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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I did not think it possible for someone to act more disconnected to real Americans than Mitt Romney yet here is Ted Cruz to rolling out the GOP's version of reality one spin at a time.
    The polls, ALL of them, say that Americans did not want the government shutdown, they did not want Obamacare to be tied into the funding of the government, they think the GOP went too far and acted recklessly. But to hear Turd Cruz state it just the opposite was the case.
    As a matter of fact he is going to stay the course and the next available chance he gets he's going to go for shutting us down again, because that is what the American people want even though every poll says different.
    Ted Cruz is a Party of one financially backed by the Koch brothers.
    The truth is that he could care less what happens to the Republican Party in our out of the House.
    His only concern is in making sure that nothing happens to HIM.

    October 21, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. ST

    On my blogging today I have to take on the media. You are totally useless. I can't imagine those brave/courageous journalists who left their sons behind for example: Chris Wallace, Luke of NBC, would be doing the same the way their sons are doing now. Come on media, you have to call the spade a spade and not a big spoon. This man Cruz blew it up. Why are you ashamed to call him and tell him what he did to the country was wrong. I have seen you dancing around and pretend as if he did something wrong/good or whatever. That is not what sincere/genuine journalists like your fathers did. When they saw something wrong, quickly they pointed straight away without fearing anything. What are you fearing for? If you continue on this path, am afraid to say, you might belong to a wrong place you are in now quite different from where your fathers were.

    October 21, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. Reason & Logic

    He's cruzin' for a luzin' in the next election.

    October 21, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. the hippies were right

    Can someone tell me the definition of conservative, and how $24 billion wasted in a two week period, fits in to that definition.

    October 21, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. cumulus

    That's the tea party for ya, simply nit crazy enough to win elections, the crazy is what they think people want. I'm sure this is just another messaging problem, why can't people get their message? That is the sad mentality we are offered by this group, they refuse to accept the fact that we do get it and theirs your problem.

    October 21, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Tom1940

    Is Senator Cruz suggesting that "RINO's" and "Moderate" Republicans are deep-sixing the Republican Party? Pray tell! How can that be? They are loyal, consistently trying to "reach across the aisle" to Democrats who have no reason to "reach back across the aisle", nor any inclination what-so-ever to compromise – on anything. So if those Senate Republicans continue on their absurd and ridiculous "quest of likeability" by Democrats in continuing to "cave in" at every juncture, then why even have a GOP. Just abolish it. Let the "RINO's and Moderates", go to their party of choice, which in this case is the Democrat Party, and let the Tea Party have what remains. That would be fair!

    October 21, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. al

    Cruz is so out of touch with the people in this country. I realize he only represents a tiny number of people in the grand scheme of things but he is truly on the wrong side of things. Cruz has proven to be good for democrats. He is an obstructionist and has no idea what he is talking about most of the time. He only appeals to people's negative emotional state never to the reasonable and logical side of people.

    October 21, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. wendel

    The gift that just keeps giving and giving.

    October 21, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Hadenuffyet

    An old adage states you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Does he not understand this?

    October 21, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. TomGI

    The tea party will be/is the downfall of the Republican party.

    October 21, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. Shan

    Mr Cruz
    I feel sorry for you because you still do not respect Democracy

    October 21, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  12. A Kickin' Donkey

    The Republican Party has been infiltrated by fanatics & zealots. America is a PRAGMATIC nationG not an Islamic-like-Sharia-law theocracy. If you don't like a partricular la, or a particular President, present your ideas, make your case to citizens and WIN AN ELECTION. Anything else is un American.

    October 21, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Commentator

    Cruz has zero chance of winning a Presidential election, but a 100% chance of landing a Fox News gig. I guess his master plan is still working.

    October 21, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. kamska

    hey TED
    look in the mirror – see that guy??

    He's a legend in his own mind.

    October 21, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Silence DoGood

    I think they should make Cruz official spokesman, leader, head, chief of the GOP.
    That would assure a solid future for liberal and progressive candidate for the foreseeable future.

    October 21, 2013 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. John

    He really does favor the Junior Senator from Wisconsin....Joe McCarthy.....in appearance

    October 21, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  17. Ol' Yeller

    Cruz's talking points...
    1. Obamacare is a train wreck.
    2. 2 million people across America signed the Petition to de fund Obamacare.
    3. Obamacare is a train wreck.
    4. He isn't in Wahington to listen to the 'establishment', he is there to represent his 26 million constituents.
    5. Obamacare is a train wreck.
    Truth-Obamacare has not even had a chance to get started. Yes, there has been some computer issues (can anybody say 'low bid' government contracts) which are being addressed, but so far there in NO evidence that Obamacare is a train wreck. 2 million people did maybe sign a widely advertised and long running petition to defund Obamacare. There are over 300 million people in America, so this is just silly that he ONLY speaks for this miniscule population. Even if every single one of them was from his pool of constituents, it would still be only 1/8 of the peoiple he respresents (talk about taxation without representation... he is NOT listening to 24 million people in that scenario).
    The REAL people involved in the Boston tea party from whom name this group takes their name, actually did have something to complain about. They were being taxed by a country who was not allowing them a represenative within the government. Apparently ted cruz's constituents (at least 1/8 of them... being kind with these numbers here) are being represented. The rest.... well, they are not.

    October 21, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. alfuc

    Mr Ted Cruz, We need your help in next year's election. Thank you Sir. We, the Democrats are very thankful for your help.

    October 21, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Good morning don.
    I find your comment very interesting primarily because I think Cruz is in fact smarter than W.
    He's definitely smarter, smoother, and slicker than his female counterpart Sarah Palin.
    Cruz is in this for the money- his money.
    Sarah went rogue on the true bosses of the GOP; she stopped taking directions and instructions, but not so Cruz.
    Cruz will toe the line and when instructed he will push said line to the limit, or at least wherever they tell him to push it.
    Look how well he performed for the Koch brothers during this government shutdown.
    He's being handsomely rewarded now with paid for positive publcity from the media, and lots and lots camera face time.
    He's being groomed, and he's smart enough to let himself be used for these reckless shenanigans because evidently the price is right.

    October 21, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. jdbost

    Totally delusional!!! He sure knows how to make friends in the Senate! Could be a non productive five years for Teddy!

    October 21, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. Popperite

    This guy must be delusional. There was I thinking the Senate Republicans were part of the solution to this mess......

    October 21, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. ep110947

    Ted Cruz's hard press to the extreme right is a move to disguise his checkered heritage. He is a Canadian born of a Cuban father who was an officer in Fidel Castro's army fighting against Batista and American Imperialism in Cuba. His is an American only because his mother had dual citizenship from her birth and early years in Delaware.

    October 21, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Vidal demonti

    Cruz! I want my 24 Billion $ you squandered back!

    October 21, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. dsangiovanni

    PALIN & CRUZ are the kind Democrats need to be in power for years to come ...

    October 21, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. julie

    who voted this fool idiot into congress...what State is he from................does his brain work at all or just his mouth

    October 21, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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