Ted Cruz gets pushback during closed-door meeting
October 3rd, 2013
12:01 PM ET
7 years ago

Ted Cruz gets pushback during closed-door meeting

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz got a lot of pushback from Republican colleagues during a closed-door meeting questioning his relentless effort to tie government funding to derailing Obamacare.

"Cruz was completely unapologetic about the ads that he is featured in on the Senate Conservatives Fund website that attack other Republicans. He sees himself as the only truly pure Republican. His colleagues are furious. He has no successful strategy but has managed to generate grass roots support for his position," one senior Republican source at Wednesday's meeting told CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger.

Cruz has urged Republicans in the House to stand firm and continue pushing any plan to fund the government to proposals aimed at curtailing the Affordable Care Act.

This summer, he appeared in ads produced by the Senate Conservatives Fund urging Republicans to push Congress to defund Obamacare.

This strategy has upset Senate Republicans and some House GOP members because some privately blame the freshman Texas lawmaker for causing the shutdown and boxing House Speaker John Boehner into a corner.

Cruz's spokesman did not have a response to reports of pushback during the Wednesday meeting. Cruz told Politico the media loves to cover internal Republican disagreements and "apparently some senators are content to fuel those stories with anonymous quotes."

Cruz also was unapologetic talking to conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham earlier Wednesday.

"We've had now three times, the House has endeavored to pass compromise bills that would keep the government funded, but at the same time would start to address the enormous harms that Obamacare is inflicting on the American people. And three times, Harry Reid has said 'no, absolutely not, I will not talk, I will not compromise, I will not do anything – no.' And as long as he maintains that absolutist position, both Reid and President Obama have said they won't even sit down to talk. They want a shutdown," he said.

At a previous meeting of Senate Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins spoke about some of the ads in Maine that said she was not conservative enough, blaming Cruz for helping to divide the party.

During the Wednesday session, many senators spoke out and aimed their comments directly at Cruz, the GOP source told Borger.

While Cruz initially drew the anger of some Republicans weeks ago when the House passed the first bill to keep the government operating only if Obamacare was defunded because Democrats controlled the Senate, he then staged a 21-hour talkathon last week trying to prevent the Obamacare provision from being removed. He lost that effort but helped cement his stature with the Republican base.

That caused some Republicans to go public with their consternation.

Asked why Boehner can't bring up for consideration any bill he wants, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, told CNN Wednesday night that the "leadership made a decision to take the position that we are going to take the Ted Cruz strategy, and we are not going to fund the government until we get rid of Obamacare."

Nunes blames Cruz for causing the GOP not to have a choice and causing a shutdown.

"John Boehner said we'll take this Ted Cruz strategy. You guys went out for two months, made these commitments. We'll take it. We'll implement it. And now, here we are, it's fully implemented. ... I think Ted Cruz is one of the best politicians that's come around in a long time. He's able to rally the base, he's got a lot of money … There's a lot of consultants making money off this and lots of TV ads going on. The problem with it is, it's one thing to be good at politics. It's another thing to be not good at strategy."

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, has previously called Cruz "a fraud" for his promises of defunding Obamacare. But other Republicans are not backing away from Cruz, including Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who is scheduled to hold an event with the senator on Saturday.

For Democrats, there is little question of who is in fact leading the anti-Obamacare effort and are eager to highlight Cruz's efforts.

"Senator Cruz is now a joint speaker," Reid said Thursday on the Senate floor. "He lectures the House on occasion as he does people over here."

Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement regarding Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus: "I think he probably has Speaker Cruz Boehner's number somewhere."

- CNN's Kevin Bohn and Bryan Koenig contributed to this story.

Filed under: Congress • Government Shutdown • Ted Cruz
soundoff (508 Responses)
  1. Sean

    Obama-Democrat and some RINO are giving candies to buy votes! They spend tax payer money to keep their power. Debt is growing faster and faster, leading to bankrupcy. Bravo to Ted Cruz who has a gut to stand up against them to save America!

    October 3, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Both Reid and President Obama have said they won't even sit down to talk. They want a shutdown," Cruz said.
    Here are the facts. Earlier this past spring, both the House and finally the Senate both passed budgets. Republicans had long complained about the fact that the Senate had not passed a budget since the Bush administration. ( seeing how the country has been running on CR's since TARP was passed, what was the point ) Finally, the chance for 'regular order" to move forward on an actual budget conference between House and Senate.

    However, once the Senate passes a budget, then another vote is taken on whether or not ot move forward to budget conference with the House. Sen. Cruz filibustered the vote to move to budget conference. He has blocked budget conference since he came to DC.

    Now all of a sudden he wants to sit down and conduct a budget conference after he's shut down government. I'm afraid that my opinion of Mr. Cruz coincides with that of Mr. King's. Cruz is not being honest with the public.

    October 3, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    ..half of Americans doesn't want obamacare...........half of Americans doesn't like Obama....."

    Which means half of Americans do. What's your point?

    October 3, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. Julie Labrouste

    Don't let Cruz get too close to the Reichstag ... or Austria ... or Poland.

    October 3, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Donna Housley

    Do you think there was this much resistance to mandatory auto insurance? No one complains about that.

