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

    Ted Cruz has the support of grassroots Republicans, BAH!! They should all be looking at the grass from the underside,
    The credibility of the USA is suffering throughout the world and I am sure OBL is laughing in his grave, nice assist to Cruz in the assault on the American economy by Muslim extremists.

    October 3, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. tom l

    I just hope this is another one of Obama's "red lines"

    October 3, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. jimranes

    Ted Cruz's name is Rafael Edward Cruz. His father's name is Rafael Benevenido Cruz, a Cuban National, who emigrated to Canada. His mother was a US citizen from Delaware. Rafael Edward Cruz wants to destroy our country. He thinks he can run for Presidency? I would not want to be in his shoes when the stock market crashes later this month.

    October 3, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. jimmiek

    As a Texas – Stand with Lord Speaker Rafeal Cruz NOT!

    October 3, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Pete

    Ted Cruz is just another sick puppy who is self-destructive and doesn't care who he takes down with him. He would be totally laughable if only he wasn't also dangerous.

    October 3, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Dave R.

    For those that are old enough to remember, Cruz as is Issa are Joe McCarthy reincarnated. They can only campaign on a hoax for so long before everyone realizes they are egotistical liars and then they will go down in flames.

    October 3, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Mike S

    Ted Cruz is nothing but a narcissist and the GOP are his codependents. He loves to hear his name and feels superior to all others. He needs treatment not unearned recognition. The trouble with his relationship with the GOP is that they are both in love with him.

    October 3, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. MMoore

    It was just last year that Mr. Cruz was looking for help to resolve the Illegal Immigration Crisis. Obama brought peace to the minds of all Hispanic Americans regarding the possible deportation of illegal aliens. Mr. Cruz was one of the first to beg Obama to intercede. Wow, how soon he forgets>>>

    October 3, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. lhmorris

    I'm embarrassed to admit that I am a registered Republican.
    I will only vote Democratic from now on. I'm sick to my stomach watching Republicans act like bought and paid for lobbyist.
    It is all about the money..... wealthy wanting to maintain control of this country's assets (Healthcare Industry and Oil Industry). Anyone who is somewhat educated knows that Trickle down economics is destroying the middle class.
    And heaven forbid we don't want the working poor to have decent healthcare.. What will they ask for next....a decent education?

    October 3, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  10. Doug in NYC

    I'm beginning to think RAFAEL Cruz is a plant by the Democrats to finally destroy the Republicant party. So to REFAEL Cruz I say, Please continue.......

    October 3, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    "The problem with it is, it's one thing to be good at politics. It's another thing to be not good at strategy.""

    And yet another thing entirely to be good at governing.

    Apparently unsatisfied with simply taking the ball and going home, the GOP/Teatrolls have decided to stab it with a pencil.

    October 3, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. mary

    To bad Canada doesnt even want Cruz back. We could manage to send him over the border again with just donations easily

    October 3, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. sawlz

    Dear Rafael Cruz,
    Your 15 minutes of fame are over. Resign due to blatant incompetence. You will not be President.

    October 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Greg in Arkansas

    The only thing missing from the picture of Cruz is the "Mission Accomplished" banner hanging in the background,
    I'm sure if he contacted "W", he might be able to get it on loan.

    October 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. Misterwire

    About 80% of American voters voted for Obama because they liked his healthcare program. Those 80% are not being respected by this Canadian who is probably in this country to derail it. He is probably planted by a foreign entity to cause America to implode and should be investigated by the CIA. A man with communist DNA thinks he understands capitalism more than the children of Adam Smith! Personally, I do not agree with what Obama is doing but I respect the brilliant 80% American people who put him in the office to work for them. Obama did not put himself in that office and should be encouraged to do the work American people put him there for. RESPECT AMERICANS!

