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. Texasmike

    This guy is one of the most reprehensible politicians to every slither to Washington. Everything he says is for his own personal gain.

    October 21, 2013 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  2. truthteller

    And Ted Bundy said loose women were the problem, both Morons.

    October 21, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. CTYank

    We need to be free of such mean-spirited, solipsistic demagogues. Most un-Senatorial. Please lose Teddy boca grande.

    October 21, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. peter Nguyen

    I am sick of this guy

    October 21, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Joe Merchant

    The best change would be voting out all of the people who supported this shutdown ,it is not Obamacare but President Obama being black. The only difference between now and the early 1900s they do not wear the sheets. Racist bigots.

    October 21, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. Projectionist

    He blames everyone but himself and his Teabagger cronies, typical.

    October 21, 2013 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. rs

    Just roll this around in your brain for a few minutes Mr Cruz. TWENTY-FOUR BILLION DOLLARS. Go ahead, visualize that anyway you like.You really thing anyone thinks the GOP leads on economic issues anymore? Not a chance! Go read "Green Eggs and Ham".

    October 21, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. matsci

    Ted, way to throw your colleagues under the bus. I am sure that will make them much more likely to work with you down the road. I am guessing that your report cards in elementary school all read "does not play well with others."

    October 21, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Crystal

    No. You are. More specifically the tea party. They've hijacked the party like a computer virus.

    October 21, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Oh my! I don't think he meant to be ironic...Senator Cruz - you're the GOP senate problem!

    October 21, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. JennyTX

    Ted Cruz is an embarrassment. I can't believe the fine people of this state elected such an ignorant, hateful man.

    October 21, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. gahh

    Every Republican in Congress and the Senate has made millions of dollars, voting against the people, and for Big Business and their Lobbyists. They will cut every benefit offered to the American people, to give tax breaks to billionaires, and their Lobbyists.
    Cruz is your typical so called Christian Conservative, he has no room to talk about what other Republicans members have done, yet there he is!

    October 21, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  13. JennyTX

    Ted Cruz comes from the state where 25% of the people don't have health insurance. You'd think he'd be trying to help people GET insurance, not PREVENT people from getting insurance.

    October 21, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  14. navaJohn

    Cruz has been in office almost 10 months now and has a government shutdown to his "credit". Now he's attacking his own party. Why does the GOP puts up with the tea party?

    October 21, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. jeph

    I'm from Texas and Mr. Cruz has some explaining to do when he comes back to Texas or we can just put him back out on the street! He does not represent Texas, he is representing his own interests!

    October 21, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. L.Sanfod

    Cruz keeps firing his missiles and they all reverse course and land on the GOP/TEA eventually blasting them into oblivion.

    October 21, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Ted Cruz is a very very smart guy , do not underestimate him .

    Ted Cruz / Sarah Palin 2016
    A supper genius and mama grizzly gone rogue

    October 21, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. Fish

    So now Cruz is blaming his senate colleagues what next???

    October 21, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. LastLiberalRepulican

    The trouble with Ted Cruz is that he is an extremist and zealot. Highly educated, with his undergraduate degree from Princeton, law degree from Harvard and law clerk for a former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. All that and it is unfortunate that he is so far removed from any middle ground. We can all do better than having this rabble rouser on the national scene.

    October 21, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Willy Nilly

    Sure, the debacle of the government was 'someone else's' fault. Not Cruz. No, he wasn't the idiot who took others along on a mad ride into looneyland. Those who didn't follow him were the ones who caused all this. Sure, that's the guy we want in a leadership position. Moron.

    October 21, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  21. Cyprustree

    This guy obviously lives on another planet, some alternate universe where no one except Ted Cruz has a brain and everybody looks to him for "leadership". It's a nice cozy place where those troublesome facts never get in the way of a good illusion and every day is another chance to see what Ted Cruz has to say today. We all want to hear, are waiting, holding our breath, for the next gems of wisdom spewing forth from this imbecile. He apparently doesn't live where the rest of us do, which is in the real world.

    October 21, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. Bob

    Seriously? The Senate Republicans are the problem? I think they named it "The House" because it's full of children.

    October 21, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  23. twalk

    Cruz needs to go back to Canada and take Justin Bieber with him.

    October 21, 2013 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. Ashamed he's from TX

    Although I no longer live in TX, my family's roots go back to the 1820's.....That said, I am almost ashamed to admit it now, with this hack running around like he knows what's good for the country. Loose canon comes to mind.

    October 21, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. twalk

    @JP Smiths comment at October 21, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am . You should know because republican polls are masters at having bias polls. Fox News for example.

    October 21, 2013 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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