    October 3, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. RGCO

    Ted Cruz is Canadian born. Maybe he does not understand the American principle that he was elected to govern wisely not to destroy government. Maybe the people of Texas need to recall Cruz and elect a real American!!

    October 3, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine


    Those of you who have been brainwashed to be against the Tea Party patriots don't realize that they are for everyone's freedoms. This president is taking away our freedoms one by one, every day – and this fight is worth having over Obamacare – because it will take away multiple freedoms all at once. Also, Pelosi and Obama rammed this law through without one republican vote, and without the support of the American people. Please start thinking for yourselves and your families. The more freedoms you keep and have, the better your lives will be.
    Brainwashed? Please. Your patronizing tone is more than enough proof to make me distrust the Tea party, who sat on their hands, doing nothing for decades while the GOP rammed through their false promises of freedom and democracy and gutted the middle class to pay for tax cuts for those who did not need them. The Tea Party is NOT a grassroots movement, its nothing more than K Street dressed in populist clothes. Their masters in corporate boardrooms, jubilant over how they have found a portion of the American public so easy to cow and herd like sheep. Your name belies your real role: "lackey" suits you better

    October 3, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. aj

    Even Norquist thinks little of this guy. How did he put it? "He led them (GOP) into traffic, then wandered away"

    No fan of Norquist, but if you're GOP, and on his list, future looks grim.

    October 3, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Wes

    Cruz is cool. He's doing what an elected representative should. Representing his constituents. You don't hear Texas that are upset, he is doing what we sent him to do. This party ideology has our country seriously in peril. We are a union of 50 sovereign states each electing representatives . Not a democracy or whatever nonsense fed to you by the MS-DNC. Take a civics class. The government shut down so many times by Democrat tip O'Neil. All of a sudden the legislative process is the end of the world. Turn off the 24 hour news turdbox

    October 3, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  10. Squealy

    It is refreshing to see all the Cruz backlash. I have been spending far too much time on Yahoo's forums where the tea party likes to hang, and getting more and more depressed over how anti-everything (and nasty!) they are. Nice to get some perspective back.

    October 3, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Fed Up 2

    We too had a representative like Cruz, his name was Joe McCarthy. He set the nation
    on it's ear with a incredible witch hunt that destroyed the lives of thousands..... and distracted
    the nation from the real issues. It appears Cruz has begun a witch hunt and we will have to wait
    and see what destruction is wrought by this while the big issues get lost in the fire he has set....

    October 3, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. Michael MacBride

    Ted Cruz stars in Top Bum.

    Sure glad he left Canada. We got our troubles up here for sure but boy, glad we don't have him in politics here.

    October 3, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. JustWho

    is Cruz other than an idiot?

    October 3, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mitch McConnell wanted to make Barack Obama a one term president and for all intent and purpose shutdown the government for 4 years to achieve his goal. Ted Cruz wants to become President of the United States without a national vote. And HE isn't about to let governance get in his way of his own self ambition of literally becoming President without actually being voted into the position ... he HAS shutdown the United States government. There really is something very wrong with this picture.

    Oh GOPers – don't misunderstand ... I really do have the picture full and clear. Both McConnell and Cruz want to continue their destruction of America without regard whatsoever of their fellow Americans. Apparently the GOP in its entirety is ready and willing to allow them their destructive power.

    Power. Got to love how GOPers lap up power. But NEVER EVER govern.

    October 3, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    She did not threaten to crater the economy in TX. Apples and oranges, i expected better.
    If you did then you haven't been paying attention Tom Paine.

    October 3, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. Rodger

    Adding qualifiers to the government funding is absurd. What if Democrats had attached a very strict gun restricion to the funding? This most certainly would have been rejected by the House, then the Senate Democrats would start to "compromise" to lesser demands of gun control. Again, absurd to hold government funding hostage to such politically charged proposals. I have not heard this argument to date. Ignorance.

    October 3, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. omeany

    If the moderates in the GOP do not shut down the Tea Party fringe they will be the ones getting the boot in 2014 & 2016 and all that will be left of the GOP will be the gerrymander safe Tea Party folks. They better act quick because doing nothing will mean the end of the GOP as we know it and it will become a joke.

    October 3, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  18. Winston Smith

    Shame it's not pushed out. He's the most horrible person known at this time. He's an instigator, manipulator, but mostly coward.

    October 3, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  19. Wilson

    Obama continuing to hold the economy and government hostage, "my way or the highway."

    October 3, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |

    SMH...32 years in uniform, for this?

    October 3, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. sly

    Just in:

    The New York Yankees have threatened to quit MLB until the 2013 season is replayed AND the Yankees win.

    "The mlb win/loss rules must be changed so the Yankees win every game" stated George Steinbrenner.

    October 3, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Soapy Smith

    Cruz said on "Meet The Press" that he represents 26 million Texans. Wrong, make that 25,999,999 Texans.

    October 3, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. danielwalldammit

    Cruz deserves a lot more than push-back. Shame on those who have been humoring him up to this point.

    October 3, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. charlies curry

    sounds like and like allways the working poor will pay the bill for this health care bill while real rich people put on a play while there lining there pocketts with cash making fool out of all of us.

    October 3, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Too bad the GOP has no "Cruz Control" !"

    Indeed...they're Cruzin' for a Bruzin' in 2014.

    October 3, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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