Ted Cruz gets pushback during closed-door meeting
October 3rd, 2013
12:01 PM ET
12 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. Marie MD

    @ tom I, there are real actual videos of your teatards telling their rabid fools that if they are elected they will shut down the government.
    This was out in public not at a rich $1K dinner in Florida.
    Watch something else besides faux news!

    October 3, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Momeraths

    Maybe, we can start a recall of Cruz.

    The problem is he keep stating why he is against the ACA, but everyone reason has been proven as false. The guy is against something he doesn't even understand.

    I think most rational people know that we need two partys to create the best laws for us, but hijacking a process that previously has not been used this way is a problem.

    You want spending cut? You want to make changes to the ACA? Propose bills asking for changes. Get elected, and make your changes.

    The country has to be able to function. I don't blame the Democrats one bit for not compromising. Are you Conservatives wanting every budget to be held up while the Democrats only pass budgets with stricy control laws written into them?

    This is not a road we need to travel, and Obama knows it. We'll have to suffer while the GOP gets its extremists under control. I feel bad for Boehner. He knows what needs to be done, but can't afford to get primaried by the Tea Party crowd.

    October 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Don

    "The only true Republican.". Sounds like something Hitler would have said.

    October 3, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. scarf

    I've just about had it with the dysfunction in our government. I'm half hoping for an unending shutdown and an eventual default which will wreck the economy. At least, after that fiasco, either the American people will finally wake up and demand the removal of extremists in the government, or the extremists will take over what is left and wonder if they really are in favor of the rest of us having all those guns they insisted we should have.........

    October 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. 22

    Educate yourself on the issues!Stop listening to FOX news,make it a point to get balanced news reports and understand both sides of all issues that affect you.Don't be a silent, powerless citizen,vote for intelligent politicians not the ones in the pockets of wealthy corporations or fielded by the hateful fringe.When you vote intelligently not out of hate,you save the rest of us from the likes of Ted Cruz and other teapots.Your decisions affect us all,love your country enough to educate yourself and vote with common sense.

    October 3, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. freedom

    @Joe rockbottom

    The entire MANDATE of having to purchase health insurance is an invasion of freedom. The key word here – is MANDATE.

    October 3, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    This teaparty pig should be hauled out by the army for sedition and shot and buried on the Canadian side of the boarder along with the rest of the teaparty garbage of America GOP !!!!!

    October 3, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. True American

    Cnn Censorship at its finest. Assassination of character. It should be called Cnn obama unit
    Get a life.

    October 3, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. excitizen

    On many other news sites, I enjoy commenting on stories and being able to reply to a comment; however, I have to say that there have been so many trolls on CNN for so long that this option of just commenting without being able to reply does seem to weed them out pretty good! Too bad those who would like to debate a topic can't do so becuase of such a large number of immature idi0t5 who have no knowledge, no job and nothing better to do....in other words: TPers

    October 3, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. ge

    a lot of money is being made of this shut down – WHO ASK CRUZ

    October 3, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    I don't agree with many of the tactics of Cruz but you on the left have got to stop making stuff up. He never, nor did the TEA Party, say that they wanted the govt shut down. They never said they wanted to default. You're just saying stuff that simply isn't true.

    And, oh by the way, we take in receipts of $250,000,000,000 each month. Interest is $7,000,000,000. So why would we have to default? The only reason is to create this environment of fear.
    *****************
    Tom, the threats they have been issuing, the dark warnings all amount to that. You once said you were an independent: please demonstrate that by not issuing blanket statements about people on the Left lying, and diminishing your intelligence in the process. Cruz, Lee, Paul, all of them have been threatening this for months: is that an act of responsible legislating?

    October 3, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. freedom

    @wiseoldwoman

    No one is saying you have to like anything or anyone. That is your right in this free land. I'm simply stating the facts as I see them – I too have that right. Those are the freedoms that are being infringed upon. Just listen to Obama's rhetoric and you get an earful – he's the most divisive president in history – putting American against American. It's shameful in the position of power he is in.

    October 3, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. old guy in West Virginia

    Ted Cruz is the poster child for self-absorption and hubris. He's gets a lot of airplay and is very articulate, but his message can be reduced to, "Too hell with the country, but up with Ted Cruz!" Oy . . .

    And BTW, has anybody noticed that Cruz routinely breaks Reagan's precious 11th commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican." This guy has exhausted the good will of most of his GOP Senate colleagues.

    October 3, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Roger

    Great an immigrant wetback is ruining our economy while getting free healthcare for himself and his family.

    October 3, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Cutter

    The Repubs are at it again...just less than 12 months ago they talked about how they were going to change for the greater good but yet being dumb is in there DNA. Thanks for allowing the world to see why you all will never be back at the top spot. So many generations will passed before you see the White House again.....that's the good that will come out of this!!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. David Lucier

    Observations of a Pragmatist:

    My retail business is down 50% from the week before. The shutdown? I don't know, but it is a pretty drastic drop.

    I can get the pages to load on the ACA page but it takes awhile. Overloaded? Yes.

    If the tea partiers want to shut down the government, they should at least kept in mind the damage they would create.

    Are the tea partiers pro business? Aparently not.

    Are people really interested in the health exchanges? Aparently so.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    October 3, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. What Now

    I live in Texas and Cruz tricked his way into office just as he is tricking his own House Republicans into believing that he is some sort of saviour for the GOP. This guy wants to be President and he doesn't care who he steps on to get there. He is full of bluster and bluff with no real ideas. This man has no substance and anyone who votes for or supports him is just being fooled. He has nothing to offer you as he cares only about himself.

    October 3, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Michael

    weak milk-toast of a man this cruz

    October 3, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Steve

    The GOP and Boehner are a bunch of spineless cowards. There are only a handful of Tea Party members pushing to defund the ACA and Boehner is letting them run (and ruin) the country. There are enough bipartisan votes in the House to get a clean CR passed and approved, but the GOP is letting the minority in their group dictate what happens. I hope everyone in America remembers this come 2014 and votes these cowards out of office. I have no problem if people have different beliefs than I do, but at least let the democratic process take place and stop acting as a terrorist group.

    October 3, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. geg

    its a wonder he did not read from his Nazi hand book to become leader ,instead of Dr.seuss

    October 3, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. excitizen

    Ted Cruz is even nuttier than the 2012 republican nominees – something I didn't think possible. What are you people putting in the water in Texas????? Roll the Chuck Norris video! I think the 1,000 years of darkness he spoke of was with respect to his own party, not the dems!

    Republicans better forget about taking back the country and take back their own party if they have any hope of ever being taken seriously again. It may be too late.

    October 3, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. G

    the republicans are on Cruz control headed to the bridge to no where

    October 3, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  23. Cleardad

    Im a 53 year old Independent not ever really leaning one way or another,however, I am totally disgusted by the new GOP and can't see myself ever voting republican again

    October 3, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. HoustonOilMan

    Ted Cruz doesn't care if he is re-elected to the senate because he thinks he'll be the next president. What's he smoking?

    October 3, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Hillcrester

    His effort will fail, but it will drag the GOP down with him.

    October 3, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
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