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

    When this all comes out in the wash, which is Washington slang for the game of Texas Hold'em, and the GOP realizes that going all in with mixed suit garbage ( Tea Party) wasnt the best decision as they blew there whole stack ( credibility), they will hang Cruz out to dry. And he is stupid for not seeing it, The only differences between him and Obama is that Obama will still have a seat in the game, and Cruz will not. However, what they do share is that they both are not old white guys, and that is what makes this game keep going, old white guys and their dirty money. There will be new players for sure at the table in a few years. Hell, even a woman might get to play someday. But the game remains the same. And the guys that have been at the table since the beginning of the game remain the same. The only thing that changes are the new players, and the way that the old guys can figure out how to take their money, as well as their dignity.

    October 3, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. dan

    I feel that if the republicans want to bargin against laws that are already in effect then the President and the Senate should pick one of the republican backed laws like the sequester and bring it back up for negotiation. I do wish they would end this childish tantrum that the house and speaker cruz are displaying, it would be funny, but my stocks are taking a hit and I think my republican representative is about to get one nasty e-mail, when he ran he did not identify himself as a bagger, but he must be if he votes for this crap.

    October 3, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. frs

    Thank you Sen, Cruz and the TP.
    On behalf of all sane, reasonable Americans, we thank you for handing the 2014 and 2016 elections to the Dems.
    And thanks also for those Democratic party contributions which are now far, far above normal levels. The moolah is flowing now!
    And thanks also for ensuring that Republican donations are now way, way down below normal.
    Thanks guys!!

    October 3, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    This is proof as to how spineless the GOP leadership really is. being led around by a freshman Senator whose experience is literally measured in months. One man's ego is preventing this country from moving forward.

    October 3, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Alpha Money Man

    @ Jam.Nat: Why on earth are you being this biased? Boehner / Cruz / Republicans boxed themselves into a corner, and you expect Reid and the President to bail them out? Give me a break! Since when has politics in Washington turned into that? All of a sudden, you want these Republicans to be treated nicely, despite the fact that a whole Nation is being held to ransom (or maybe you can't figure it out that), just because they want to execute their agenda – you think they really care about you? Some folks are making tons of money out of this whole mess, in case you don't know. Ted Cruz has got so much financial backings to execute this and you think he is only doing it because he so much loves the Country / People and truly wants to tackle deficit?? Oh man! It's all politics for God's sake and you fell for it. A piece of advice; do your research yourself to find out what's in it for you, instead of allowing yourself to be used as a tool!

    October 3, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. seafarr1

    TeaParty Caucus are only a handfull of GOP; what Harry & Barry really fear is the earthquake of American discontent with their progressive, leftist agenda Grinding Down America. A tsunami of traditional values for smaller government & balanced budgets will soon flush away the filth. Ted Cruz has his hand on the plunger.

    October 3, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. rich

    Hey we need to see his birth certificate. I know he is still collecting his check. I remember when ACA first came about we always heard about a GOP plan that was better, same old misdirection from the GOP.

    October 3, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. BooBooBubby

    Notice that when they say a "good politician" one of the qualities was NOT "caring for the general welfare of the country". Nope-just money grubbintg and influence peddling. That said it all. Tea Party got it's wish, they brought down the government. Now they will want to set up a new capital in 'Atlanta or Dallas and start a new confederacy.
    USA defeated by a Canadian. How befitting of these groups in washington. Boehner, you need to grow a pair and stand up to them!

    October 3, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Carolyn

    It's interesting and kind of shocking how much the Republican party does not really get it...does not really understand what is happening inside their own party. What's at stake for them is losing the White again in the next election, and – after this – they will lose the House and Senate for sure. I thought Boehner had more spine than he is showing. He comes off looking very weak and showing poor leadership by not taking to task this very small group of ultra, nonsensical – conservatives. By not taking action he's is saying basically that the "Tea party" has the GOP by the balls. Wow, if I were a Republican I would be embarrassed right now. In fact I am embarrassed for the Grand Old Party. I would like to take them seriously but it's impossible when they don’t even understand how law making works. The President has more spine than all the House Republicans put together at this point.

    October 3, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. V Lapping

    Who is this Ted Cruz idiot....PLEASE Canada....take him back.....he is ruining our country......

    October 3, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. vikingwoman

    Cruz's comments reminds me of a man accused of domestic violence who say's: "She wanted me to hit her, she was 'pushing my buttons'!" How disingenious can you get! But I don't think Cruz should get the blame all on his own! Let's call Mark Meadows out, too! The Real GOP, not this phoney GOTP, better start not just speaking up, but standing up! 1st thing on the agenda, after the government is up & running: Freeze out the T in your party! Voters will take care of the rest!!

    October 3, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. discontent

    Ted Cruz is a danger to this country

    October 3, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Data Driven

    @Jam.Nat,

    "In the past, the other party always found a face-saving measure for the other"

    Yeah maybe, but in the past, the other party wasn't trying to nullify the previous national election by extorting demands during bill-paying time. As a result, we're not interested in saving your "face", Jam. Your parties' fiasco; you own it.

    October 3, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    Aaaaah, Turd Cruz...well, the turd that floats to the top is usually the one that causes the most stink.

    October 3, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. kylefromohio

    An Canadian-Cuba leading the old southern Democrat's or should I say the New Republican Party, what a joke,

    October 3, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    If they want to defund the ACA, they need to do it the right way and NOT hold the country hostage. Try running on defunding it as an ISSUE and winning a friggin election for a change. In the meantime, DO YOUR JOBS!

    October 3, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. xRedfoxx

    Any republican bashing Sen. Cruz is not listening to the voters, and is not a conservative. We will not forget this lack of support come primary season.

    October 3, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ... 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
    -------------------------------------------------
    Any more questions?
    He shouldn't have gotten "pushback" he should've gotten stomped down.

    October 3, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Craven Morehead

    Hey Ted, what do you have against Obamacare exactly? Do you think its going to be like that terrible medical care back home in Canada? Are you worried about having the same kind of doctors down here like up in Canada where they removed your brain instead of lancing that boil on your face? Or like when they gave your sister an abortion instead of breast implants? Or like when your cousin Skippy went to counseling to drive the "gayness" out of him, but he ended up joining the NRA, buying 30 guns for his hunting cabin outside of Edmonton, and becoming addicted to Oxycontins and Canadian Mist?

    October 3, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Mary

    I find Mr. Cruz' very strong opposition to "Obamacare" ironic. He was born in Canada, and his mother and baby Ted received the free "socialized" Canadian medical care before, during and after his birth.

    October 3, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    The big-money GOP donors need to kill this monster they created: Cut off the tea bag folks before they tank our and the world's economy.

    October 3, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Jim

    Ah, Ted Cruz, a true republican! I'm in it for me and mine and the h*ll with the rest of the country.

    October 3, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. Dick Delson

    He's an idiot and hopefully will be gone after one term.

    October 3, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  24. ceespot

    Cruz can't run for prez he is not a natural born citizen, he was born in Canada, thank god, but watch he'll want his tea baggers change the consitution so he can run.

    October 3, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. Les Jameson

    Another Texas wacko of the same ilk as Rick Perry. I lived there and nuts like these are one of the reasons I left. Not stupid, just selfish, greedy, and wacko. Borderline treasonous.

    October 3, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
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