October 21st, 2013
08:16 AM ET
12 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. DaveL

    If Ted Cruz wants to see the real problem with the GOP all he has to do is take a look in the mirror.....

    October 21, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Insight

    Re-call Ted Cruz

    October 21, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. JohnRJohnson

    The MadHatter of the Tea Party has revealed himself.

    October 21, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. JohnRJohnson

    The MadHatter of the Tea Party has revealed himself. Today is his unbirthday.

    October 21, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Larry

    One of the posters here said we don't see anything of the far left anymore. The far left is still alive and well but we don't want to be targeted by the far right – these days they are so angry they would probably shoot us or bomb us. Better to just stay quiet and out-vote them. Our issues are in the fore-front anyway because the far right has to have something to curse at so we get lots of free press. Women's rights, environment, entitlements, help for the poor. All the stuff the right wing nutcases hate.

    October 21, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. hozo1

    Cruz = Koch Brothers mouthpiece ... he is getting paid a lot of $$$ to do this

    October 21, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Thing0351

    This guy is brilliant! Every time he opens his mouth he pisses someone else off. First the Dems, then the American people, and now the Repubs. Enjoy your one and only term...

    October 21, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. Mr. Zee

    I dont know why every elected person from Texas is dumber than the other one. I have yet to see anyone from Texas who is not ignorant. From Bush to Cruz to Rick Perry.

    October 21, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. sly

    Ted 'Custer' Cruz – led the Republicans to the worst butt kickin' in recent history.

    Thank you Cruz – you are the best thing for the American people since Sarah Palin.

    October 21, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Terrance Donnelly

    Why and how does Ted Cruz rant about "what the people want". I am not one of his people. He is a Junior Senator from Texas. Out of 26,000,000 residents of Texas, he was put in office with 4,400,000 voting for him. He doesn't even represent one fourth of the people of his home state. He certainly doesn't represent the people of America. He is full of himself and has abused the small voice that his position provides. I am surprised that we haven't learned that a loud mouth is just that. Rather than be someone who aggressively tries to improve America he acts to hurt it. Shame full, closed minded and egotistical.

    October 21, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. mike in NH

    As a conservative independent I can say that Cruz is one of the most dangerous people in the US. Cruz just doesn't get it. Yes I'm sure he is representing the majority of his constituents very well. But the reset of nation isn't as conservative as most of his constituents. So he can either continue with his obstructionist scorch the earth philosophy or he can join the game and bring something to it.

    He can represent his constituents by getting their issues into the discussion, but he's ignorantly naive to believe he can win 100% of what he wants with less than a majority of support. He needs to dial it back and go it small victories.

    The public would like to sweep the radical obstructionists out from both parties.

    October 21, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. Mark Greenway

    Blowing things up in front of people and shifting the blame! What kind of game is this idiot playing and why is he still getting attention? I'm ashamed to be a Texan!!!

    October 21, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. John

    Dude needs a reality check.

    October 21, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Alex

    Cruz keeps claiming that is it democrats and sane republicans going against "the american people". This is just delusions for so many reasons. First, over half of Americans support the ACA or don't think it goes far enough. Second, the American people support the merican government and don't want it shut down. Cruz supporting the Shutdown is what is going against the American people. Third, the American people support legislation through voting, not extortion. Bush won an election and he passed tax cuts, passed Medicare part D and Started wars, that is his elected legacy. Obama won an election and he passed stimuls, raised taxes on the wealthy (not as much as bush cut them), passed credit card reform, created a consumer protection agency, and passed tyhe ACA. If republicans want to run against this, win an election and repeal Obamacare, that is the way it works. Trying to hijack government and harm the nation as "leverage" to change legislation you can't with a vote is going against the American people.

    Cruz is the problem, not republicans who don't want to harm the country as leverage for partisian political gains.

    October 21, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. danomite

    Pot...meet kettle. What fantasy world does Cruz live in?

    October 21, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. Jan

    Well, I have to agree with Cruz, republicans ARE the problem. What he claim to be again, republican right, so guess he's part of the problem.

    October 21, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. citizen78717

    Researchers at UT Austin have discovered high levels of mind-altering toxins in Texas iced tea commonly served at Republican Tea Parties.

    "When in Texas, stick to water or ice cold beer, and avoid the kool-aid," researchers warn.

    October 21, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. beancounterz

    Unfortunately, Texas law does not allow for recall elections. We need to get a democratic majority electorate before this can change. Baaed on current purple course of the state, it would probably be 2020 before this is realistic. Question for the pack: Was Rafael Cruz's father a Cuban citizen when he was born? If so, would that make Rafael a Cuban, Canadian, and by-the-way US citizen?

    October 21, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. JeffreyRO5

    Only in politics (and specifically, conservative politics) does a commitment to be uncooperative, unyielding and an outsider get seen as a good thing.

    October 21, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. jj

    Cruz is so deluded.

    October 21, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Patrish

    There is nothing like bad mouthing your own party to make friends. You can do NOTHING in congress by yourself. I understand he is not well like as a person, that means he's going to have a hard time down the road getting things done. Republican will not want to be stand with him on issues because of the negative effect it might have on them. At least Rubio showed some brains by trying to learn how congress works. In a few years he may be a worthy Republican. Cruz will be a flash in a pan like Palin was. Can I mention, that he's kinda of creepy to look at? At least Palin was pretty to look at.

    October 21, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. Matt

    Will someone shut this guy up?

    October 21, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. Vince

    Keep pushing that line Ted! You're making Dems very very happy!!!

    October 21, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Harold II

    Actually, Mr. Cruz is the problem because (a) he does not know when to keep his mouth shut, (b) he should emigrate to North Korea, and (c) we are sick and tired of him.

    October 21, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. W.

    I really wanted to comment of Mr. Cruz, but after reading the earlier opinions I cannot pull up anything meaningful from the very depths of loathing. I guess he should have been at the Alamo where he could have annoyed the others.

    October 21, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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