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. hotstuff

    The best thing for democratic supporters is that the senate conservatives fund finds looney tunes candidates that they have found in recent history; losing candidates that is.

    October 21, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. Ignominious

    I am confidant that most of those criticizing Senator Cruz would also condemn many of our Founding Fathers for being radicals. Just think, Patrick Henry said "Give me liberty or give me death"; now that's radical and would naturally be condemned by Tories.
    Not only do you not want liberty, you don't deserve it.

    October 21, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Od Soldier

    President Obama won the re-election without winning Texas. Cruz(y..for Crazy) may have hopes to run for President, but he will learn he can't win the Presidency by winning Texas and some Tea Party whackos. His future is shot, and he will help tear apart the GOP. Cruz, Paul, and the other conservative extremists will die out. If a Congressman, along with his Congressional buddies, are willing to conduct major damage to this nation, we can't expect or trust them to protect this nation. The self-serving lunacy that contributed to the damage already experienced is beyond belief! Whether it is about signing letters swearing to thwart the President, or voting to shut down the government, the ones who did those acts should be considered terrorists and removed from office. Each state has the responsibility to recall these leaders and replace them with good, honest, trustworthy Americans, because, unfortunately, we other Americans don't choose those officials. Tchuss!

    October 21, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. omeany

    It would be a Democrat's dream if Ted Cruz statement was taken as fact by the GOP and the Tea Party takes over their party. Can you imagine how easily the dems will sweep the Oval Office, House and Senate! Keep up the good work Ted!

    October 21, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Disabling Nano

    Mr. Rafael Edward ("Ted") Cruz is not even a legit American citizen. No U.S. birth certificate, only a Canadian birth certificate released. The man is the son of Cuban communist who worked to get Castro back into power. Why does no one even question his motives, or his trips to Israel immediately following his election? No one here even questioning the man's show during the shut-down to disrupt, divide, and to create turmoil as part of the whole plan for civil unrest that would then require the "need" for an increased authoritarian government? It's incredible to me how this play is being held on the world stage, while people are mesmerized by the song and dance and completely missing the plot.

    October 21, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. rizzo

    Hahaha oh god Tail Gunner Joe speaks again! How many Reds you gonna suss out today Joe?

    Oh wait this is Ted Cruz? I thought I went through a time warp there for a second, was seeing a different ignorant populist who tried to destroy our country...

    October 21, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. Mmrojas

    I certainly concur with the comments so far. Ted Cruz is a loose canon and someone needs to take control of his mouth. He undoubtedly has moments of grandeur. Apparently his seniors in the Senate failed to keep control of his mouth. It looks like he has goals of the White House and doesn't care what he has to do and what has to be sacrificed to do it. I would not vote for him for garbage collector. And the Tea Party, I would like to know how a special interest group that even I have never heard of until recently, have that much influence on the Republican Party? I wonder what is the next cause he will try to focus on? There needs to be more control of the representatives and what memberships they can be part of while they represent the country. I think that there is a major conflict of interest here. Where is the congressional investigations on that?

    October 21, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. Debbie

    Hey GOP-Hey Cruz! Why don't you try to do something positive for a change? Don't just try to kill people by denying them healthcare. Tell us about your better way to help people. You do remember you are part of the government that is "for" the people? Right? (The "by the people" part will take care of the tea party come the next election, I hope.)

    October 21, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  9. chris

    Ted Cruz will be a one term "Wonder". We wonder how he ever got elected.

    October 21, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. Susan StoHelit

    Hey Ted – look at approval ratings – the majority of the American people – remember, the people you guys are supposed to represent – say the House is the problem, and you are the problem.

    Nice try on the blame shifting

    October 21, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Capiers

    He is a Mis-guided Cruz Missile that will destroy the things that make this country great.

    October 21, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. bikermiker

    The problem with Cruz and all of these Teabaggers is that they run on a platform of 'fiscal conservativism' but what they really want is to push their conservative 'family values' agenda on the rest of the country. If you don't like their fiscal politics, you're really not going to like the rest of their platforms!! Talk about a wolf in sheeps clothing. That's really why Cruz and his peers get elected. It's about white, Christian, 'family values' getting forced down everyone's throats -everyone better wake up to what these Teabaggers really want!

    October 21, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. anonymous

    When you look up the words "ted cruz" in the dictionary you will discover the definition of the word DENIAL.

    October 21, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. JustWho

    A real wolf foaming at the mouth.

    October 21, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. baniadam101

    I am sure most Texans are ashamed of him, and are embarrassed whenever he is mentioned in their presence outside Texas. It is something similar to the Libyans of being ashamed of Qaddafi. Maybe a little bit of exaggeration, but close.

    October 21, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. ELJ

    I LOVE THIS GUY!!!! He is making it easier for the Democrats to win next year and in 2016. Every time he opens his mouth a bone come out. he is the male version of Sarah Palin......hahahahaha.

    October 21, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  17. northerstar

    The Tea Party began with lofty goals and concerns that should appeal to everyone: cut gov't spending, balance the budget and reduce the deficit. Then the Tea Party got taken over by radicals that only see their goals and the art of compromise be dead. Unless you are a dictator, in politics everything is a compromise. The Tea Party has made it clear that they would rather shutdown the gov't if they don't get exactly what they demand.

    October 21, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. memine

    This guy is going to get CRUSHED by the Senate GOP.

    October 21, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. What happened?

    Cruz isn't to blame and the Senate Republicans aren't to blame, it's Republican House leadership that dropped the ball here, by no being able to put a first year nobody Senator in his place when he stood up and held the country hostage. Cruz' actions did some serious damage to the country, but nothing that can't be undone. What concerns me is the precedent he is setting by jumping the queue and deciding he wants to drive the bus.

    October 21, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Ted Cruz and his insane Tea Baggers are the problem. They are threatening our democracy. Their only desire is a totalitarian state where what they say is the only law. Don't be fooled. This is exactly how the NAZI party began in Germany during the Weimar Republic.

    October 21, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Neverland911

    In one CNN article Obama apologizes for the chaotic implementation of the exchanges, yet we crucify Ted Cruz because he dared ask them to delay the implementation. What is wrong with you people?

    October 21, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Cruz to the bottom

    Ah, the sound of self grandeur and delusion. Go Cruz/Palin 1792!

    October 21, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. Grapefruit

    If Cruz really wants to know who to hold responsible, a simple look in the mirror will tell him.

    October 21, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Robert

    I'm sick of Ted Cruz and the Tea Party Republicans saying that they're doing what Americans want. I'm Americans, and I don't like what they're doing at all. Get real!

    October 21, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Elliotu

    This man shirks responsibility

    October 21, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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