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. Mark

    Ted keeps pushing me to the left, away from his thinking.

    October 21, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. MD man

    Note to the Republican Party: please, please, oh please, make Ted Cruz your next nominee for President of United States. Please! Nothing else will assure a landslide win for the Clinton/Warren ticket.

    October 21, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Karen

    The single-most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014 is...Ted Cruz!

    October 21, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. bombastus

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

    Cruz is now an official DC insider…he looked the camera straight in the eye and lied. No matter what happens to the GOP or tea party, Cruz will walk away from this as the Pied Piper of the right and command huge speaking fees. He's Palin with a brain and he'll be a rich man. Our culture of greed promotes this type of behavior. But even smart guys like Cruz might be just delusional enough to think he is leading some sort of grass roots revolution that will sweep him to power. I feel most for those poor ignorant people following the likes of Cruz. They are in for a crushing disappointment.

    October 21, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. iBod

    This guy...
    ...I cannot say I know of any other Senator crazier than he.

    October 21, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Tim Jordan

    One moment of clarity in that Senator Cruz realizes he's the problem? Sorry, getting my hopes too high.

    October 21, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Jeff Cohee

    Every time Ted Cruz opens his mouth he heaps more poop on the Republican party and improves the Democrats' chances in the mid-term elections. Keep on keeping on Teddy! You're the only guy who's hated by his own party and loved by Democrats.

    October 21, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. J Russ

    Micheal, yes the needs of the country trump the needs of one state but Mr Cruz was elected to represent the view of the state of Texas which is what he said he was doing. If that's not correct then Texas will handle it.

    October 21, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. RAWoD

    Look at the mirror Ted - YOU are the most damaging thing to the GOP at this moment.

    October 21, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Dallas

    To: Wake up People: You certainly have a point – We've got an idiot for a governor, we are the home of GWB and now we have Ted Cruz. I'm thinking there must be something in the water in certain parts of the state. Thankfully Perry is not running again (13 years of this man is more than enough) but the person who wants to succeed him is even more dangerous than he is. That is why we are pushing very hard for Wendy Davis to become our next governor. It is going to be an uphill battle but if we don't start at once trying to turn our state if not blue at least purple, I see no hope. Any help we can get from our neighbors in the other 49 states for State Sen. Wendy Davis would be most welcome.

    October 21, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. ro

    Outside of his idiot politics...something about Cruz just doesn't sit right with me...he kinda has that weird "to catch a predator/robbing from the church/trapped in the closet look to him...I have a strong feeling he's gonna get caught in a sex scandal with an underage guy...he looks like he was home-schooled...I'm sorry but if I were from Canada i wouldn't claim him...

    October 21, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. Dhan

    Houston, You have a Problem!

    October 21, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. RMT

    To all those who wonder when Cruz is going to 'give it up'...let me offer this up... he will not give it up until he no longer has a media audience where he can spout his nonsense.

    October 21, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. dr. vinny boombotts

    It's the male version of Michelle Bachmann.

    October 21, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Greg

    The Senate is more moderate because it's not subject to gerrymandering. Gerrymandered districts are poisoning our democracy. It's not accident many Tea Party extremists are voiced support repealing the 17th amendment, which would move direct vote on Senate seats to the state legislatures, which are heavily gerrymandered (in effect, doing to the Senate what has been done to the House). The GOP has moved so far to the right, merely saying conservative no longer seems to be enough.

    October 21, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Buffalo Yetti

    This man should run with Sarah Palin, we can call it Nutz for the White House. Republicans will never see the white house again, lol

    October 21, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Jim

    This guy really, truly, is a sleaze bag; would you buy a used car from this guy? I don't think the "truth" has ever visited his lips and I pray, come election time, he spends all that cash he is raising only to suffer a miserable defeat. This man is no Patriot; he is a political terrorist worthy of the label TRAITOR!

    October 21, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. RapidOne

    I just read this and I have to say that you answered your own question: The GOP has been synonymous with DELUSION for more than a decade. They make up their own 'reality' and try to tell us what 'reality' is. Only mor0ns and Fox News watcher-types (often one and the same) buy it–but boy are they loud and obnoxious.

    "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 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. tygre

    Cruz subscribes to the North Korean principle of negotiations: do what I say or I will hurt my people. Cruz is a disgrace.

    October 21, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. GED

    The more he talks the less people are warming up to him. He maybe a smart man but his views are not in line with what America wants and the direction we should be going. Like many of his GOP family members his numbers are just not impressive –

    October 21, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. nc_mike

    As expected, the Tea Party is now in an all out war for total control of the GOP.

    October 21, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. Ruthann Adamsky

    Does anyone else think Ted Cruz has pointy ears?

    October 21, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Admiral_Akbar

    Giving Cruz the spotlight is a strategy of the media to force the GOP into a frenzy of self-flagellation. This is like bullying teen age girls via social media.

    October 21, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. J Russ

    not sure how Mr Cruz is respondisble for the shutdown.......he spoke on the floor for 22 hours when no other business was scheduled and gave up the floor at the scheduled time. The house sends several budget bills to the Senate that are ignored and responded to by the dems with "we will not negoitiate"

    October 21, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. lewtwo

    No Mr Cruz ... YOU are the problem.

    October 21, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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