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. Dave

    The Emperor has no clothes, according to Ted Cruz. On the same say the polls indicate a majority of Americans cite the problem is with the House GOP members. The Tea Party is bad for America and has to go!

    October 21, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    According to the US Census the US Population at 2012 was 313,914,040. 23.5% of that under 18. Leaving 240 million adults in the US. Ted Cruz claims that two million people back him. Ted I wouldn't brag about that if I were you. That represents .8% of the Adult US Population. Hardly overwhelming support.

    October 21, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. MIke

    I hate to break it to you, Ted. But the GOP are the most damaging thing for the GOP in 2014.

    October 21, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Angry Irish

    According to the US Census the US Population at 2012 was 313,914,040. 23.5% of that under 18. Leaving 240 million adults in the US. Ted Cruz claims that two million people back him. Ted I wouldn't brag about that if I were you. That represents .8% of the Adult US Population. Hardly overwhelming support.

    October 21, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. sl

    Mr Cruz, stop speak on my behalf! You are an embarrassment.

    October 21, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. woodie

    It would be nice if Cruz would resign immediately. He is an embarrassment to both the house and senate.

    October 21, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Crashman

    "Senate Republicans are 'single-most damaging thing' for the GOP in 2014" Yes, and he's at the top of the list.

    October 21, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. America, our country is bankrupt...cut the spending

    I believe Ted Cruz when he says we are $17 trillion in debt and growing, that this massive unsustainable debt is growing and harming America's future. No politician, including Obama, will address the problem with spending. Obama is part of the problem. We need to cut the credit cards and stop spending so much and growing government so much. We are watching the end of America having gone from $10 trillion to $17 trillion in just a few short OBAMA years!

    October 21, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  9. M'lynn

    Delusional and floating down that river I. Egypt. Of course, it is everyone else's fault, never his. What a tool!

    October 21, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    United we stand , divided we fall!
    Dem's & Rep please get your act together and actually do your JOB! Which by the way is to fix america not destroy it the way you morons are doing! Do what's right for America not what right for your party.

    October 21, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. John Mann

    "Cruz: Senate GOP is the problem"

    Well, yes, but Cruz is an even bigger problem.

    October 21, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Rey

    Wow, way to take responsibility for your actions Mr. Cruz. Amazing how low a self-hating Hispanic will go to be accepted by the WASP community.

    October 21, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  13. Davis

    Bad for the country is a super majority.

    October 21, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Sophie Meyer

    It's ironic that Mr. Cruz sees everyone else as the problem, but never himself. Perhaps if he shut up long enough to listen he'd learn something.

    October 21, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. PM Ohio

    ACA is the Law...on 10/1/2013, irregardless of Tea Party trying to hyjack America's Government by shutting it down. The actions by the extreme Right have damaged the country enough. Is there not a powerful enough LEADER in the GOP to tell them they do not reflect 90% of Americans? Newt wouldn't have let the Tea Party ruin the GOP, unlike Boehner, who flip flops and caves to any pressure that might take away his coveted Speaker role. The GOP is weak and has no leadership and has no clue in the House about how to get the job done that they were elected to do.

    October 21, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. yep

    People think Ted Cruz is a nutt. But he's not. The people should be very aware of his actions. He has a goal and he will destroy people to do it without batting an eyelash. He is a dangerous person to this country!

    October 21, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. Lenny Pincus

    What can be better than watching a nincompoop without a drop of self-awareness?

    What can be sadder than watching a grifter con a bunch of ill-informed, low-info zealots out of their money?

    October 21, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. letstalk12

    I'm convinced the GOP has no interest in leading this country. It's easier to just dispute everything and never offer your own viable option...then it is to actually lead and make a difference.

    October 21, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. Bill

    And the single most damaging Republican senator in the Senate, Ted Cruz

    October 21, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. J.

    It simply amazes me how ultra-conservitives see themselves as the answer when it is clear that the majority of the country sees them as the problem.

    October 21, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. RapidOne

    Actually, this accurately describes the GOP as of late. I've been all over the world and people actually feel bad for us in the U.S. because we have Republicans basically screwing the country with their lying propaganda and heinous leadership. However, with Fox News and conservative media brainwashing people, this delusion is shared by many Republican citizens. Sad.

    Nagu Hu Phart said:
    "His single minded point of view fully describes the problem: The REST of the world is crazy... not me."

    October 21, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  22. Ted's a Nut

    I went to school for a year with Ted. He was a weird dude then and he's a weird dude now. He is socially awkward, and while smart, he doesn't have a clue how to work with others.

    October 21, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  23. Don DaMiddle

    Preach on Cruz!
    Split your party into a million pieces! (Rookie)

    October 21, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. PM Ohio

    Of course ACA is off to a rough start...between a smear campaign financed by the Kch brothers and many ultra-conservative groups for hundreds of millions of dollars and politicians in Washington and all of the Red States actively working against the Law they are sworn to uphold for the past two years, it is a self-fufilling prophecy. Never in our country's history has active members of our Federal and State Governments worked so hard to make a Law that was passed by the House, Senate and signed into Law and confirmed by the Supreme Court fail. And it will still be better than the system it replaced and funny how the rich and big business are the main opponenets. Health care for all, no rejections for pre-existing conditions, children covered until 25. The GOP arguement that businesses will be hirt is hogwash. They were all hiring people for less than full time, so they never have had to pay for insurance. The Walton's are all multi-billionaires partly because they do not pay health care for thier employees. Less money for the mega rich and health care for the poor. That is why they are spreading thie rlies. Wake up people.

    October 21, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  25. Rayen

    Looks Cruz is a selfish leader. He has to rise up for the national interest not his or his party's only.

    October 21, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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