October 21st, 2013
08:16 AM ET
9 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. JDog257

    rdg18 – There are PLENTY of other things in spending that could be looked at instead of throwing a temper-tantrum over a fight they lost months ago.

    October 21, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Herbal Tea

    Why does Ted Cruz falsely misconstrue that the 'American People' are against the PP & ACA. As per the polls, some Americans want it to go further and not be defunded.
    ----------------------------
    Because that's what Republicans do. They call it messaging. The real world calls it lying. But, it is time proven technique of swaying public opinion. No one wants to think that their opinons are weird or out of the ordinary. They play on our human nature, our sense of wanting to belong, instead of being on the outside.

    So, they tell us "most Americans want blah" repeatedly until most Americans believe that they actually want blah.

    October 21, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. DW

    Defund/recall Ted Cruz.

    October 21, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Seattle49er

    A Palin clone without the lipstick, maybe. The worst is that this rhetoric could cause the GOP to split into the tea party and every republican on the other side. That would be a good thing for democrats but terrible for the country in the short term. We need checks and balance of a two party system. What the US doesn't need is someone willing to cause pain and suffering for the American people because they think they have the answer. History has taught us that many a dictator had ideas in that were the only answer. Cruz should be and needs to be censored.

    October 21, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. elpjen

    The problem with narcissists like Ted Cruz is that they sound like leaders, act like leaders and the result is very, very bad decisions.In addition, they are typically bullies.

    October 21, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Jimmy

    Cruz and the TEA party were elected because of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.
    They would not exist but for a left wing agenda being implemented across this great country.

    October 21, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Erik

    When can we deport this guy back to Canada?

    October 21, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. Pete

    Sen. Cruz figured the odds. He is not stupid – just very dishonest. He knew there would be no chance he was going to win on this, but he needed to pander to the tea party crowd to polish his credentials for a presidential run. My guess – as the Tea Party goes far to the right and the rest of the republican party steers toward the middle the GOP will split. The Tea Party will siphon just enough votes to screw things up for the GOP party. The "Ralph Nader" if you will, of the GOP.

    October 21, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Wake Up Texas

    Are there really any hardcore left-wing Democrats? I think the furthest left you get is Bernie Sanders, who is actually a socialist, clamoring for reform of education, infrastructure, workers' rights and civil liberties. I don't see any left wing extremists, just people who are actually looking out for American interests in general, as opposed to their own/their narrow constituencies'.

    October 21, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  10. tbgrsrlsrs

    Cruz – Boehner 2016. The dream team (for the Democrats).

    October 21, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Call me by my first name, Sergeant!

    I agree with cruz, senate gop is the problem, starting with him.

    October 21, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. mbw

    Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is delusional. He somehow thinks he has some direct line to all Americans and therefore
    can speak for all Americans. He dismisses the fact that most Americans have elected a Democratic President and Senate. Do democratically elected officials count or has he just appointed himself as king and dictator? I can definitely say he doesn't speak for me and I will continue to vote a straight Democratic ticket until he goes the same way as Sarah Palin. Obscurity is the best place for nit-wits such as them.

    October 21, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Rich

    Cruz spent $24B on nothing. Literally nothing. It had no chance of success, and I doubt even Cruz is deluded enough to think otherwise. It was just to make a point. Even IF we could all agree with Cruz about the dangers of "Obamacare", this $24 billion had no chance to actually get rid of the law. How in the world can this man claim to be fiscally responsible?

    October 21, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Juan

    No Ted you are the problem. You certainly know that the republican don't have enough votes to defund obamacare and yet Ted Cruz with rallying republican to support the no exit strategy shutdown. He ruin the Republican Party and must be put to shame. He did this for political gain without thinking about the consequences from the American people. If he wants to shutdown the government then shutdown Texas not the entire country. Ted your not speaking for the American people and please don't support people that wants to overthrow a duly elected president.

    October 21, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Wake Up Texas

    freedom

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

    He definitely has conviction and guts, but he's dishonest and a slimeball. The things he advocates for are himself and his bank account.

    October 21, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Jobu

    The Chosen One has spoken!
    Glory to Mammon on highest!

    October 21, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. G

    the lone ranger rides again -this guy needs a strait jacket

    October 21, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. Jetranger

    SENATE GOP, are a bunch of OLD self Serving Lunitics is the problem, who are blind and ignorant and totally out of touch with the rest of the country, they don't care and don't have to !

    October 21, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Thomas

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

    Equipped for what , the off Broadway version of Joe McCarthy ?

    Cruz talks about concessions , negotiations and compromise . Yet , those principles do not apply to himself of the TeaParty,
    He's a one sided coin !

    Cruz / Palin 2016

    A dem dream come true !

    October 21, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. Cruz-ified

    This guy is the Mad Hatter of the Tea Party. He reminds me of Joe McCarthy, leading us to disaster exploiting paranoia for prominence. And he should know better, he is smart and well-educated, I doubt he believes 2% of the drivel he espouses. In other words he is an opportunist who does not care about the damage he does as long as he gets to be the ringmaster. True slime.
    So I am not surprised that his position is that it would have worked had the Senate supported him, despite the fact that they let him have his way all the way up to minutes from economic Armageddon.

    October 21, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Grace

    Look at his smirk....that tells you he is enjoying the derailing of his own party and the "attempt" at trying to derail America the Beautiful. He is despicable and an egomaniac. Those who follow him and the likes of Palin, et all, are unable to distinguish who really loves our country.

    October 21, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Dave

    Let him keep running his mouth. The more he does, so much the better for the Democrats.

    October 21, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. Thomas

    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.

    =========

    Directly !
    Ted Cruz, Goldman Sachs, ... Cruz's wife is currently head of the Southwest Region in the Investment Management .... "vice president in the Private Wealth Management Group at Goldman Sachs, Texas".

    October 21, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. tom carter

    Is there something in the Texas water? He's not the first politician from Texas to act like a complete fool.

    October 21, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. bspurloc

    cruz per usual fails at math....
    60% of United States Population thinks him and gang are a bunch of tools...
    as Bill Clinton explained, they fail at math. simple math.

    October 21, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
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