October 21st, 2013
08:16 AM ET
11 months ago

Cruz: Senate Republicans are 'single-most damaging thing' for the GOP in 2014

(CNN) - If Republicans suffer losses in next year's mid-term elections because of the recent partial government shutdown, Sen. Ted Cruz said Senate Republicans–not Democrats–will be responsible.

"The single-most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate Republicans coming out, attacking the House Republicans, attacking those pushing the effort to defund Obamacare and lining themselves up opposite of the American people," Cruz told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash in an interview in San Antonio.

His comments, which aired Monday on "New Day," come as a new CNN/ORC International survey indicates that more than half of the country is displeased with Republicans holding majority power in the House.

According to the poll, 54% say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it's a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.

Cruz to CNN: ‘I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington’

This is the first time since Republicans won back the House in the 2010 elections that a majority of people say GOP control of the chamber is bad for the country.

Cruz helped lead the conservative Republican strategy to attach anti-Obamacare provisions to must-pass spending legislation this fall. With the support of the White House, the Democratic-controlled Senate refused to take up anything that tried to dismantle the president's signature health care law.

Ultimately the disagreement led to the 16-day partial government shutdown, which removed $24 billion from the economy, according to an initial analysis from Standard & Poor's.

Republican shutdown pain may boost Dems in 2014

Many Senate Republicans rebuked the effort led by Cruz, a first-year senator who was elected in 2012, and they privately and publicly discouraged the senator from pursuing the tactic.

"It was a fool's errand to start with. It was never going to succeed," Sen. John McCain said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

McCain didn't single out Cruz but blamed "the whole effort" instead.

"Keep up the fight against Obamacare. But don't shut down the government and have so much collateral damage," the Arizona Republican added.

Some argue Cruz's strategy was taken in part to raise money for conservative groups that back primary challengers. One group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, which supported Cruz last year, raised $2.1 million in September–a large amount for a nonelection year.

McCain: Obamacare website rollout a 'fiasco'

Asked if his effort was a money-making enterprise, Cruz said: "Not remotely."

The Texas Republican said he's "hopeful" Senate Republicans will change.

"I am hopeful there will be some time, some reflection, and that Senate Republicans will come back. Come back to the principles they believe and they campaigned on. I'm hopeful we'll actually put action behind the campaign promises," he said.

In the Senate, Democrats hold 55 seats, including two independents who caucus with the Democrats, while Republicans hold 45. Democrats are defending 21 of the 35 seats up for grabs next year, with Republican defending 14.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2014 • Congress • Ted Cruz
soundoff (827 Responses)
  1. Craig in Pa.

    This idiot needs to look in the mirror to define the problem...His arrogant ass will be out on the street next election cycle...But he is too stupid to realize it. He has a lunatic fringe following...not any majority of the people behind him...

    October 21, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. sophia

    Every word that comes out of Ted Cruz's mouth is collateral damage for the Republicans. As a Democrat, I'd like to thank you for killing every ounce of respect I once had for the Republican Party. Every sentence he makes is going to be an additional seat for the Democrats in the 2014 elections, particularly in swing states. The party has officially become the most inefficient, expensive, and idiotic comedy show of the 21st century with Mr. Boehner and Mr. Cruz to lead the way. Congratulations!

    October 21, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Ol' Yeller

    @Maddy
    Since cruz is part of the senate gop, he has kind of a point.

    Yeah, but you can barely see it because of the way he parts his hair

    October 21, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Robert

    Mr Tea bag should just look in a mirror to see the problem.

    October 21, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  5. guest

    Be wary. This guy is almost too good to be true for democratic party. Do not buy into his hogwash, not one bit. Quarantine him and his message until he can safely be disposed of in 2014. Do not let Cruz infect you with his brainwashing. He is an enemy of the state, and is playing on fears and uncertainties. His Propaganda is as damaging to the republican party as it is to America. Do not open the door for groups like the National Socialists by allowing Cruz to affect you. He is poison for this country, his propaganda is sowing seeds of discord and distrust in every crack of the government.

    Do not allow him to convince you that 'all politicians' must go, making room for a group like National Socialists, or other extremist groups to seize a foothold in American politics. Be wary of this Ted Cruz, he is a snake, interested in only money and spreading his extremist views across america.

    October 21, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. G

    Texas deport him

    October 21, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. All aboard the shutdown express....

    Cruz says he doesn't work for the 'party bosses' in DC...it might serve the GOP well to find out who he is working for?? Polls are telling him that more than half of we the people don't agree with his tactics but he just ignores those and conducts his own poll...wow..i've seen a lot of dysfunction coming out of DC in the past but this is something more than dysfunction... more than delusion... more than wrong headedness... ok, I admit it....I'm stumped...

