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. ART

    Hey Repukes you can put poop in a fancy box but it will still be poop,and you cannot blame some one else for what you do .This is all your poop deal with it

    October 3, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. lolo

    @ Dave I agrre with you. All of them should be brought up on treason charges.

    October 3, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  3. Big Tim

    "The Enormous Harm" ........ that having insurance is going to cause to the American people??????

    October 3, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Too many Republicans, in Congress, have been ignoring their voter base, who demand more responsible fiscal behavior, from Washington, overall, and their own representatives especially. Several of those will be challenged in the next primary.

    October 3, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  5. Todd

    I love the Republican strategy. Make the Democrats the party of NO. Isn't fun to be branded with your own name? Too bad! Democrats will have to explain why they won't fund parts of the government. I thank Ted Cruz for being my Senator.

    October 3, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. David/LA

    Hey, maybe Cruz and Boehner will try to repeal Civil Rights after this? I mean most people don't really need to vote. I just don't think the whole "equal rights" thing is going to work out. It's more of a hassle, really.

    October 3, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. freedom

    Cruz rocks!

    October 3, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. John T

    Teb Cruz is a Fraud on the people. He is only using this to further his political career. If he do not like Obamacare, why did he not use his 21 hours of time reading the whole ACA in the senate, so that 'American People' can understand what is wrong with it, instead of reading Dr.Suess story...whoever voted for him to be a senator are to be ashamed of this so called fighter for 'American People'

    October 3, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. TomGI

    I truly LOVE to see this infighting in the Republican Party. MANY said tea party front man Ted Cruz might be the one who finally destroys the Republican Party. I believed it and now it's happening. Make no mistake, Ted Cruz is NOT a Republican. He is a tea party extremist masquerading as a Republican.

    October 3, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. donethat

    We need to fire every single one of these puppets in November that are up for reelection.......

    October 3, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. KT

    Here we are again. I hope people now understand why voting is important. How are these people out voting the minorities in Texas. But I remember, Tom Delay who is now off the hook for the crimes he did in Texas. Never mind, these rednecks don't care what's happening to the country. They will vote republican regardless. So, you all, don't count Cruz out, its' been set up where he can not loose. He's not worried at all. And if you all haven't notice, it's all the form slave states.

    October 3, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  12. chicagoannie

    I don't understand why they didn't walk out on Cruz's 21 hour fiasco. He's another nut from TX and probably has his sights set on the White House – just trying to make a name for himself. He made a name in our household – time-wasting FOOL.

    October 3, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Amarjeet

    People of America have not given right to negotiate with political terrorism and extremism of Tea Party within American soil. Negotiation is an instrument and tool to work operational compromise with logic, rationality and mutual honor for public good. Anything detrimental to interests of people of America whether in principle, practice and professionalism is not acceptable as it humiliates American Democracy based on tolerance, sense of accommodation and reasonableness. Republican politics is turning Obama care or Affordable Health Act into Obama phobia which is sinister, immoral and what not.

    October 3, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. Ruth

    I'm a democrat but I used to admire the Republicans because I thought they knew how to get things done. They were well organized until they sold their soul to the Tea Party. Anytime, you go to bed with a racist group, you know you are in trouble. They really thought that they could have it both way, use them to gain control of the house but keep them under control, didn't work out to well. Palin went rouge, as she said, and cost John McCain the election. Yes, the Tea Party is the best thing that happen to the Democratic Party.

    October 3, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Santana

    Ted Cruz, get a haircut. Who is this narcistic rookie politician that influences blind irresponsible ideologic followers? The American people is what is at stake here. Quit dealing with past. Move on and quit using us as pawns for your greed.

    October 3, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. chicagoannie

    Boehner is no better than Cruz – and he doesn't have the b@lls for stand up to the teabagger extremists. I am disgusted by the GOP.

    October 3, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. davey

    ...ted cruz...a class A sophist..."THEY want a shut down" he spouts with a straight face... while cruz wants to go piecemeal on refunding the government...a bill here...a bill there...in dribs and drabs...lil baby steps...meanwhile the country is losing millions...gee i have a crazy idea...lets just open the whole damn government again, with a single vote,like Obama and the senate have already agreed to ..."they dont want the memorials open" ...we want the whole thing open again ted,not just 3 programs on some "one day at a time", for who knows what reason ... go ahead ted, open the WHOLE government, with just one vote... cruz is full of bologna...

