September 19th, 2013
01:59 PM ET
10 years ago

Cruz tries to make amends with angry conservatives

Washington (CNN) - It's a typical love story. Man loves his party. Party follows man. Man makes misstep. Man tries to make up for his indiscretion.

In this case, the man is freshman Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a crusader of the defund-Obamacare movement. His misstep put at risk the political future of many in his party. After House Republicans jumped on his bandwagon to risk government shutdown in exchange for defunding the health care law, he indicated on Wednesday that their risky transaction might be useless.

"(Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so," Cruz said in the statement.

That peeved Republicans in the House, especially those who are reluctantly moving forward with the maneuver.

"They said nothing is impossible if you fight hard enough, and the minute the House announces the vote, they give up the fight? It's crazy," one senior GOP leadership aide told CNN.

House Republicans question Cruz’s Obamacare-defunding fervor

Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin took to Twitter to tweak Cruz, Rubio and Lee, referring to a message from a reporter about the their original statement and tweeting "so far Sen Rs are good at getting Facebook likes, and townhalls, not much else. Do something. . . RT ..."

Now he's trying to make amends. He said he wants "to commend" members of the House and Republican leadership "for sticking their neck out" on the issue.

Cruz's Texas GOP colleague Rep. Blake Farenthold praised Cruz as one of the most articulate legislators on the Hill and issued a challenge: "I think this a great opportunity for him to go to the Senate floor and win over some votes. Let's see him do the Rand Paul filibuster. He can do it, and I think he'll do a good job," Farenthold said.

Cruz promised to do "everything necessary and everything possible to defund Obamacare."

Republican leadership, meanwhile, is attempting to disguise the fissure that has once again emerged between the more mainstream members and the more conservative.

"The Republicans, by their very nature, are a bit more independent than our colleagues across the aisle. I've seen that from the day I got here," House Speaker John Boehner said.

Boehner is reluctantly moving forward with the plan to tie health care funding with government funding. He – and other Republicans – have said in the past that it's a losing battle. But by deciding to hold a vote on the measure Friday, the conservative faction of his party has been effective.

"[T]he debate in the House has been settled," Boehner said. Obamacare "is a train wreck and it's going to raise costs, it's destroying American jobs and it must go," Boehner said, dismissing any disagreement within the ranks.

Democrats exploit Republican fissures

While the Republican Party is split on how to move forward on the health care bill they find loathsome, Democrats are exploiting the discord.

"I never thought I would ever come to the floor of the United States Senate to quote Karl Rove," Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois said. He quoted an op-ed Rove wrote for Thursday's Wall Street Journal.

"Independent voters, those who don't declare for either political party across America, think that the Tea Party strategy is disastrous," Durbin said citing Rove. "And he warned the Republican Party that if you are not careful you are going to push those independents over on to the democratic side."

Reid also seized the opportunity. "It would be good political theater to watch them self-destruct, and that is what they are doing, if there were not so much at stake," he said on the Senate floor.

"The economic consequences of a government shutdown are deadly serious."

Cruz, meanwhile, attempted to spin his statement from yesterday into a more direct, partisan challenge. He placed the onus on Reid. "The ball now moves to the Senate and Harry Reid," he said.

He also put pressure on his Republican Senate colleagues who think his idea is a bad one.

He called on "every Senate Republican to stand shoulder to shoulder" with the defund-Obamacare supporters.

- CNN's Deirdre Walsh, Dana Bash, Ted Barrett and Bryan Koenig.

Filed under: Health care • Ted Cruz
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. WV Gleeman

    This circus just keeps getting better. Is this the death throws of a once powerful (and proud) party? There was a time when I could find a few Rep that I liked because they didn't just tow the party line and the reason I always found the Dem party weak. Now the tow the party line is considered patriotic and somehow the only way to move forward because if you don't the big bad tea party will impose a primary.

    September 19, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. My10Cents

    Got to admire the effort of the GOP and especially the Tea Party because it takes a lot of effort to have to live in that narrow-minded world inside that oh so tiny bubble.

    September 19, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. sly

    GOP – the party that couldn't shoot straight.

    First, Mitten's gives us the election with his '47% of Americans hate Republicans' comment.

    Now, the Republicans decide to commit suicide by trying to shut down the government.

    Thank you GOP – the party that gives and gives and gives, to the Democrats.

