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

    House Republicans have gotten boxed into a corner and Obama NOT being the statemen that he should be is playing typical Chicago in your face politics. Instead of finding a way out he is out as a leader should he is in front of friendly crowds spewing partisan rhetoric. In the past the other party always found a face saving measure for the other so the government can move on. This president, Reid and Pelosi are partisans to the hilt and trying to humiliate the GOP will hurt the and divide the nation.

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. beevee

    This guy Ted Cruz looks like a novice crook who is playing into the hands of those who oppose ACA and want to dismantle it completely. They may have fattented up his wallet. he should learn his lessons from this failed attempt to dismantle ACA. Many in his won party do not like it.

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Peace

    I am not surprised with the behaviour of this little kitten from Canada. He has the genes of Fidel Castro. Even his capacity of thinking is doubtful. Did he think that some of his Tea Party members of whom he needs their support will be also furloughed? And they are now. Where will he get the support then?

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. ARMYCSM

    How can an American Institution with "supposely" the brightest minds in the country (we all know that's a lie) allow an immigrant
    freshman senator to hookwink the entire GOP Congress and come out smelling like a rose. Now he thinks he is so powerful he will go after those who are moderate. Sooner or later he is coming for all of you who disagree with his diabolical right wing extremism. Oh what a web we weave when we try to deceive; the chickens are coming home to roost. (without the rooster)

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Fedup

    I dont understand this. The shutdown is bad for Republicans and Democrats not to mention the country as a whole. The stock market is taking a hit people arent getting paid and we look like a foolish country with our thumbs up our butts. So GET THIS DONE FUND THE GOVERNMENT FOR GODS SAKES!

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. timverba

    Will someone please tell the Republicans that Obamacare is already funded. To start tinkering with the funding levels now will only harm the program. But it is apparent that Mr Cruz wants 30 million Americans to go without access to affordable healthcare. He wants to keep the poor in Texas without access so that they do not have a chance to compete for anything except a low wage job.

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. bdby

    In the next election it is going to boil down to answering the question “Which party you despise the least?” and with that in mind to me it would be the Democrats. I am not saying they are worth their salt but until Boehner gets a set of gonads and tell the tea party terrorist that are holding our country hostage to “F” off this is the way it going to be now, I will go democratic. Right now people at my job and my wifes job were put on notice for shorter days to come.

    THANKS FOR NOTHING CONGRESS AND SENATE. HOPE YOU ENJOY YOUR SALARY, YOU CERTAINLY DIDN’T EARN IT.

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Roger

    I'm an old guy and an unaffiliated voter, but for the first time in my life I plan to campaign for a political party – the democratic party. I'm sick of today's Republican party. It is nothing like what it used to be.

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. CravenLiberal

    "but at the same time would start to address the enormous harms that Obamacare is inflicting on the American people." Can someone tell me what harm has come to the American people as a result of Obamacare? And don't use the one about people being put part time or laid off to avoid benefits. That crap has been going on for years before Obama even got elected to the Senate.

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  10. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Bohenr on Cruz,"He has a lot of Money" Wow, that says it all! It's all about the Party getting kickbacks and a lot of $ as America burns. VOTE THE SCUM OUT!

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. Bill

    The GOP was already in a downward spiral. This clown will ensure that they hit rock bottom. My guess is it will be 12 years before another republican occupies the White House. Thanks, Teddy>

    October 3, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. FCR

    The saddest part of this whole thing is that it once again demonstrates that many Americans are gullible enough to be sold a bill of goods by either party. The Republican and Democrat parties both play the same game in pursuit of more power. More power means more reward for them, and less for the rest of us.

    October 3, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. mk

    He's Canadian,didn't know that. I'm Canadian,YOU KEEP HIM.

    October 3, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. David/LA

    I know the US has been called an overly litigious society, but I really hope our legal system drags Cruz and Boehner across the coals for this. This was a long premeditated and we need to make an example of this. We can't have stubborn 3-year-olds steering the ship into the iceberg.

