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. sickofit

    Oh I just love when the Tea-crazies threaten other republicans who don't walk in lock-step with them that they will "primary" them with more conservative candidates. As a Democrat I cheer and say PLEASE DO! It's a sure way for the Dems to win back the House. Please primary them. Please Please Please Primary the he** out of 'em.

    October 21, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    House teaparty GOP are the garbage and sewerage of America and CANADA,CRUZ and he will be the main cause of GOP national losses and who cares what they do in the hick state of Texas !!!!

    October 21, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. simplefaith

    Here is one for Ted Cruz. He thinks the shutdown on Federal workers was good. What about all the Federal employees that did not get paid in time and could not pay their mortgage when it came do. My son's bank sent him a letter charging him a late charge and threatening forclosure. All because the bank received his payment late. Well he was short in his paycheck and had to wait for another paycheck. Some federal workers do live paycheck to paycheck. Ted Cruz how would you like the bank to foreclose on you. Oh yeah, you're a rich guy who don't think of the middle class. The only reason you don't like the Affordable Care Act is because you would have to share on what you pay on your premiums to those who are less fortunate and sicker than you. Oh yeah, you are selfish and don't want to share. Ted Cruz I would rather vote for anyone, but you.

    October 21, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz doesn't speak for the American people but only the stupid GOP teaparty trash in the hick state of Texas .

    October 21, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Mary

    I keep hearing Cruz always saying "listening to the American People" – I wonder who thse Americans are when popularity says otherwise.

    October 21, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. pkfops01

    I'm a vet and I would not share a foxhole with this guy.

    October 21, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Lisa

    To those calling Cruz a "radical" likened to the Founding Fathers.... yeah... just no.

    October 21, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Hiruu

    This guy is a BLESSING for Obama and the Dems. He is probably sucking in so much disgust that many of the flaws in some of the Democratic messaging is being overlooked. I think there is an real possibility that the GOP could lose the House in 2014, and that would be a massive improvement in US politics...at the very least, lost about 10 seats.

    October 21, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Glory

    Ted Cruz can't become the Republican nominee for President in 2016. He has "Insert-Foot-in-Mouth' disease. Like Sarah Palin, the opposite of what he says is true. He whines and smirks when he talks, which is not attractive when he appears on TV.. His views are so far out of step with the American people he will be thought of as the Republican George Wallace. I imagine it won't be too long before the party tosses him aside for people who live in the present day and not fantasy land.

    October 21, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. valveone

    Texans and true conservative Republican's. Need to eradicate this cancer called the Tea Party. But with a Governor's like Rick Perry and a sleaze like Tom Delay and now texas has a Kotch Bro, zombie Ted Cruz. It will be very hard for this once proud lone star state to become the Red White and Blue cowboy's again. Were are the Texas Rangers when we need them.

    October 21, 2013 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    If the GOP garbage of America losses the house and senate next year the teaparty GOP dufus. CRUZ is totally responsible along with the rest of the GOP garbage of America in the house who will be replaced with some competent democrats !!!!!

    October 21, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. TheLocNar

    Go on Ted. Tell us more. Tell us how it's everyone else's fault and never yours. America loves that!

    October 21, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Ronald

    My favorite thing about Cruz is that he was not born in the U.S. so there is zero chance he could ever be president.

    October 21, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Arce

    Simply Ted Cruz is delusional.

    October 21, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Jon

    Joe McCarthy speaks again. Time for some Cruz control!

    October 21, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. winchester74

    Note to the Canadian Ham: one of the first signs of severe mental illness is the illusion that only you are right and everyone else is wrong. Please seek help before it's too late Ted.

    October 21, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Steve - Dallas

    "The single most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014..." is TED CRUZ.

    October 21, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  18. Maria Delaluz

    Ted Cruz/Rand Paul 2016!!!!!

    October 21, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  19. sick

    Better start looking for a new job, Teddy!

    October 21, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  20. Frederick

    Cruz is a Nazi. He is just like Hitler when Adolph was a young man.

    October 21, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Jeremy

    Hey Ted..You will never get any further politically than you are right now. More than half of the country thinks you are a pathetic joke and would never allow you to become president. Enjoy your 15 minutes...

    October 21, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Wendy

    I too am ready to hear a plan from the GOP- They seem to go on and on about what they don't like. Does anyone out there know what they do support other than whites, tea baggers and a President who lie about WMD hidden in Iraq? With the GOP on Cruz-control, poor judgement abounds, and they daily hate on the Affordable Health Care continues. Seriously- it is like watching a bunch of middle school bullies or a two-year old throwing a tantrum.

    October 21, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Just Looking

    Perhaps Ted is aspiring to be the "Dear Leader" of the "TEA-laban". Taking the liberty of blending some crazies together but if the shoe fits!

    October 21, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Bubba J

    Cruz .... He won't become a nominee for President because he won't be able to hold the office as he is a Canadian. Get the Canadians out of our politics!!!!

    October 21, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. cbp

    Sen. Cruz has used the media to get his message across. His grandstanding and attempts to get the sEnate to join TEA Party House members to prolong the shutdown of the government cost all of us time and money. This budget crisis should have been resolved without a government shutdown. There was no need for a shutdown and certainly once the shutdown occurred no part of the government should have been operating – it should have been all or nothing. Instead members of Congress wanted various venues opened once they realized that people were very angry and did not side with them.'

    We really do not need anyone whipping us into a frenzy and Sen. Cruz and Sen. Lee seem to be believe this is okay. Since Sen.Cruz does not like Washington and loves Texas then by all means he should return to Texas permanently.

    October 21, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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