    September 19, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. al

    Republicans have serious issues with the truth. it seems as though they no longer can discern between fact and fiction.

    September 19, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. NameLindaHardge

    Let the Republiccans cause the government to shut down and another recession to their credit. I hope the President do not cave in to their antics. Health care for all Americans is good for the country. It beats medicare payments for illegals.

    September 19, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. ST

    The path Ted Cruz has taken is totally a wrong one. Suppose he is in power (which will never happen in my life time), he comes with an idea of helping people, and someone from the opposition Party comes up as well and crash everything he proposes, will he take it lightly and say go ahead and dismantle everything I came with? I do not think so. This man is brain-dead. He thinks that people make their name by doing horrible things to others.

    September 19, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. Me

    Wake up People!

    So Tom I, you continue to call us bigoted for telling the truth. Cruz WAS born on Canadian soil. But you also ignore the fact that the right has been claiming President Obama should have never been elected because they claim he was born in Kenya. If Cruz is American because he was born to an American woman why wouldn't President Obama even if he were born in Kenya?? What's the difference? You call us bigoted for pointing out the blatant hypocrisy by the right but you give them a free pass. Your pitiful attempts
    Because you lump ALL conservative in with the birthers, I never once questioned his right to run for and be president!!!! Stop lumping everyone in with a FEW extreme, we are not all extreme. In fact extreme of either party is EXTREMELY BAD!!! And YOU called the birthers bigoted so by definition now YOU are! Also, once Obama showed proof most backed off, not all but most, your party is not backing off once Cruz showed he was born to an American!!!! You can't judge a book by the cover and I cannot control or even vote (or not vote) for many of these extremist so I have NO control over them being in their position or their actions!!!! I hate to tell you but you are the ones that look pathetic and petty, Cruz showed proof immediately, took Obama months, now you are simply acting like children, two wrongs don’t make a right and again I never questioned Obama’s eligibility!

    September 19, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "The Republicans, by their very nature, are a bit more independent than our colleagues across the aisle. I've seen that from the day I got here," House Speaker John Boehner said.
    Seriously? I guess that explains the "The Hastert Rule", which they require of themselves to follow.

    A Republican will say anything that sounds good at that moment. It's their nature. So, to prevent all of those random lies from escaping their lips, they circulate memos of talking points, loaded with catch phrases and keywords to say not to say.

    On second thought, though. Boehner just might be describing the loose cannons in his caucus.

    September 19, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. Me

    @tiffinS – the debacle is the GOP wasting millions of dollars trying to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. They are concerned about the budget and yet waste our tax dollars on fruitless repeals.

    People like you are a politicians dream. If you want to be taken seriously referring to people as "libs" might not be such a good idea.

    "I say just let the debacle of the ACA go through and wait for 2014 to sort things out. All the lib posters on here will have memory loss when it does and blame the GOP, Bush, Texas the weather etc. for the disaster as always."

    September 19, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. Ron L

    The Senator is a PERFECT example of what is wrong with politics in America today. Mr. Cruz wants to destroy The Affordable Care Act, but he offers NOTHING in it's place to help those Americans who work 40 to 60 hours a week at $9.00 an hour and have little money left after paying for the basic necessities of life. This man also knew the odds of getting the Senate and the President to kill one of the most important social safety nets since Social Security and Medicare was higher than winning the lottery. But HE DID NOT CARE, this guy is ALL ABOUT HIMSELF and no one else. He could not CARE LESS if the Republican Party loses the House, or never wins the Presidency as long as he can keep all the ATTENTION on HIMSELF. I don't understand how and why so many Americans are so easily duped by the LOUDEST voice even when it is the STUPIDEST!! As I have written MANY times before. The Heathcare Insurance industry had no government intervention for 30 years and they would raise premiums 15 to 20% per year, they would kick people off their policies as soon as they felt they would loose money on them, they would deny thousands of Americans coverage because of pre-existing conditions. The Affordable Care act is not perfect, but does everyone really want to go back to the way it was??? I HOPE NOT. The Affordable Care act is a small step in the right direction, we as a society need to break the connection between our employers and our heathcare insurance policy. Healthcare insurance should be handled like any other service and the Affordable Care Act is the first step in that direction. REPUBLICANS if you want to destroy the Affordable Care Act, you need to replace it with something that people earning less than $20,000 a year can afford. Otherwise it is no good for MILLIONS and MILLIONS of Americans.

