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. Nameyuripelham

    Cruz missle boomeranged

    October 3, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. dove970

    These Tea Party politicians pretend to be religious and patriotic, but in actuality they are working for and funded by the greediest fraction of the society such as Koch Brothers. Their agenda is to destroy the middle class and all social programs in the world, so they can have a slave class to be slave labors for them. They go as far as taking the country hostage and shutting down the government in order to get their extreme-right agenda through. During the 8 years of GOP presidency under Bush, GOP did nothing to work out an affordable healthcare law for American people, but when Democrat tried try to work out an affordable care act, they did everything to obstruct it. saiah10:1-4 “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar?...Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.” God is very angry with GOP!

    October 3, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. blake

    Of course he does. Way too many RINOs. They need to be jettisoned from the GOP. They have more in common with the Democrats than they do their own party.

    October 3, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Steve

    What do Cruz and company not understand. President Obama was RE-ELECTED after the ACA was signed into law. And where do they get off on saying the American people don't want it. I don't need it myself but clearly the need is there.

    Enough is enough! Time to take them down.

    October 3, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Daniel Dubrowski

    Cruz wants to be and is acting like the teabaggers demigod, the supreme leader, the teabagging dictator telling us all what's good and bad for us. Man, is HE in for a rude awakening....

    October 3, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. rosethornne

    Cruz is a droolslobbering fanatic. Droolslobbering fanatics have NO PLACE in government, which requires negotiation and compromise.

    October 3, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. 22

    The uneducated, hateful Teaparty's calling the shots for the GOP.Boehner et al are following these 'terrorists' with their tale between their legs.Forget sick kids,head start,halting research,the nations security,people's pay checks.....forget America!They 're holding us all hostage because of their obsession with Obama .The ACA was challenged in court and is now law,they attempted to repeal this law 40 times without success but no they won't give up,their hatred for Obama is greater than their love for country.The ACA has nothing to do with govt spending yet they'll use that and more as a ransom.They want to destroy anything and everything that makes the president look good and will stop at nothing even to the point of putting the country into a recession,They will pay and pay heavily come 2014.Educate yourselves on the issues people don't just listen to news sound bites,All our lives are affected when you vote in people like Ted Cruz.....

    October 3, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Romney IS STILL NOT My Hero

    I am watching out for this guy. His rise to power doesn't make any sense to me. "It" is very reminiscent of Hitler. His haircut is very similar, too. All he needs to do is grow a little mustache down the center of his lip, and he's got it cold.

    October 3, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Art

    Someone ought to ask Ted Cruz, the Cuban, if he has medical coverage and if so, what it is. Then followup and ask him why is he opposed to other folks getting medical coverage too. Is his blood richer than other Americans. That guy is a fraud, and extremist zealot. Texas could recall that joker ASAP. He is an embarrassment even by Texas standards.

    October 3, 2013 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. George

    I'm completely against Cruz and the Republican House leadership on this issue. And won't forget it.

    October 3, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  11. Wellywellup

    I can't believe our country is going to be taken down by a small bunch of wing nuts who like to wear hats that went of style over 200 years ago.

    October 3, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. sly

    Yes, wouldn't government function so much better if EVERY time one party lost on a bill, they shut down government.

    "The bill funding 2 new chuches in Alabama failed in Congress today. The Senator from Alabama shut down the government 'until it passes'".

    October 3, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Hogan's Goat

    The conservatives seem to have it both ways; half say they shut down the government and they like it that way and Obama can't stop them, and half say Obama did it to them and they hate it and want it to stop. Wonder what they say to each other? "Another fine mess you've gotten me into?"
    Sorry, GOP. I don't agree with you but I don't want your party decimated and impotent. Get your act together and get back to work.

    October 3, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. tom l

    I don't agree with many of the tactics of Cruz but you on the left have got to stop making stuff up. He never, nor did the TEA Party, say that they wanted the govt shut down. They never said they wanted to default. You're just saying stuff that simply isn't true.

    And, oh by the way, we take in receipts of $250,000,000,000 each month. Interest is $7,000,000,000. So why would we have to default? The only reason is to create this environment of fear.

    October 3, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. Arun

    It's very simple, you get rid of Citizens United, you get rid of the Tea Party (Koch backed) groups, then you can get rid of idiots like Ted Cruz, Michelle Bauchman, and Lois Gomer!!

    October 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Jm

    His name is Raphael, he is ashamed of his race and identifying with them which is why he calls himself Ted!! If he could he would spell his last name Cruise. I grew up with many people like that, even I wished I could blend in and crossover for better jobs and opportunities but I was a shade to dark. I am my self Hispanic and not a crossover. He should be ashamed of what he has done to the country, to his race and to himself. America his name is Raphael Cruz lets start using it and you yourself will see how ashamed it makes him feel to e called that! Watch his eyes

    October 3, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. kirk

    Stand strong gop, stand on what, perverting the system to get your way, you lost the election for a reason, and with that comes consequences, like not being able to push your agenda without support. You really think Koch brothers spent 60 million to fight this because it could hurt our economy? So they will hurt the economy to keep this from hurting the economy, and you think your smart, not smart enough to recognize your enemy though huh? What do you think they have to offer you, and mitts tax code would make middle-class life better? More tax breaks for the rich? Worked so well last time
    .truth is it did what it was designed to, exasperate the inequality that makes life more difficult, you think your above it all, wake up will you be so jubilent when there next order is something that will hurt you? Only a matter if time fair, mark my words

    October 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. joeusavotes

    No political party is pure. The tea party rose up after the health care bill got pushed through by one party. I see Cruze as David against the political system as Goliath. There is no way he can win unless he can peal some Democrates away and it doesn't look likely. It is an inconvenience for everyone but I'm glad America is giving him his say and hearing him out. I don't know all of what each side is asking for but I would think eventually they will have to come to the table and deal (give each other somthing). Both sides can win if they will talk it out.

    October 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. PtBarnumBoy

    Don't mess with Teddy or Mama Grizzly will be hunting you down and giving you a geography lesson.

    October 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  20. Ex-Republican

    Senator Cruz is NOT an American, he was born in a foreign country – and he is actually doing to America what the Tea Party accused Obama of doing. Cruz is actually trying to topple our government and those stupid Republicans are aiding and assisting him in doing it!!! He should be investigated by the secret service or somebody to see who is paying him to over throw our government!!!

    October 3, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  21. kayla

    off with their heads

    October 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. cofi

    Americas are afraid of change. Ted Cruz parents didn't have to pay any medical expense when he was born in Canada because of assess to free health care. Now he is denying average citizens to buy their own insurance. Health care shouldn't be privilege but the rights of everyone.

    October 3, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Tigger 101

    Please Mr. Cruz do not say you are from Texas. Give ua a chance to vote and sippers out of the state.

    October 3, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  24. nintex

    I've been very encouraged by the reports of how many people are eagerly signing up for health insurance. Here in Texas the morning paper said, "But Perry's open disdain for the law apparently did not stop thousands of Texans from trying to enroll when the exchange opened Monday. 'We had no idea there would be this much interest this early, said Ron Cookston, executive director of Gateway of Care, one of several Houston organizations that have hired and trained people to assist with enrollment'. . . . Most people were not complaining about the (computer) delays but were instead about inquiring about where they could go to sign up in person." So, uh, Mr. Cruz and Mr. Perry, tell us again how Americans don't want affordable health care! Or better yet, go talk to those people in line to sign up for it! You were wrong, sirs.

    October 3, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Lenny Pincus

    Ted Cruz gets his medical coverage paid for by Goldman Sachs. His wife is a big shot there.

    October 3, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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