    October 3, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Kitty 105

    Can those of us living in Texas please ask for a recall of Ted Cruz?
    I agree with Peter King and I have also written to my congressman with a similar message. If the Republicans want to change Obamacare, then they should offer up their own law to replace it, and put it to a vote. This is their job and this is why we have elections. I'm tired of the blame game, filibusters, and members of Congress parading in front of microphones. Are they legislators or are they running for American Idol?

    October 3, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. ConcernedCitizen

    Congress, You are all wrong. Stop pointing fingers at each other. Do you honestly think the American people care more about who is at fault when the immediate health of our country is at stake? When you add up the polls that show which party or group Americans blame for our current dilemma, it is 100% government. And do you think the American people care about whether the health care bill lives, stays, or is delayed if government is going to be so stubborn as to destroy this already weakened country? Either way, it is really the immediate health of our country that will be sacrificed here, not the healthcare act.

    And what is the likelihood that you will continue to play the same dangerous games over the debt ceiling? How dare you jeopardize the safety and stability of this great nation for the safety and stability of your own political party. Do you not realize you are placing America on a sacrificial altar while ignoring the blood and REAL hardships endured to build this great nation? The point here is that the American people only care that you stop playing them like a game of chess and take action. We are not puppets to be controlled. In fact, you are the puppet of the American people. We are the ventriloquist and true voice, you are the .....well....dummy.

    Thus, congress, I urge you to take the swiftest course of action and stop blaming each other. Vote on all bills and stop tabling them like a bunch of politicians and strategists. Vote like an American. That's what the people of this country would do. We don't get options to table votes. Remember, when cracks lie in a foundation, they will only get deeper over time unless they are filled in quickly. Again, I urge congress to make the swiftest course of action available.

    Lastly, Do the American people have to march on Washington and take it back before you come to your senses? Are you relying on the complacency of the American people not to act? Well we are not asleep. In fact we are wide awake more than ever before. Shall we open your eyes also? I urge every American to speak their mind to their representative and any other channel available before we let the dummy bite the hand that feeds it. Finally, America, don't forget how EACH party played you when it is time to vote. If either side really cared about you, we wouldn't be this close to the brink and would have solved these issues before now.

    October 3, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. jam8canpops

    Oh Ted Cruz,do you think you would ever get within striking distance of the White House if you should ever run for POTUS?Your attempt is DOA(dead on arrival).It is doubtful if you will ever hold public office in the USA again.It's bad when home grown terrorist strike but it's worse when we have a foreign born one.You,Ted Cruz,are nothing more than a terrorist and should be put down like a rabid dog.Mid term elections will be a massacre for the GOP.It will be decades before they get close to the WH.Had it not been for gerrymandering the GOP would be extinct.Never give up hope though,it may just happen.They are on a suicide mission.This country has no time for traitors.Next election I will go down the column and vote for anything with a "D" attached to it.The STUPID party is irrelevant!!!!!

    October 3, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. ST

    I now believe Cruz is 100% not a genuine citizen, just only on bogus papers. Any American who has the country at heart, can't do what Cruz has done to this nation. He has no feelings and love of the country. He must be deported.

    October 3, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Dave Lambert

    Cruz – you are a Piece of dodo for shutting down the gov. Go get yourself a real job and leave this work to someone who can work on behalf of the American people!

    October 3, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  23. sickofit

    Anyone who votes republican should remember that all of them, even the moderates, all of them are guilty of standing by and allowing a few lunatics to hijack this country and take us again and again to the brink of collapse. None of them have had the gonads to stand up to these terrorists. They all need to go.

    October 3, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. Judy-Florida

    GOP–you have stubborn, selfish toddlers holding your party hostage–need a strong parent to get the children to cooperate and get the country functioning again. They are costing us billions of dollars for this temper tantrum!!

    October 3, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. charles bowen

    Ted and Tom have a lot in common their both wack jobs of the highest order....My god, what next, you have a Boehner a Cruz all you need is a Bush to complete this circle of insanity ....Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 3, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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