    September 19, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Data Driven

    Cruz learns that if you promise a child a big birthday party, you had better deliver.

    Go ahead, shut it down, boys - see what happens when people out there stop getting Medicare and Social Security checks. They'll turn on their TVs and web browsers to find out why.

    And then you'll be gone.

    September 19, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Me

    The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    "This guy is NOT even American. He is Canadian and they are following him to the precipice. What's next? They'll all jump? Now that I think please proceed tea tards."

    Why isn't he an American? His mother is an American.

    @The Real Tom Paine:
    I don't think Marie is mocking the right here whatsoever. This comment is exactly what I'm talking about. It's bigoted however it's against a Canadien so it's perfectly okay. Do see the idiocy/hatred/vitriol here? Because this man has a different point of view he is viewed as "evil". Ahhhhh, the open minded left....not.
    Tom, have you ever criticized anyone on your side for ill-informed, over the top comments? Please, don't bother lecturing a liberal on how close-minded we are supposed to be when every day I see liberals referred to as dumocraps, or socialists, or any number of forms of abuse: just sayin, hector slagg, guest and others are notorious for doing that, yet you single out only liberals. I will call a spade a spade in here, as will several others, but please at least admit that you have your own coterie of vile hatemongers that, to my knowlege, you have never taken to task in spite of more than enough evidence. Pointing out Cruz's origin is not a form of abuse, but it only points out the irony of those who demanded to see Obama's birth certificate and still believe he is not a citizen so readily and uncritically accept Ted Cruz as their savior when he has done nothing to earn respect or acclaim.
    Oh give me a break, almost EVERY POST sniffit, Rudy, wake up, dominican and all the other hard core liberals call the right teatards or most the time worse!! Eventually I am going to break and say something back, that does not make it right but it is what it is! I try and not call names but sometime frustration get the better of me, these liberals TRY and MAKE SURE they call us names in almost every post!!! I haven't see a post where they say tea party or conservatives in years it is always some derogatory name!! I agree with Tom, you seem like the more reasonable and self thinking one of the group, I don't see you calling names nearly as much as they do if any at all.

    September 19, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. danomite52

    With "supporters" like that, who needs enemies? The t-baggers are going to drag the GOP down into obscurity in another few election cyces if they don't break the stranglehold this small group of extremists has on the party.

    September 19, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. bgorilla

    Cruz is a whack job.

    September 19, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Fred

    Please stop referring to Cruz as a Canadian. I am a dual, Cdn and U.S.. Cruz had till he was 18 to claim Canadian citizenship. He did not claim, so he lost the opportunity. What is disturbing is Cruz stated that he would rescind his Canadian citizenship, which he could not do since he never had it. Canada has no mechanism to give up its citizenship. The man is a U.S. Senator and he has a staff that looks these things up. Since he stated he was going to give it up he is either, a liar, not informed, or his staff is not competent.

    September 19, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. DE

    Republicans need to make up their minds as to whether they want a Fascist government or anarchy, they are working towards one of them.

    September 19, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. gregg young

    These are all steps to a single payer universal health care system in the US. They are necessary because the Insurance Lobby has so much clout and this would basically cut their profits. The market will be for supplemental insurance for the upper classes to augment national coverage.

    September 19, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. Wake up People!

    Why does the GOP hate the poor? Their proposal would eliminate 40,000,000 people from the food stamp rolls. How are some of these people going to eat and feed their families?? Right now with as many people that are receiving food stamps it's hard to feed your family. What will they do without them? In a country where the wealthy just get wealthier and the poor get poorer, this saddens me. And NO, I don't receive any help from the government. Everyday we are getting closer and closer to the Hunger Games. God help us all if we are dumb enough to let the GOP control both houses of Congress. God help us all.

    September 19, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. ladyjag

    Well Texas always has nut cases, maybe we should give it back to Mexico. Cruz needs to stay in Texas, maybe people in Texas will smarten up and fire him by not relecting him. but you never know. Look at Perry, the man is a totally stupide. Maybe again we should give texas back to Mexico.

    September 19, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  20. Fish

    Cruz should take his Canadian butt back North and attack them and their health insurance and leave Obamacare alone. So now he wants to shut our government down because his health insurance buddies tell him they will lose money. We need to kick him and people like him out of Congress and vote for people who act for America first and Wall Street last!!!

    September 19, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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