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. dman6015

    Let's address the Senator properly: It's CANADIAN Senator Rafael Cruz. He was born to a Cuban refugee father in Canada. By the GOP definition, that makes him a Canadian by birth and ineligible to run for President. Ever. No different than banning Arnold Schwarzenegger from running.

    October 21, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  2. MS

    thats funny he says the senate is the problem.. considering he's the minority.

    October 21, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. Jake

    Is that who the problem is Mr. Cruz, the Senate Republicans....Democrats, liberals, media, who else is at fault...because Teddy is perfect and ALL the tea party folks are just too righteous and perfect to hold any blame, right? Go ahead TEA party jokers lecture us all again about taking accountability...I need a good laugh.

    October 21, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  4. matey

    Mr. Cheney is supportive of Senator Cruz. Senator Paul Hind is critical of Senator cruz. (Both Cheney and Hind were recently interviewed.

    I do not understand why Cheney and Hind have different opinions of Senator Cruz. It should be obvious to all??

    Reason: Mr. Cheney Senator Cruz are war hawks, and Senator Hind is against war.

    October 21, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. MaryR

    This crazy guy is the main contributor in a shutdown that cost our country an estimated $24 Billion. Are you kidding? He is a criminal and cares nothing for the American people.

    October 21, 2013 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  6. Bob

    Teddy, YOU are the problem.

    October 21, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  7. Wes Scott

    Apparently, Ted Cruz's biggest problem is his lack of math comprehension. He keeps claiming that the majority of Americans believe as he does, yet poll after poll, including those conducted by the GOP itself, indicates the exact opposite. There could be another factor – Cruz may be dyslexic. He is definitely insane and maniacal – the male counterpart of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.

    October 21, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. raul c.

    Really TC...have you ever looked in the mirror and see how scary you are. Go take some lessons on Business 101 and then let me know..

    October 21, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. ireuel

    I wonder why the real loser is republicans, when in fact obamascare is a train wreak as even a long time Democrat Senator even call it so? But polls show the loser is who? They spent 400 million dollars on a website without any webmasters that have built more complex sites than this in far less time than 3 years as this site has had to be built. Then they expect all the young healthy people to sign up to pay a minimum of 100 dollars a month for a plan that they will be obligated to pay between 6000 to 8000 first before the insurance kicks in. Or just play a fine of 98 dollars for the whole year if they don't. Well if this is what the country wants, may the Democrats control of everything after 2014. Then in 2016 we will be assured that both the Republicans and Democratic party both will be a thing of history. So then all will be fixed and maybe the hatred that politic has divided this country with, will end. Both sides are wrong.

    October 21, 2013 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. Voice of Reason

    "Senate Republicans are the single-most damaging thing", says Senate Republican.

    It's like an article from 'The Onion', except the guy really IS that thick-headed.

    October 21, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    "Senate Republicans are the single biggest threat".

    I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day...

    October 21, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    What's scary is that the birther movement is okay with this Canadian running, if he even thinks he can, to be our president instead of prime minister of Canada, his birth country.
    If repugs start leaving the party will they be replaced by teatards? Can anyone imagine more of Rafael bin ladens taking the country down?
    Where does it stop? A coworker, who is an independent, thinks that the Canadian told his flock of crazies (the crazies part is my take) that he was going to shut down the government and he did. She completely doesn't care about the $24BILLION he and others wasted. I can't believe people can be that stupid but there are really dumb people in the US!!!
    They take over our government how do you take them out? Are we going to become a banana republic country?

    October 21, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  13. leadreviewer

    There is no place for extremism in American politics.. Unfortunately this sort of behavior has been glamorized by television in recent years, but what are you going to do people watch that stuff.
    Hopefully when the next elections come around these groups of extremist republicans will soon enough be voted out of office along with the likes of representative Cruz for whom there is no place in politics. His radical views and behavior are more commonly found in 3rd world countries.

    October 21, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. ArthurP

    Oh no !!! It's the Ted Cruz missile....

    October 21, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. Diane Myers

    Nooooooo Ted. YOU are the problem. YOU.

    October 21, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. Chaerlotte

    Seriously, what else would you expect him to say? He certainly cannot own his own inadequacies.

    October 21, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. harrisonhits2

    Cruz went on to say that when man was hunting dinosaurs in the Garden Of Eden that they liked the taste of triceratops the best and brontosaurus the worst. He also finds that a good bout of unicorn and snipe hunting always calms him down though he never seems to find any targets. He's certain he's going to bag himself a unicorn someday though.

    October 21, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  18. George

    Republicans do not even know how to spell RHINO.

    October 21, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  19. b

    People questioned President Obama's home country, but the GOP doesn't question Ted's? He was born in Canada.

    October 21, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. rickapolis

    How can this guy be so totally out of touch with reality?

    October 21, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. Jerry Casaday

    He's a nut job, but the Republican camp has had so many of them the last decade. He so resembles and sounds like Joe McCarthy, just with a different agenda. And sometimes, the farther out there in 'Nut-Land' they are, the bigger their following. And that's what scares me, sometimes.

    October 21, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. Dan

    Ted Cruz, the tea party and the state of texas is what's wrong with America today.

    October 21, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. dannyC

    This guy is hilarious! The thing is he really believes that. He thinks the reason people are mad at the GOP is because they DIDN'T keep the government shut down and default on the loan. It's like Bin Laden saying Americans got mad at him because he DIDN'T destroy ALL of Washington D.C. and New York city and force every American to obey Sharia law.

    October 21, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  24. Deirdre

    Ted and the other members of the Tea Party caucus are the most damaging to the GOP. Keep up the good work!

    October 21, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. ryan jerisk

    At least there is 1 person that was elected by the people to stop this train wreck we can the federal government.
    Most people here posting have their hand out waiting for government assistance to live their tiny little lives. We need to get rid of the electoral vote and go by the popular precinct vote. Were giving way to much to the liberal metropolitan areas. Metropolitan areas do nothing but drain this country of reserves.

    October 21, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34