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. sundownr

    This is the pot calling the kettle black... Cruz is the biggest problem In American government.

    October 21, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. sonny chapman

    Like the teenager who says,"Everyone in my High School Class hates me. I don't know what's wrong with THEM."

    October 21, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Tony

    Senate Republicans: Cruz is 'the single-most damaging thing' for the GOP in 2014.

    FIFY.

    October 21, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  4. ram

    Mr. Cruz is a classic example of someone who blames everyone but himself for his mistakes and who lives in some kind of strange land of his own making. He doesn't care what happens to anyone but himself, and he still doesn't get it. Wow. His picture would fit nicely in a dictionary next to irresponsible and immature...maybe next to unbalanced as well.

    October 21, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Bob

    I'm white, pushing 60. live in Ohio. I voted Republican every single local, state, and federal election until John McCain picked up Sarah Palin. Never again. I never left the party; the party left me. I am incredibly angry with the childish antics of the GOP and the Tea Party. They are no longer the party of business. They are the party of White Wingers and "I've Got mine!". Please give me someone that is rational, reasonable, able to negotiate and compromise, believes in and understands science, and believes in doing what is right for the country as a whole as opposed to the loudest and richest. I never joined the Democrats, they joined me.

    October 21, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. tumadre

    In this corner, from the state that gave us Perry, bush jr., standing at 5'11"', 210 lbs, the man that will let the country go in default, the one who will do it again, the man representing the Tea Party, Ted Crrrrruuuuuuzzzzzzzzzz

    October 21, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Seattle Sue

    Cruz the Canadian is the problem.

    October 21, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Roy

    Ted Cruz is the male version of Sara Palin or whatever her name is from AK.

    October 21, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Drewsie

    A moronic observation from a moronic individual with a moronic world view and a moronic self-importance.
    Did I mention this man is a moron?
    Cry, the beloved country, when such moronic men lead such moronic constituents into such moronic situations.
    Did I mention the man is a moron?

    October 21, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Rick C.

    No Mr. Cruz, YOU are the most damaging element in the GOP.

    October 21, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  11. TM

    Mr. Cruz, the single most damaging thing to the GOP are NOT Senate Republicans, but rather ONE Republican Senator. LOOK IN THE MIRROR to find out which one. YOU took your party on a fool's errand for no good purpose beyond your own craven political ambition. All you accomplished is proving that Green Eggs and Ham is above your grade level. Time to let the adults make the important decisions.

    October 21, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    whatever Ted McCarthy.....you are so out there it's not funny. But keep it coming. You are doing the democrats work for them

    October 21, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. sisterchef

    No. You, Mr. Cruz, and others with your mind-set are the problem. And everyone knows that except you and yours. And I know you will not change. So you will have to be voted out of office. No problem.

    October 21, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Tom

    This guy should be on medication. I'm still mystified how Cruz expects to get all these Republicans he's bashing to help him in a 2016 Presidential run? Has Cruz ever wondered why states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida figure so prominently in national elections? Guess what? The Republicans holding elected office in those states tend to have a stronger allegiance to those Senate Republicans than the Tea Party. So are they going to enthusiastically campaign for Ted Cruz when he comes to their state to campaign? I wouldn't bet on it. No candidate can win a national election with only Tea Party votes. Unless Ted Cruz can come up with a strategy to win Ohio and/or Pennsylvania he has no chance of being President. Just ask Mitt Romney.

    October 21, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  15. Jilinwa

    When I hear him talk he reminds me of the 'film flam man'.

    October 21, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. Joeyjojo Shabado

    As a Democrat I honestly love this guy.

    October 21, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. Odo

    Cruz ... keep it up and ensure Democratic victories in the future!!!!

    October 21, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  18. Bob, NY

    What's worse...ACA or Obamacare? Do these people laugh at "People of Walmart"?

    October 21, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  19. Vader

    The Senate GOP is about the last bastion of sanity in the Republican party.

    October 21, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  20. Lewis

    Texas' village idiot, Ted Cruz (this Texan did not vote for him) is the face of the teaparty. More and more voters are seeing what a disaster they are. If they want to change things, quit acting like Fascist lunatics, win people to their side, control the House, Senate, and the Presidency, THEN enact what ever laws they want. Acting like Fascist bullies will NEVER win over the moderate and the left.

    October 21, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  21. NoMoreRetoric

    Cruz is a shinning example, along with Palin and Bachmann as to what is wrong with the Republican party.

    The GOP has a mess on it's hands and the party has devolved.

    We must contain the GOP from doing further damage to this Nation.

    October 21, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  22. moxjox

    "Sen. Cruz: I'm siding with Americans"
    WHICH ONES?
    The rich ones like the Koch brothers who want to buy more politicians
    OR
    the ones who are anarchists and want to bring America down?
    What IS this guy smoking because he's NOT siding with Americans who are like me.

    October 21, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. don in albuquerque

    Ya know for years I thought W was the biggest moron I had ever seen in politics. Cruz has him beat hands down. And what is sad is Cruz thinks he's smarter then a door.

    October 21, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Alyssa

    That makes no sense. This guy is insane.

    October 21, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Bill

    No Teddy, you are the problem and every time you open your mouth reminds people why the GOP is an abject disaster. Keep talking!!

    October 21, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
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