    October 3, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. TWoods

    It is not rationale that this has taken place. The affordable care act is a law and the country should not be shut down for a law. A CRA should not be held hostage for making this law a better law. The vote should come to the house and those Republicans with some sort of right, should request the speaker to bring the Senate bill to the house so we as a country can move forward. Not all people oppose the ACA. The poll numbers to not represent all Americans. Look at all those people who brought down the server for the ACA. Stop holding the federal workers hostage to this sort of out of control Congress.

    October 3, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Cali Grandma

    FIRE THEM. If they are unable or unwilling to do the people's business, they are gone at the end of their term. PERIOD, no exceptions. IMHO> If I had created such a fiasco at work, I would not be working any longer, for sure.

    October 3, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Aaron/NY

    Cruz is Joe McCathy and Hue Long all over again. His remarks and actions border on an attempt to overthow the legitimate government of the United States. He has essentially has tried to stop democracy in it's tracks; a perfect storm of arrognace, having lemmings for followers, and outright treason. Joe MCcarthy tried to bring the country to a standstill while he lied about communism infiltrating even the presidency. He created HUAC which destroyed people who oppsed him and careers. Huey, was a corrupt dictator like figure who stepped on people as he to achiveved unlimited power. Curz is both: destructive and treasonous. Time to wake up GOP..and America. Like McCarthy, he needs to be sensured and like Huey (although not by the same method) removed from American poltics.

    October 3, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. k330k

    Whomever voted for Ted Cruz should have to forfeit their voting priveleges for the next election cycle. They don't deserve it. Also, I don't understand how you can hold America's working class hostage and claim to be for farness and care about the American people. Those two opposing actions can not be reconciled or rationalized. Cruz and shutdown supporters, are being anti-American.

    October 3, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. dave

    Washington ( George) said beware of political parties making war on the government. If this is not it, I don't know what is. To me, it is treason to use the good faith of our government, and hold the eceonomy, and the American people hostage over a law that was passed, and uphelp by a "conservative leaning" Supreme Court. Some of these Tea Party conservatives have stated that they want to shut down the government. Again, I call it treason against the American people. Impeach, try, and imprison some of them (Cruz should be the first), and we may be able to put a stop to this foolishness.

    October 3, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Ed

    We get what we vote for? Thanks to gerrymandering more people voted for democratic house candidates in 2012 and we have still have a GOP majority in the house. We as a people need to educate ourselves on how the GOP has been steadily undermining the democratic process in this country since 2010. When a people in a democracy stop educating themselves about how their government works and allows minorities to undermine the democratic process for their own gain then that democracy is in danger. Ted Cruz is just the latest player on that stage.

    When Ted Cruz proposes to fund medical research to restart clinical trials, just remember the republican house has vote consistently in the last 3 years to cut these very programs. This is demagoguery and hypocrisy at its height. People educate yourselves or the flimflam man is going to sell you some snake oil.

    October 3, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. lolo

    Lay down with dogs you get fleas. The GOP has stepped in it. The crazies have taken over the asylum. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. z2cents

    TCruz is not a Texan..he is a Canadian living in Texas...most Texans do not stand with him and it will be evident in the next election

    October 3, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. TomGI

    Cruz is a part of the GOP because the GOP embraced the tea party minority. They did it and can't undo it. The tea party has completed its hijacking of the Republican Party. Cruz is a 'Republican' now, he's one of them like it or not so if the tea party sinks, like it's predecessor the christian coalition, it is most likely the Republican Party will sink with it.
    Personally, I think it is a hi-larious situation and no old timers within the 'Grand Old Party' can put the horse back in the barn.

    October 3, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. lolo

    This is what happens when you are so consumed with hate. The Tea Party like them Government perks and are not going to give up their medical or pay. They are using the elderly vets, the sick and anything else to make themselves look good. You can blame President Obama all you want but this dog won't hunt. 2014 can't get here fast enoug. Bye Bye GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. Kevin D.

    I live in Texas. It will not go Blue anytime soon. In fact, when the next civil war begins between the states, Texas and the other Red states that honor the 2nd amendment will easily prevail.

    Don't you liberal losers have drivers' licenses to go issue to illegals in California??

    October 3, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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