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. JohnRJohnson

    I wonder if today is Ted Cruz's Unbirthday.

    October 21, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. stevetall

    Oh, brother. What a moron. The GOP is on it's last legs, and one of the single largest cooties is looking for someone else to blame. RIP, GOP. You don't stand a chance in 2014 or beyond.

    October 21, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. rickp530

    I feel that Cruz and his followers should pay the 24 Billion that they cost the nation while the government was shut down.

    October 21, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. GagMeWithASpoon

    "...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"

    WHOA! What you say? Really? A belligerent yahoo professing he has the pulse of the nation based on racist, loudmouthed, narrow-minded, constituency. No Ted, you're odd-man out. Out-of-touch with us commoners.

    October 21, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. panama mike

    Credibility?

    October 21, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Larry in Houston

    hope 'ol reince prebus runs him – then it will be a Clinton/warren ticket, coming up with a big landslide.

    October 21, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. Swedge70

    Cruz's superhero name: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Man!

    October 21, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Why are the media giving this egotistical nerd so much coverage. This is his FUEL. He stand for no one else but HIMSELF!!!!Vote him out and the rest of the so call Lipton teabaggers...

    October 21, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. SFRich

    Cruz is one of those individuals that is convinced he is 100% correct about what he thinks, a hallmark characteristic of a person without wisdom. Wisdom involves having the ability to see that ideas are dynamic, and that one's views must always be weighed against those of others and evolving situations. Another aspect of individuals without wisdom is that they do not easily learn from their failures. They are stubborn and lack the ability to adapt and grow, as well as arrogant, egocentric and intellectually immature.

    There are a lot of these people in the world, but it's dangerous when they achieve power. Look back just a few years to Bush's VP Dick Cheney.

    October 21, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Dennis

    I heard an interview the other day and he said that the GOP senators should have united in this fight over the shutdown and debt limit - well the did, THEY UNITED AGAINST you and the other "insane-in-th-membrane" GOP senators and voted against you!!! So, you got you wish, sort of, the did united to end the madness.

    The House is the problem with the GOP and I hope it cause more problems in Nov 2014 – which I think it will!!

    October 21, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. JohnRJohnson

    There is no question about it. Ted Cruz is a highly intelligent man. So how does one account for his patently absurd statements and actions? I mean, if he's smart, why is saying such idiotic things? Why did he send the entire GOP in Congress on a wildgoose chase, trying defund Obamacare, when he must have known far ahead of time that it could NEVER happen? There are two possible answers: First, Cruz could be suffering from terminal hubris and narcissism, thinking that he change reality by simply contradicting it over and over again. Second, and most likely, he has a dismal opinion of the intelligence level of his audience and believes it can be easily manipulated to believe almost anything he says. All he has to do is look out at the camera with those sad eyes and pained tone, and make it sound like HE is the only person in Washington DC listening to the American people. In reality, of course, he is listening to no one but his own Walter Mittyish inner-voice, which is telling him he can be elected president one day or be rich beyond his wildest dreams - or both. Doesn't matter. His wife works for Goldman Sachs, so he'll always have friends on Wall Street. It is sad and depressing that ANYBODY actually listens to this fraud, and it is infuriating that news networks jump whenever he needs a camera to stand in front of and pontificate. The man is laughable and, at the same, quite scary.

    October 21, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Texas Anne

    For those whining that "Obama is spending money we don't have".... did any of you notice the $2.9 BILLION that Mitch McConnell (Republican) quietly included in the bill that passed to re-open the government last week– $2.9 BILLION that is to go to projects in his home state of Kentucky? Can we say pork? Remind me again just WHO is spending money that we don't have???

    October 21, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. DavidInVancouverWA

    Cruz is a weasel, at best. He's living in an alternate reality. I pray the people of Texas will see through this horse pooh of a senator and vote him out of office. That's a tall order, I realize, as many Texans approve of his antics. Puzzling – I'm a native Texan and I don't understand how his constituents can support his behavior. If I were still in Texas and living hin his district, I wouldn't vote for him.

    October 21, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. Alina1

    Nice to see that the Republicans came up with another Palin.. They are doing better and better.

    October 21, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. mike0404

    This guy is more dangerous than an terrorists this Country faces today. He complains about the national debt, but is in favor of putting people out of work, injuring the economy, and cutting the flow of taxes to the Treasury by his actions.

    October 21, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. lakesideguy

    Why is it not surprising to hear this clown state the exact opposite of what the real problem is? If 100 people point the finger at you for being wrong and you come out and say, "No your the problem." then you are out of touch with reality. It's really that simple. Cruz is out of touch and is the problem for Republicans period. Vote him out in 2014.

    October 21, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. DrBob57

    Dear Ted,
    You do not represent me. You embarrass me. You are the Don Quixote of American politics – narcissistic and delusional at the same time. I will do my best to make sure you are never reelected.
    Signed -
    A Texan, retired military officer, and lifelong Republican whom you and your crazy Tea Party buddies like to call "RINOs." You lost me, buddy. Stop bringing shame on the great state of Texas.

    October 21, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Wake Up America!

    If you love to fact check you realize the three ring circus has become a three to the exponent of the 23rd power. We just can't keep up with it all. I see the TEA party as the most destructive party to the U.S. Constitution. The American people have very little patience and a short term memory when it comes to politics. Americans are forgiving after a while. The affordable care act is a disaster but not one to give up on. If the American people will allow for it to be resolved over time toward their wishes and resolve for it to succeed and not fail we will be rewarded. As we go back and forth with political parties we rehash old arguments we never get anywhere. We must have a budget, we must resolve our laws not be sabotaged by undermining them. We should have three remedies the first is to Support our Laws or else Rewrite, or Repeal them as a Standard of practice for our Laws: to do otherwise is an attack liken to sabotage. Government is a necessary evil unless it is our creation for and by us all and not a few. We have a solemn obligation to listen to each other and lift each other up. What for those who put others down as an abuse of power. There is no legality in electing someone to murder our Constitution. We must call all three branches of government to order. We the people are the government. Ted Cruz should be indicted for treason against the people by a grand jury then we will see a government that fears the people.

    October 21, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    BREAKING NEWS:
    -----------------
    It has been discovered that Sen. Ted Cruz moonlights by performing snake oil changes for his fellow Cruz-aders.

    October 21, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. DugB

    LOL, Erik, it's "RINO" now "Rhino"...Cruz just killed any hopes the GOP has of wining midterm elections in battleground states, which is great for those of us tired of right wing inaction. Keep it up, Ted, you're the best advertising campaign that the left has right now.IMO Ted is the RINO, because he's actually much farther to the right than most people who consider themselves to be republicans.

    October 21, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Elle

    Spoken like a true narcissist! Everyone but him is to blame for the woes of the GOP. Sure hope those who vote GOP have a long memory for his BS!!

    October 21, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Aud

    Conservative Republicans are drowning; they will go the way of the Dodo in a few generations. I'd also appreciate if Cruz would STOP lumping the "American people" into his speeches – he does not speak for me, nor will he ever (a 33-year old educated American woman).

    October 21, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. frog

    Cruz you don't realize it but your the most damaqging thing to the GOP in 2014!!!

    October 21, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. scott

    I vote for him. Takes some guts to stand up against the establishment. Good for him. I am not a tea party person what so ever. I would take Cruz over obama, clinton or any other Republican.

    October 21, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. Ralph_in_FL

    Obviously, he has not looked in the mirror lately.

    October 21, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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