September 19th, 2013
01:59 PM ET
9 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. tiffinS

    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 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. DustyOnes

    With Reid gone....

    September 19, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. keeroc15

    this guy is a joke right ? hilarious. America deserves him.

    September 19, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. 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

    September 19, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. keeroc15

    this guy is a joke- right ? hilarious. America deserves him.

    September 19, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. George

    "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"

    That quote pretty much says it all. If the Republicans are so intent on self-immolation they need to choose a method that doesn't take us all along with them.

    September 19, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. 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.

    September 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. david saint

    Cruz is worthless as a legislator. His sole mission is to obstruct, make false accusations, and basically contribute to nothing other than shutting down the Govt while Obama is President. If this is how the tea party wants to play, we can do that. How about Dems hold up the economy until gun legislation is passed? lol oh boy, theyd go even crazier than they already are acting by leaps and bounds..

    September 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "What I want to know is who votes for these Republicans??????"

    Well, to play off your posting name, it's pretty much the insanely rich and the Honey Booboo crowd. Strange bedfellows, one might think, but toss in a bit of racism, gun culture, religio-fascism and a sub-cultural wish that the South had wont he Civil War and, well, there you have it.

    September 19, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. rr

    I tried contacting Ted Cruz and he never responded. I guess because I don't have BIG MONEY, the little folks are on their own. Ted Cruz is a disgrace to Texas. Him and Louie need to be voted out.

    September 19, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Tom

    The GOP wants America to fail, so why are people in that party? Are they stupid or simply misguided? I would hope it is the latter.

    September 19, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Cruz is one if the biggest GOP goofs in the senate and should run for office in Canada and try to defund their national healthcare which is successful!!!! Cruz will be a one termer like lee and the fool Rubio.cant wait for the next election to throw this GOP garbage out !!!!!

    September 19, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. tiffinS

    Most Americans don't want the Government running healthcare as they can't run ANYTHING effeciently. I can't think of one government program that is not bloated, effecient or that runs smoothly or underbudget.

    After ACA is enacted it will be official, the circle complete...along with all of your calls, e-mails and texts...your health and well being will be monitored. Congrats libs! Mother Government will take care of no longer have to do anything for yourselves....which is the lib w et dream.

    September 19, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. A traveler

    Given their current behavior I wonder how many seats the GOP will lose next year. Quite a few might be the best prediction.

    September 19, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. ToldUso

    Give them something shiny to look at, Ted. That will keep them busy for a few hours.

    September 19, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. A. Goodwin

    Remember, this is the guy who thinks we need 100 more racist Jessie Helms in the Senate.

    September 19, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC


    "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"

    That quote pretty much says it all. If the Republicans are so intent on self-immolation they need to choose a method that doesn't take us all along with them.
    Right. But, what if the burnt remnants of what's left behind are resuscitated wearing a Darth Vader suit?

    September 19, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Tampa Tim

    Canadian born Cuban makes Fidel proud.

    September 19, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. David

    "Ahhhhh, the open minded left....not."

    :rolleyes: You know, taking the most extreme example on the thread as the exemplar for huge groups of people is hardly indicative of clear-minded objective thought on your part. She broke Godwin's law – a little anti-non-American bigotry is piddling by comparison.

    September 19, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. "Breath and Release"

    If you take a step back you'll see it as it really is: EXTORTION
    For those who don't understand:
    "if you don't do what I tell you, I'll do something damaging to you. It will be your fault because if you did what I told you I wouldn't have done any damage to you"

    September 19, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Sophie Meyer

    Sane republican legislators are now admitting that the "repeal Obamacare" notion is nothing but a scam – always has been. The con man – the carnival barker – Cruz just doesn't realize when to give up. Even the rubes aren't buying what he's selling.

    September 19, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. A Kickin' Donkey

    Right Wingers, this is what we call a rhetorical question . . . are House Republicans so dumb that they didn't realize that their little game would die in the Senate? How could they be mad at Crux; he told they truth. They actually bought his SNAKE OIL and now have buyer"'s remorse? In my best Bill Cosby voice. " Pityful!"
    Cruz can not defund ObamaCare he should stop lying to the Tea Partiers that apparently folllow his lead mindlessly.

    September 19, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    How can anybody listen to a one termer with no experience in healthcare to tell us how bad the healthcare law is when he's bumming for donations on his non stop ad on CNN , who's paying for it, not the teaparty loser Cruz enjoy your last term in office ,GOP teaparty moron!!!!!!

    September 19, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Lenny Pincus

    Cruz is an American. He just subscribes to a bizarre, right wing political theory.

    September 19, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. David

    Here's what I think is crazy about all this – couldn't these guys just come up with actual changes to Obamacare that they think would make it work better and push those through? They've had, what, forty votes on getting rid of it entirely – they couldn't use, like, ten of those votes for small changes that they could get popular support on? I mean, that's what legislators are SUPPOSED to do. I get that they don't like the system as a whole but surely changing it for the better would be a more positive outcome than just repeatedly having votes over and over and over that they KNOW won't go anywhere, wouldn't it?

    September 19, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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