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. A Humble Perspective

    To all brainwashed Democrats. It was government intervention in the healthcare market in the 1970's that put healthcare on its current course. The ACA is far overreaching. In fact, the 43 million uninsured number was bogus to begin with. These were not individuals who did not have access. The majority were individuals who were young and healthy and simply chose to not enroll. Yes, sometimes these individuals went to an emergency room and we may have been stuck with the tab, but now we are guaranteed to carry the tab. The individuals who truly were not captured by medicaid, or medicare, or by private insurance came close to 10 million. The removal of the pre-existing conditions clause would have captured many of those. As far as those who claim this is a long term debt reducer, please remember that part of the tom foolery on this deal is that the government offloaded medicaid to the states, many of which simply can't afford the expansion. Also, please quit citing success in Canada. Canada, you might know, is quite mediocre. We were founded to be much more.

    October 3, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Bill Hannegan

    Cruz is done. I will take vacation days if I have to, to make sure that piece of human excrement doesn't get a chance at a presidential run.

    October 3, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Ancient Texan

    Finally a politician with principals and dedication. When will the rest of the GOP stand up and fight?

    October 3, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. I'mvotingforHillary

    Cruz is a fool and only wants to satisfy the racist who support him.

    October 3, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Even Norquist thinks little of this guy. "

    Yeah...his comments were actually genuinely funny too...said something like "Cruz pushed the GOP into oncoming traffic and then wandered off."

    October 3, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. John

    I blame Texans for electing this guy. I hope if this shutdown hurts the economy that it hurts Texas especially bad!

    October 3, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Hogan's Goat

    "Buyer's Remorse" has set in, and the shiny has worn off Cruz now. He was just the punch line of a joke anyway, since he's exactly what the GOP claimed to oppose in Obama: an inexperienced senator born in another country. But they love to pretend that we worship Obama and call him 'Dear Leader' and follow him uncritically, and whoops! Looks like that's just what they did with Cruz.

    October 3, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Jay in Florida

    The part I find troubling is that, these days in America... a person is only perceived to have balllzzz if he/she is an extremist. You don't need to be a radical to tell someone like Cruz to go back to canada, sink in a latrine, and leave the rest of us to clean up the mess he has made. You don't need to be an extremist either to rub in his face that he's a POS for taking a radical stance, and that there is little if no difference between him and the Taliban we fight. Expose him, bring him down, and if that means you're going down.. so be it. That's the very definition of ballzzz anyways.

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

    Keep after them Mr. Cruz

    My daughter in California said that her "Cheap" coverage under o care would be around $1200 per month. That is up from around $500.

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

    Cruz, a wannabe dictator

    October 3, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC


    poll after poll shows that half of America doesn't want obamacare. Poll after poll shows that half of America doesn't like Obama. Don't be so quick to think that Cruz doesn't have a very large following. he does.
    The only poll that mattered was the ballot box last November. Obamacare won by millions of votes, despite efforts by the right wing to suppress the vote in many states.

    October 3, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. wise old woman


    FREEDOM< Listen, if the TEA PARTY people think they are representing my freedoms, please tell them they don't. I do NOT need them to represent my freedoms, I have a mind of my own and I don't want their help. The TEA PARTY IS the problem. They think they are the only patriots that know what "freedom" is. Unfortunately, they are so radical they are not even close to representing our democracy. TED CRUZ wants power and prestige. He needs to shut up and go home to TEXAS and stay there. I say Texans should ban together and do a recall vote on him.

    October 3, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Let's have our first national referendum vote on whether this country should keep Obamacare. Photo ID required.
    Now that we know what is in this albatross, I'm sure the Democrats will agree to this, right?

    October 3, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. KJ

    Cruz is an idiot or as someone here stated a terrorist holding our Country hostage until we give up to his demands. Hey T-Bag 4 brains, we don't negotiate with terrorists!!!!

    October 3, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  15. NameLindaHardge

    When Ted Cruz and the Tea Party bring this country into another recession and people begin to lose money in their 401Ks, banks fail, unemployment goes up again, housing market stalls, and people stop buying, then and only then will the GOP admit they were led in a hole by a freshman senator from Texas that has his own agenda that has nothing to do with him caring about US citizens since he was born in Canada. How stupid can the GOP be?

    October 3, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Dan

    This incredibly stupid situation will turn into a catastrophe soon with the impending debt ceiling crisis. What will follow will make the 2008 economic crash look like a tempest in a tea pot.

    The Republican lunatic fringe is to blame this time, but the capacity of this group to inflict such damage and chaos highlights a very real dysfunction in the American system of government. Parliamentary democracies work better. The American system is NOT the envy of the world; but it is has become the laughing stock of the West.

    October 3, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    @kevin, there will be no civil war and get over the fact that the south lost!
    Your teatards don't realize what you have allowed the Canadian bin laden to do to a country that is not even his birthplace country.
    This teatard anarchist tantrum is affecting all Americans not just democrats. Get your head out do your behind and see the truth. People ant pay their rent, mortgage, food, electricity if they don't have a job and getting a lump sum, if you are a Fed is not going to cut it when this is over.
    In the meantime regular people who work hard in businesses that revolve around the fed government are going to hurt even more. The DOW is down. People are seeing their 401Ks Nd pensions start going down after record highs.
    If anyone should be very afraid it's your people and I don't mean about guns I mean about thrown out on their behinds come next 2014.
    We the people need lawyers to take these cretins to court and put in jail. This is 100 times worse than 9/11 because it's affecting everyone in the US and is being led by a Canadian and American born fools!

    October 3, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. BobC

    Your time is coming Senator Cruz. You have made many, many enemies and they all have long memories. Your demise won't be pretty, but it will be well deserved.

    October 3, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  19. Tightjumpa

    Sad day when we let a Canadian have his way in Congress!

    October 3, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Jim

    Why delay individual mandate for one year? Easy. Understanding that any new govt. program will result in some pain, snags, snafus, resulting in negative response in the early stages, Republicans want to see storm of bad publicity occur in the fall of 2014, right before the mid-terms. As it stands now, most neg. issues should be addressed to majority satisfaction by those elections. Republicans lose a grandstanding soap box to stand on.

    October 3, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Toward the end of Ted Cruz's more than 20-hour ... Oh, my wife works for Goldman Sachs making about a million a year.

    Goldman goes short on America , follow the money and you find out who profits on the shutdown .

    October 3, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Obama-Democrat and some RINO are giving candies to buy votes! They spend tax payer money to keep their power. "

    GOPers/Teatrolls and some libertarians are giving tax cuts to buy votes and campaign donations! They eviscerate the federal government's revenue stream to keep their power and give more power to the wealthy and corporations.


    October 3, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Tony Torres

    I think Cruz and his ilk are traitors period. If they were really concerned about the US they would not be damaging all that is good in this country. They are adamant on overturning the ACA instead of trying to mend the things that can be corrected. They prefer that we all suffer because of a principal that has no chance in being revoked, what is it about this Law that is different than others that have been passed, delegated, confirmed by the SCOTUS,etc. I can't wait until 2014 elections to try and get rid of all these bums.

    October 3, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. hugehs

    Cruz and other so called Republican/Tea party has effectively ended the Republican Party. We will become a one party system or a collaboration government. with many small parties. but the GOP has effectively ended there existence and will go the way of Wigs.

    October 3, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. rr rivera

    I am ashamed to live in the same state as Cruz. Not all Texans agree with him, in fact many do not. He will never, ever, get my vote for a higher office. In fact, I plan to donate to his oppositiion. He is selfish and acting like an egomaniac.

    October 3, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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