    October 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. bill

    Ted Cruz is more dangerous to our country than the terrorists. He is trying to undo the Constitution. We are a nation of laws and he does not seem to want to follow them. If congress does not like a law, then pass another one. If the President doesn't agree, then its over. That is called Separation of Powers. Extorting our country to change law is NOT the process our forefathers had written into the constitution. We need to get all these traitors to our country out.

    October 3, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. RE

    Republibigots need to make up their minds as to whether they want a Fascist government or just all out anarchy. They are definitely working towards one of them. A few years ago John Dean. who had been Nixon's counsel said that there is a strong Fascist strain running through the repuglibigot party.

    October 3, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Maine liberal

    thirty teaparty republicans in the house are "speaking" for 300 million people.

    They don't speak for me and I did not Vote for them

    October 3, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Michael Benjamin

    Blame Senator Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz, R-TX for the House's position on adopting his game plan to defund Obamacare. Who is in charge of the House? Was there a secret election in the US House of Representative which elected Senator Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz, R-TX speaker? There is no leadership in the House. Just a bunch of petty politicians trying to protect their keisters.

    It's bad enough the House leadership(wink wink) went along with this in the first place, but now to lay the blame on Senator Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz, R-TX just goes to show Republicans are traitors. Obama is wise not to negotiate with them. They don't trust each other so why should the president trust them? Pass a clean CR then we'll talk.

    October 3, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  20. Jimmy

    Ted Cruz is not American. He is a terrorist. He should be deported..

    October 3, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Planner922

    Maybe there will be a Democratic Party Candidate who will be in his Seat in the next Election! Along with the 48 other who are now Tea Party members. By the way, did you know that while these same 49 members voted to de-fund WIC and SNAP, 10 of them receive tremendous amounts of Farm Subsidies?
    They kept the Farm Subsidies for the "Poor Farmers" but voted to take food out of the mouths of children? Patriots?

    October 3, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "I love how the same people that are chatising Ted Cruz as a fraud, when all he's doing is standing up for what he believes in, are the same people that are supporting Wendy Davis. Ahhhh, the irony of the left..."

    Ted Cruz isn't a fraud for standing up for what he (allegedly) believes (I'll leave the question of just how much he's a pandering liar out of it for now). No...he's a fraud for selling his base a strategy THAT HE KNEW COULD NOT AND CANNOT WORK. "Defunding" the ACA would not have resulted in it not getting its funding and continuing to be implemented. He's either the smartypants you like to claim and knew that very well OR he's a total moron. Choose.

    Moreover, the ACA is not going to end up defunded or delayed or any of the other variations that the GOP/Teatrolls have proposed that are all functionally equivalent in that they will severely undermine it and potentially destroy it. None of it is going to work. The "clean" CR is going to end up getting passed. The GOP/Teatrolls are going to take horrible damage from this whole crisis hostage situation they've manufactured.

    October 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. Seth

    "The enormous harms Obamacare is inflicting on the American People." I keep hearing this with absolutely no explanation for what those harms are and not acknowledgment that the law hasn't even gone fully into effect.

    October 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Bob

    To Think Again – question. Why is it so important to start funding "tax payer funded trials for cancer kids" but turn your back on millions of kids who have no health insurance? Who picks what is right and wrong to fund? Oh, that's right, under this new Republican Order, it is Boehner who can decide which parts of the government are important and not important. Democrats are not worried because they know the large majority of Americans are smart enough to see this game for what it is, childish.

    October 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Gary L. Wimmer, Master of Lithomancy

    Senator Ted Cruz has shown that he cares nothing about legislating, cooperating, negotiating, building relationships, keeping the government going, or doing anything for the people of Texas or our country. And on and on. I’ve run out of fingers counting his contemptible actions.

    Our freshman Senator shows no allegiance to anyone, and has become an embarrassment to our state and country. Since we can expect six years of this nonsense, you Republicans should seriously consider a recall election, which Democrats would wholeheartedly support. Who could be worse than Senator Cruz? Unfortunately, what he does care about can be counted on one finger: himself.

    October 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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