    Impeach the “Tea Party” Get rid of extremist nut jobs that hate America. I grew up on Social Security and Medicare Benefits and I want these benefits when I get old. I love my country, and I believe in the freedoms that I grew up in. The majority of America is willing to accept Obama-Care and we should give it a chance to be fully implemented.

    I agree that the government must cut down its spending. Yet forcing individuals to become financially responsible to cover their medical bills is a good thing. It allows hospitals to make a profit, which creates jobs and creates a stronger economy. Best of all, my taxes will not have to pay the dead beats medical bills, which reduces government spending. It may have a negative impact in the beginning, but in the long term Obama-Care will help us have a stronger economy.

    October 3, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Former Texan

    "Senator Cruz is now a joint speaker," Reid said Thursday on the Senate floor. "He lectures the House on occasion as he does people over here." SOOOOO......The foregoing statement is alluding to Speaker Boehner as not having a backbone; hence, Ted Cruz is reinforcing poor Speaker Boehner's backbone so he can stand firm in the House. It's ashame that our Speaker of the House doesn't have a backbone, and for letting a JUNIOR senator to ramble his way on what is to be the congressional issue. VOTE OUT BOEHNER AND CRUZ – NEXT ELECTION!!!

    October 3, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Mike

    Cruz is heaed to wherever Jimmy Hoffa is resting . . .

    October 3, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Gene2

    I'm from Texas and am ashamed of Ted Cruz and his abhorrent antics. America, please know he does not represent all Texans. Just the really moronic ones.

    October 3, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. honestjohnvt

    Gee Wes you need to read a little history. Cruz is a total fraud–that's why some like him–they're kin.

    October 3, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Where were all these debt minded "patriots" when Bush ran up the biggest deficit in our nation's history? Huh? I'm waiting? Nothing? (Crickets chirping)...

    October 3, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Paul Deemer

    Hey GOP if you want Payback go after Cruz, Bachmann and Lee. Don't go down with the T-Party Ship. Rise up and Revolt today! Get the Government open tomorrow! You might face the T-Party in Primaries, so whats the big deal? Odds are you will win anyway because the People are tired of Texas and Ted Cruz! They sent this Cancer to Congress and there will be consequences for Texas for that! But if you continue to keep the Government shut down your all but guaranteeing political suicide. Now go get those stupid baggers and destroy them!

    October 3, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. kirk

    Bhoener has been told follow Cruz or get a primary with your name on it, ssooo easy to see who he is working for, he will ruin our economy so the rich get even more control, and more wealth,enough, wake up already people.

    October 3, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Mike

    Cruz did not win two national elections on the issue of healthcare. Neither did any of these tea baggers. Pass a clean resolution and debt ceiling increase before you hurt the American economy any more than you already have.

    October 3, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Thomas

    @Cruz or no Cruz, ObamaCre and the govt spending, handouts, and bailouts will hollow-out the US economy at some point. Unless the deficit and US debt load are actually are myths then Cruz is only doing what at some point MUST be done. It's like this= you think healthcare is a right? Will the govt force people to become doctors if no one wants to be a doctor anymore? just think about it...
    =========

    When you find those WMD's in Iraq you said were there will talk .

    just think about it !

    October 3, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. Republicans Anonymous

    I wonder if the House Speaker, Boehner is going to follow the Freshman Senator's leadership until the consequences of said leadership are bad enough that the grass roots Tea Party support wanes. Recognizing that his Speakership might be doomed anyway, could he be be willing to denergrate the whole country's credit worthiness simply to weaken this radical minority of his party? Maybe he chose the time of the battle so as to weaken the resistance in preparation for the debt limit fights thats right around the corner. Of course, I could be completely wrong and all he's trying to do is protect himself from being T-partied in the next primary.

    October 3, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Ryan in Texas

    SO a Democrat can be liberal, like Obama.
    But a Republican cannot be conservative, like Cruz?
    Hey, if a Republican is going to vote with the Democrats – are they really a Republican?

    October 3, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. SandeeLou

    I'll bet Eric Cantor's nose is really out of joint. He went from joint-speaker to #2 solo...and poor Boehner, now at #3, must be having quite a vacation since Cruz took over!!

    October 3, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Joe Rockbottom

    "This president is taking away our freedoms one by one, every day – and this fight is worth having over Obamacare – because it will take away multiple freedoms all at once."

    Name ONE freedom obamacare takes away.

    October 3, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. baker boy

    Marie MD, "Push him back to Canada where he belongs" Whoa, hold up, he was born to American parents working here, moved back to U.S. as a child and is Ivy League educated. Hardly a Canuck, we ship fools like him out on a regular basis, You keep him,you deserve him,you voted him in!

    October 3, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Guest

    I wish there were 533 more Ted Cruz's in the House and Senate and one in the Whitehouse. THEN we would see this country return to greatness and out of this liberal Democrat cesspool we have become.

    October 3, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  19. W.G.

    Cruz is not an American . Why is he in congress ?? Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii , Cruz was born
    in Canada , plain and simple . That´s why he doesn´t care if Americans suffer or go without food .
    He´s doing the work of islamist terrorists and is ruining the country . Republicans are doing more
    Damage to the U.S. than Muslim terrorist ever could !

    October 3, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. rr

    Ted Cruz has an agenda. There is nothing more dangerous than a fool with an agenda.

    October 3, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. CM46

    Senator Cruz is trying very hard to ruin the US economy and hurt US interests world wide. Perhaps he needs to be investigated.

    October 3, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  22. Wow

    The net effects of the Cruz non-filibuster an the government shutdown is the Democrats are having OBAMACARE tattooed across their foreheads so all of the voters can see in November 2014.

    October 3, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Rusty Krus

    It's amusing watching the Republican Party destroy itself. The sad part is that real people are suffering through this shut down non sense. On the bright side, there will be a lot less self serving, do nothing GOP politicians in office next year.

    October 3, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein

    Cruz doesn't understand that this is not the time for repealing/defunding "Obamacare." He should have been picking it apart for some time. He is keeping the country from functioning normally and getting the business of the American people done.

    October 3, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. omeany

    Why doesn't the GOP push Cruz back into the clown car he obviously came to DC in?

    October 3, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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