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. backpackwayne

    Well he's half right.

    Republicans are the most single damaging thing for the GOP in 2014.

    October 21, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. gphx

    Conservatives did not abandon the GOP, the GOP abandoned conservatism. Rhinos like McCain are a sick joke on the American people.

    October 21, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  3. ed

    Crazy Cruz is the problem!

    October 21, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  4. Reason & Logic

    Seems to me that if Christ walked the Earth today he would do the same thing to the people in Congress that he did to the money changers in the Temple only this time he would say, "You have made the people's Congress into a den of liars."

    October 21, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. tammyleg

    NO Mr. Cruz Clown....THE biggest problem right now in Washington is YOU and your like minded T-beasts. I hope you are the first to be kicked out of office next election.

    October 21, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. EffortPA

    Okay, assuming that he is right and the American people have suddenly changed their mind since the last elections (remember that the American people elected and re-elected the guy who was running on ObamaCare and rejected the guy that wanted to repeal ObamaCare on day one), then one would expect that the GOP will retain their majority in the House and will win a majority in the Senate. If Ted Cruz is right, one would also expect that the next president will be a Republican. Time will tell if he is right, but my gut tells me that just the opposite will happen.

    October 21, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  7. Walter Weinzinger

    No, Mr. Cruz – You House Republicans are the cause of this whole fiasco and you will carry the blame for your party's loss of the House in 2014. Time for you and your hostage-taking cronies to exit the American political system.

    October 21, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Sam

    This idiot has an issue with reality!

    October 21, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. tstorm92

    Ted Cruz is smugly and single-handedly bringing down the entire Republican Party and every single conservative is too cowardly to do anything about it!

    October 21, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Walter Weinzinger

    Oops. I'm meant "Your" House Republicans...

    October 21, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. cferreirarwu

    It's interesting to hear that some republicans are now coming out and bashing their own party for their practices such as the government shutdown. The partisan divide in this country continues to grow with people placing the blame every which, always seeming to land with the President regardless of his/her party affiliation. Congress is what needs to be fixed and that finally seems to be on the minds of the american public after the most recent government shutdown. The true question is will Congress get their act together, parties aside, in time to pass a budget and solve the debt ceiling limit by the next deadline.

    October 21, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Roto

    Ted Cruz is a problem.

    October 21, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Skeptic

    I wish Ted Cruz would stop pretending he speaks for the majority of Americans. He doesn't, not by a long shot.

    October 21, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Walter Weinzinger

    Oops. I'm meant "Your" House Republicans... But all you Republican politicians who tried to hold the government hostage to act against something that was already set in law should be held accountable for your actions. That's NOT the way you go about changing the laws in this country!

    October 21, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. armando orozco

    send this crazy CUBAN back to texas!!!

    October 21, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Stockton

    He's got it backwards. If he got out of the Republican party we'd have a much better chance of picking up seats in the 2014 elections. What a moron!

    October 21, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. SixDegrees

    Sorry, Ted, but you're projecting.

    Go look it up.

    October 21, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. BobJustBob

    Granted, this is purely superficial, but I can't help but wonder where Ted Cruz' handlers were when he did his recent interview with Jon Karl of ABC. You would have thought they learned from the iconic Nixon/Kennedy debate and had makeup do something about that distracting layer of grease on his face and forehead. When you're a slick lawyer, you don't want to remind your audience of it.

    October 21, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Bob

    I am afraid the problem is closer to " home"

    October 21, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  20. RC

    Mr. Cruz, you are the problem. Thankfully, our great nation upheld its tradition of not negotiating with terrorist and made the right choice.

    October 21, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  21. kennon

    Why do we try to impeach a politicain that commits adultry and keep ones that tell obvious lies?

    October 21, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    ted cruz is no leader. he is a joker. republicans must disown him. his membership sould be canceled.

    October 21, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Wingman

    This is to EffortPA with regards to the Affordable Care Act position of the then Republican nominee for President in 2012 Mr. Romney. Romney was not running on repealing the Affordable Care Act but to change it. Remember then Governor Romney came up with a program like the Affordable Care Act in MA. In fact some of the current law was based or inspired off of the MA. health care program. Please make more factual and effective comments.

    October 21, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. Rick

    One word. Clueless.

    October 21, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. LeRoy_Was_Here

    Ted Cruz's exceptionally high opinion of himself is the problem.

    'The Economist' called him a bomb-throwing reactionary recently. That sounds about right on target.

    October 21, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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