    October 21, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. freedom

    Ted Cruz has conviction, honesty, guts, and integrity. Whether you agree with him or not, he's equipped.

    October 21, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Jan

    I'm also from Texas and I agree. Ted Cruz is a self-absorbed, publicity-seeking, blowhard of the Foghorn Leghorn variety. He will say/do anything to draw attention to himself. When both Texas senators come up for re-election, I will vote against them, no matter who the opponent.

    October 21, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. Marshu

    Narcissist who blames the world for his problems.

    October 21, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. conservative

    Surely when he refers to "American people" he's talking about the Texans that voted him into office. I'm guessing a significant chunk of those folks are dealing with buyer's remorse right about now.

    October 21, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Brian

    If the Tea Party truly believed in their cause, they'd stop piggy-backing on the GOP and create their own political party. Instead, they are trying to kill the GOP from the inside out. Because deep down, they know that most Americans will dismiss the Tea Party if they branched out on their own.

    October 21, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. JY

    Ted is a joke. Listened to the interview yesterday and he is like a broken record, says the same thing over and over and over.
    He is either blind to reality or believes the old GOP strategy, If I lie enough and consistently, maybe they will believe me.

    He needs to be ignored and taken out of the lime light, his 15 minutes were wasted and destructive.

    October 21, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Ol' Yeller

    Asked if his effort was a money-making enterprise, Cruz said: "Not remotely."

    What an honest answer... it was NOT remotely, it was directly.

    October 21, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. MaryM

    Remember Americans, "If you Cruz, You Lose" !!

    October 21, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. TomNPitt

    Being an ex-Republican now an Independent, I see no reason at all to change my current status. I've always thought myself to be Moderately Conservative. That now makes me a Communist!! The Republicans have a wide variety of positions and apparent beliefs! I keep hearing "We're not al as crazy as Cruz"; but almost everyone in the House stayed with him, all the way to walking away from debt responsibilities! The Republicans appear to have no allegiance to anything that makes the United States the United States of America; including a bunch who want to organize a secession movement!! Would that be a permanent secession, or just until Obama is done? There are way too many Republicans with way too many special interests for me to even pay attention who might be running for the presidency. One of Reagan's strong points to me at the time, was the Democrats represented too many nut jobs! Right now, as crazy as they are, the Democrats seem to be the more Conservative Party!! The Republicans have to get some people in office, or at least running for office, who believe in improving America, and not just destroying it. As much as we may all hate to be told what to do – we need a Federal Government, and at least two parties to run and manage it.

    October 21, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. Jack from Canada

    Cruz had 800 female supporters at his recent fundraiser, and they "represented the American People, rising up against Obamacare". As an overview; I didn't notice any Hispanics or Blacks in the fawning crowd, they oddly seemed to consist of seemingly well-off white women. The American people referred to by Cruz and his Tea Party Fanatics don't care about anyone except their wealthy extremist cohorts, not the "USA"

    October 21, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. JY

    let us not forget Ted's daddy faught with Castro against Batista in the 50's. Radicalism, extremism and winning at all costs runs in the family.

    October 21, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. anon

    the only problem in the gop is to many drama queens this guy included as he is the biggest blow hard of them all aside from bohner

    October 21, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Bill Davis

    I think Ted Cruz needs a mental evaluation. He's living in an alternate universe. Facts somehow doesn't line up for this guy.

    October 21, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. Tychi

    The Senate GOP at least tried to do something. The Senate did their job over Cruz's objections. That is the problem, the Senate did not do what Cruz and the Tea Party said to do. So I guess that is really the problem. The Senate did what was right and helped the nation and that makes Cruz mad.

    October 21, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  22. Steven Colo

    Because anything that stands in his way is a threat. To be destroyed because nobody compromises.

    October 21, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  23. neastsider

    if the senate republicans are the problem, then Cruz is the infection that needs to be removed.

    October 21, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Susan

    I think all those who obstruct how Congress does business should go–this includes and is highlighted by Ted Cruz foremost and the Tea Party seditious conspiracy actually shutting down government and threatening to default the country. It's pure and simple but does the country and Congress have the guts to act on this? I don't think so. We have all lost our moderate compromising country to a minority view of extreme conservatives.

    October 21, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  25. Layla

    The Congressional record will indicate spending bills were delivered to the Senate on time from the House and rejected by Harry Reid.

    Tell me how the Republicans caused the shutdown again? This decision was made by Reid. I support Cruz because he listens to the American people, something NOT being done by ANY in the Senate.

    October 21, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
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