October 21st, 2013
08:16 AM ET
10 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. Tom

    This guy Cruz is an out of control crazed Looney Tune Rookie who doesn't know sh%# about anything.
    Okay Teddy, your suggestions are well noted......now go on back to your table and play with your crayons.

    October 21, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  2. cg

    No dude, it's you.

    October 21, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Jack Cardwell

    No, Senate says Ted Cruz is the real Problem.

    October 21, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Jeff Cohee

    We seen Cruz for what he is: seriously deluded and fanatical, but the American public isn't buying.

    October 21, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. Fred

    The GOP cant win elections because they look down on everyone who is either poor, non-white, female, or a immigrant whether legal or otherwise.and at the same time talk out the other side of their mouth about" family values" key of which is respect for ALL, not some, the only the haves, and not the have nots, ALL.

    until that changes, they will never win the WH again, and that is a good thing, we are a nation of equality, not us and thems...

    October 21, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. steve

    Keep doing what you are doing Ted because you are killing the republican party. Which is good for the country.

    October 21, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. DrZ

    The Democrats are the majority party in the US Senate. The Republicans are the minority party, and the Tea Party is a minority of the minority part in the Senate. So, according to Senator Cruz, because the minority of the minority party was not able to control the Senate, it will be the minority party's fault if seats are lost in 2014. Senator Cruz, might it be that for once, the Democratic majority was in lockstep and displayed a backbone? I will suggest that if seats are lost in 2014, it will have been because of you and your Tea Party.

    October 21, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Dick

    The Tea party members(Cruz included) were elected to bring fiscal responsibility to the government. In the process they were instrumental in wasting over $28 billion in the shutdown, and countless billions more in World markets and US prestige. GO TEA PARTY! I mean GO!

    October 21, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. David

    A PalinClone. It's ALWAYS someone else's fault with these incompetent clowns.

    October 21, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Dave

    No, the biggest contributor to the impending GOP losses will be Cruz not the Senate members. His one man wrecking ball action will give the House, the Senate and the White House to the Dems. The Tea Party will be swept to the curb where it belongs.

    October 21, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Mary

    Don't you just love how the Republicans keep telling us lies thinking that we will take them at their word because they are the "Christian" party. They don't realize apparently that most people in this country see those lies as exactly what they are...attempts to manipulate. The good thing about it is that THEY believe their lies and keep losing elections, unless of course they have a comfortably gerrymandered district. But I would think that even in those districts voters will be having second thoughts about voting for someone who has done as much damage to this country as the GOP has since 2008. I am convinced that our economy would be in much better economic shape by now had the GOP not had as their primary agenda...stymieing the BLACK president....and yes I think they think of him in that way.

    October 21, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Jack Cardwell

    In real life, in 1776 or that time, Ted Cruz would have been tried for treason against the United States and hanged.

    October 21, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. McSame

    This is why the republican party is doomed. This guy Cruz is so obtuse that he can't even recognize that it is he himself who is the problem. This lack of introspection, the total inability to look at yourself and recognize then correct your own internal problems...this is why Republicans have had their rear ends handed to them in not one but two elections.

    And if he keeps this up, Ted Cruz along with Karl Rove, Boehner, and all the rest of them - who ALL exhibit the same problem - will have only themselves to blame for the demise of the Republican party. That's fine by me, I mean conservatives and neocons have done more damage to our country in the last 8-10 years than we can ever correct in my lifetime. They can all take a flying leap as far as I'm concerned. I'm just noting the fact that all of their wounds are self-inflicted.

    October 21, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Larry B.

    Sorry, Senator Pendejo. YOU are the problem.

    October 21, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Why is Cruz given an audience?

    October 21, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. Jim M

    Once again a big mouthed sleazy Texan, gets his attention as he takes a hissy fit, too bad we have to here from this spoiled brat. Strange thing about Texa*s, they got the money from the federal government under 'Dubya' them any other state, nearly bankrupting this country. Now their politicians all claim amnesia, when anyone mentions the nearly two trillion dollars of federal money dumped into their state coffers over eight years.

    October 21, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. If I had a hammer... I'd whack you in the morning

    Mr. Cruz you've cost the good people of this country $24 billion ...so when are you going to pay up ...SLACKER?!

    October 21, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. rr

    I am a women and from Texas. Please CNN, know that Rafael Cruz does not speak for me. And there are many, many, more like myself in Texas. Do your job CNN and don't take my word for it, do a Poll that you bank your opinions on so much!

    October 21, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. chucksmom

    Uh, he does realize that everyone knows the GOP and the Tea party are really the same thing, right? Who is he trying to kid? The Tea party is just the GOP under a different banner, a little more overtly racist and socially irresponsible, but basically they have the same selfish, capitalistic ideology.

    October 21, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. cneder

    It would be nice to see all of the RINO's to switch to their natural party affiliation as demoncratics so that the GOP can rebuild as a truly branded conservative party.

    October 21, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Charles

    No teddy, it's you and your kind that are the problem.

    October 21, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Newellz

    ....Way to take ownership over your haphazard filibuster that was a huge waste of time. Current republican problems can be blamed on the likes of you and the rest of the small minority Republicans that are in the tea party. Good job.

    October 21, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Lilian Vernon

    That's right Ted, it isn't you. It's everybody else.

    October 21, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Searcher

    Rafael Cruz is an EMBARRASSMENT to America. I want MOST of the $24 BILLION SHUTDOWN cost to be repaid by HIM or his STATE, Texas.

    October 21, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. CommonSense

    Clean the House ... and take Cruz with them ...

    October 21, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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