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. Anonymous

    Why does Ted Cruz keep saying the American people want to put the kibosh on Obamacare. He's just flat out wrong. The majority of Americans elected Obama to a second term which should be seen as a mandate FOR Obamacare. Even today, most polls show the majority of Americans want the ACA and the more familiar they become with it the more they like it and the less chance the Republicans will ever have of defunding it. If the Republicans want to survive, they need to defund Cruz. He's the reason Republicans are eating their own and why Americans overwhelmingly blame them for the recent budget fiasco. GET A CLUE!

    October 21, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. Hu?

    Hey is it just me or does it look like someone torqued his nose already? May be some Harvard boys corrected him long ago? And sleeping with Pimping Palin was a bonus for Todd...money money money indeed...but there is a problem in Alaska that just keeps "THE FROZEN GROUND" no so frozen anymore with all those bodies being found...Todd has a plane...Todd is just as evil and the Baker Dude...oh Todd what have you done? And Cruz promised to "help" you out...but to be Frozen Ground 2...and pal' ing around with domestic-terrorists indeed...hu?

    October 21, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Willy

    Nah, he's not Canadian. If he was, he would support healthcare for all,

    October 21, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Margaret

    Look in the mirror Cruz you will see the problem clearly,.

    October 21, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Michael Marunchak

    Dear Texas,

    Thank you so much for sending this jerk to Washington! I used to vote Republican, and I was thinking about retiring in Texas, but you've changed my mind about both. Do us a favor and secede from the Union.

    October 21, 2013 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. dirksterdude

    I agree that the Senate GOP is the problem. Get rid of the Tea Party and they will be less of a problem.

    October 21, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  7. owl905

    Glad to see Ted's cents of humor hasn't changed. Worth every penny of it.

    October 21, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  8. Howard

    Under the affordable care act {obamacare} a lot of kids will live who would have died because the had no access to health care. Cruz thinks thats horrible.

    October 21, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. gammay

    Always somebody else's fault, huh Cruz. Deflect responsibility much do ya?

    October 21, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  10. captcaps

    Something wrong with this man Ted Cruz but that could be said of most republicans and all teabaggers. Just a friendly observation incase you all missed it.......Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 21, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. a_writer

    Take heart America. At one time in history, the Nazis felt that Hitler was invincible. Ted Cruz too will flame out in due time !

    October 21, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. VegasSmitty

    No worries, there won't be a next election, Obama is going to crown himself King.

    October 21, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  13. Siestasis

    Ted wants a change in 2014, there will be a change but not the one he wants. I wonder if Canada would consider taking him back, oh probably not they are probably breathing a sigh of relief.

    October 21, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. M. Callahan

    Perhaps, someday, Cruz will have an epiphany and realize that what matters is the country and all its people not his party. Somehow, it never seems to enter his mind that his approach and end game might not be good for the country and all its people. Thak God that at least some republicans do want what is good for America more than what is good for their party. The republican party has had a series of these big personality, big mothed people who blow up very brightly and then disappear in the ashes of their own flash out.

    October 21, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  15. calvin

    Can we PLEASE send Cruz and Bieber back to Canada, NOW !!!!

    October 21, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  16. Doc Place

    To bad he's not up for re-election until 2018. And it's a good thing I don't vote in Texas.

    October 21, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  17. Vile GOP and Tea Taggers

    So Ted Cruz and the tea baggers shut the government down and cost the Nation 20+ billion dollars and HE SAYS its the Senate republicans that are a problem? Tea Baggers are a disaster waiting to happen. Get rid of all these TRAITORS!

    October 21, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  18. Jennifer NY

    Ted Cruz is the problem. Why ishe being made such a big deal of by the media? They keep interviewing him. He doesn't listen to anyone...only himself.

    October 21, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  19. Ken Heffner

    I've been a Republican for ages but 2014 will show that Cruz is the "'single-most damaging thing' for the GOP in 2014." It's a shame he wields as much power as he does with the speaker. Boehner would have come out better had he allowed a straight up or down vote before Cruz's forced government shutdown.

    October 21, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  20. Grahame Rhodes

    Hey Cruz! Those Senate Republicans happen to your bosses too. Boy! are you in trouble

    October 21, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. bo

    Texas should just secede from the union. Better for everyone. bush, perry, cruz- all total idiots. How does this particular place create and promote such morons. Seriously. How? Maybe they look good down there, but on the national stage they are consistently an embarrassment. Please just keep them for yourselves. ps i love Chuck Norris so dont hate. ok....

    October 21, 2013 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  22. Kim

    Please stay in the limelight. Dems are a shoe in for 2014.

    October 21, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  23. the witness

    Seems that the machine is eating itself now

    October 21, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  24. okiejoe

    Dicazi - Unfortunately Cruz is a Senator, his "district" is the state of Texas.

    October 21, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  25. ItsAMirage

    Thank god!!!! Cruz still doesn't get it :) I got ma popcorn ready to watch the Republican fireworks show as they continue to attack each other. Let it burn baby.

    October 21, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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