October 21st, 2013
08:16 AM ET
6 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. Bingo!

    This guy is in such denial, it's ridiculous.

    October 21, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Thomas Jefferson

    Teddy is delusional. He needs professional help. He needs to stay away from his tea party chums; they're a bad influence on his behavior; especially that Sara Palin chick.

    October 21, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. Data Driven

    "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."

    A little quote from John Donne is appropriate: "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee." The GOPhers may hang on to the House, but it's looking rather bleak for them.

    Anyway, it was nice to see the $24 billion at least MENTIONED in a piece by this network.

    October 21, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. wjshelton

    What has Ted Cruz been drinking? The House Republicans ARE the problem, not those in the Senate. There are far more sane Republican Senators than there are sane Republican Congressmen. If we want to point to a "problematic Republican" in the Senate, the very first one we should look at is Cruz.

    October 21, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Ed

    The losses tot he democrates in 2014 would lie squarely on Cruz, and both Boehner, Reid and as well Pelosi have to go from leadership. Non are effective for the people.

    October 21, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Tea bagger stupidity, a fundamental lack of knowledge of our government, and not knowing high school economics seem to be causing the mentally challenged GOP some trouble as well.

    October 21, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Gery

    If we as American Citizens want to keep control of our own country, we need to stay involved.
    Too many small factions that do not represent the MAJORITY of the United States are trying to dig their claws and teeth in like a parasite on an animal. The Democrats may not do everything we agree with but until the Republican Party can reign in their extreme faction and become the Party of comprimise, we should let them sit alone until such time that they either die out or realize that their beliefs represent too small of Americans.

    October 21, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  8. don mac

    It will be interesting to see hoe long it takes for the GOP greybeards take to get a handle on Cruz.

    October 21, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. Paul

    One delusional individual

    October 21, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. Peter Clarke

    I'm not a big fan of the AFA extremely poor rollout and the contract went to a Canadian company that fell well short of expectations. I am less so of Ted Cruz and the Tea Party, how they have gained so much control of the American people is beyond me. I suppose the big money talks and the rest of us walk...

    October 21, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  11. Michael

    Which chamber does Cruz serve? The House or the Senate? Maybe the right answer is The House of Cruz ... it seems to be all about him and not the country. His statement that the ACA could be detrimental to the private healthcare industry speaks volumes: about how is filling his pockets and pulling his strings ... and that the ACA may be on the right track. Mr/ Cruz: you don't like the ACA? Fine. Follow the COnstitutional process to change it and not hold the country hostange. Your actions scream TREASON. I hope that Texas sends you packing at the first opportunity.

    October 21, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. Dupa

    This guy is such a piece of work. If I say white, he says black. You know, I think Hitler came to power in a very similar scenario.

    October 21, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  13. Marsha Malone

    Cruz's new book, "How to alienate everyone in just one year"

    October 21, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  14. SameOld

    The single most damaging person in politics attacks everyone else for being the problem. Vote this idiot out, Texas!

    October 21, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  15. Woggy64

    Cruz does not speak for me or most of the people I know and talk with....

    October 21, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  16. alf564

    Cruz and the tea party have the right idea and know that this country is going down under the heavy load of debt placed upon it by mostly Democrats. Their problem is they don't understand negociate or compromise and are no different from the president in pushing their agenda. Problem is they don't have the power.
    If anyone remembers the parabel of the "Dog in the Manager" this is it exactly. They can't eat the hay so they won't let the cows feed either and that is what the tea party is doing to the regular Republicans.

    October 21, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  17. Nagu Hu Phart

    His single minded point of view fully describes the problem. The REST of the world is crazy... not me.

    October 21, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    The GOP Senators have definitely NOT voted in the manner that their voters expect. I have to agree with Cruz........the so-called GOP Senators, are hardly conservatives.

    October 21, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  19. Woggy64

    Cruz does not speak for me or most people I know and speak with.

    October 21, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  20. rs

    It is sort of funny that the GOP keeps referring to the ACA as a "train wreck" that will ruin America. The ACA does have issues, but consider:
    The GOP flushed away $24 billion from the Treasury in their little shutdown gaffe
    Their popularity/approval rating is nil
    They have NO solutions for unemployment or a sluggish economy (and their little stunt made both worse)
    They are in a state of open warfare with their corporate money built TEA Party brand (the crazies that actually believe their own lunatic ramblings)
    They have accomplished nothing in the last 5 years that they might run on
    They have become so radicalized they can hardly be seen as an "American" party

    "Train wreck" thy name is GOP!

    October 21, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  21. bankkiller1

    Koch brothers own most of the tea party candidates and Congressmen. Big business rules Congress.Banksters too. Any questions?

    October 21, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The only bad thing about 2014 is we will still have Ted Cruz around. Hopefully, it will be in a diminished capacity, but he will still be there.

    October 21, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Anonymous

    Mr. Ted Cruz,
    You are one of those Senate Republicans who are a problem.

    October 21, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. Anonymous

    What is hurting the GOP is Sen. Ted Cruz and the Tea Party trying to control and strong-arm the Republicans. They should just break off into a third party and stop trying to take over the Republican party.

    October 21, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  25. Michael

    The needs of the country trump the wants of one state...

    October 21, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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