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. Mark in Seattle

    More and more of these t-potty unAmericans have experation dates of November 2014. It can't come soon enough.

    October 21, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. DrDSW4

    Please explain why no one has asked Cruz how Obamacare (which is Romneycare and a product of conservative minds) will hurt "millions of Americans" and who the "American people" are that he refers to? The polls indicate Cruz is way off base, has no factual data to support his rhetoric and that the American people did not want a government shutdown. So other than hyping himself with fabrications and unsubstantiated allegations, what has Cruz got right?

    October 21, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Aud

    @ JohnRJohnson Excellent comment.

    October 21, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. C-bug

    Who's Ted Cruz triying to impress. He didn't have an original idea for his "filibuster". He had to borrow it from a female democrat. He and Rick Perry are what's wrong with this country. If the brats don't get their way, they shut down the country and the state of Texas to get their way. As a parent, I find this to be irresponsible. No wonder we have one of the lowest education scores in the world. Look who's leading us.

    October 21, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. indyflmmkr1

    Man I truly believe that Raphael "Canadian Immigrant" Cruz is personally & professionally a "Political Schizophrenic" & a huge liability for the Republican party!!!

    Keep on talkin Raphael..lol!

    October 21, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. kvining

    All politics aside, I think there are serious questions about this man's fitness to hold office, he is obviously delusion. He talks in AM radio sound bites, he seems to have little in the way of sophisticated discourse to offer.

    October 21, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. sheppard

    Evidently crazy cruz doesn't even listen to what he says... he is the danger to the once mighty GOP and they better wake up to that fact – dump this guy before you end up nothing but a pile of gop.

    October 21, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. dje5717

    First of all I feel the term thrown around by the politicians "the american people" is way over used. They certainly don't speak for a majority of "the american people". Second, at least the Senate has shown to some that at least they can act like grownups rather than the teen aged mob in the House, it has always been that way. Third, Cruz is the single biggest threat to the "american people" and their way of life since McCarthy.

    October 21, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Larry in Houston

    @JohnRJohnson – – You Said – """"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"""

    Answer: What do you think High Profile Attorneys DO ? or SAY ?? LOL – I've said this many, many times.... IF Manson or that guy in Boston that was the marathon bomber had the money – 'ole Cruz could get them out....Take a good hard look at the Attorneys that O.J. had....

    I rest my case . . .

    October 21, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. frog

    Cruz is the best hope for the Democrats in 2014. I hope he keeps talking this nonsense up to election time!

    October 21, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Charlie

    Ted Cruz for President, Sarah Palin for VP.
    LOL

    October 21, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Se123

    Wouldn't it be great if Cruz gets voted out of the house

    October 21, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. KH

    Nope. The problem is the Tea party. Mr. Cruz is in denial.

    October 21, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. You're Almost There

    From a strictly political perspective, he's got a point, If all the Repubs thought along the same lines, they may have prevented dissonance from within their own party among the public.

    From a perspective that is in the best interest of the American people, he has proven that once again he has noooooo idea what he is talking about.

    October 21, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Scott

    I know most libs are bashing this guy, he is an easy target, but I believe this is exactly what he should do and is right in doing so. Republicans have been pushed around by this President and Senate and their inability to push back harder and stronger is the reason they are so weak right now as a party. Many came out after the 2nd election and told the party to continue to appease and in fact increase their appeasement. This has infiltrated the party and polls, they look weak and disorganized and need a new found energy to return to their roots..I believe Cruz can help the party get there. Conservatism is what this country is founded on and what has made the Republican party great during its best times. A governmental and fiscal conservative republican party is good for this country and the more the Republicans stay focused on staying true to their roots, the better off their party and our country will be.

    October 21, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. sonny

    Ted Cruz is the problem. The GOP is lost but Cruz is in a world all of his own and is BAD for America.

    October 21, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. mandarax

    54% say Republican control of the house is a bad thing for the country. Cruz doesn't appear to comprehend that he is the worst of the bad.

    October 21, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Reasonably

    Misanthropic, sociopathic narcissists in Congress and the Senate are the problems.

    That and the GOP agenda. Whatever happened to moderate Republicans?

    October 21, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. genoasteve

    Does Sen Cruz remind anyone of Sen Joe McCarthy?

    October 21, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. ljjm

    Ted Cruz is the problem.

    October 21, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. landru

    You're the problem Mr. Cruz, you and your simple minded Tea party wing nuts. I can't wait to see you couple of years after the Tea party has become irrelevant and see what political tune you'll be dancing to then. As Mel Brooks so aptly put it in "Blazing Saddles" and it's more fitting with every passing day, "Gentlemen, we must protect our phony baloney jobs!"

    October 21, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. DaveinFlorida

    Cruz has guaranteed a democrat in the White House in 2016. Thanks buddy, keep up the good "work".

    October 21, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Thatguy371

    This is yet another hilarious/delerious comment... coming from the guy who is obviously clueless about what's good for this nation... and who proved that recently w/the shutdown.

    October 21, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Joe

    the problem is with the texans who put this wacko bozo into office in the first place

    October 21, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Mark

    Ted. Ted. If Americans HATE Obamacare so much how come your guy Romney didn't win the last election? How come you didn't take control of the Senate? Maybe Ted, just maybe, you should look in the mirror to see the problem.

    October 21, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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