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. Willard's Hidden Tax Returns


    @Joe rockbottom

    The entire MANDATE of having to purchase health insurance is an invasion of freedom. The key word here – is MANDATE
    I like mandates, they make you take some personal responsibility. Viva Romneycare!
    Better know your history, junior. That mandate has your boy Willard's fingerprints all over it. Next.

    October 3, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Jack

    And when you lose the control of he House in 2014, what will you have to say about that!

    October 3, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Ugh

    A true American – Ted Cruz. Most Americans are too dumb to know they are being ploughed into the ground like rotten turnips under Obama's agenda.

    October 3, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. Hogan's Goat

    They tried to repeal it 47 times, and then they decided not to care about democracy or voting and tried to strong-arm the White House. Reagan wouldn't have caved, and neither would Cheney and the little man. Why do they expect any president to give in to a vocal and threatening minority after the majority has voted and revoted?
    Get over it, GOP. You tried something crazy and lost big. Now just tell your voters that America had to come before teabagging, and watch them vote you out of office for your loyalty to the USA.

    October 3, 2013 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. Ex-Republican

    Imagine the irony!
    Senator Raphael Cruz is the real foreigner who was born in another country, but the Tea Party people are so filled with hatred for Obama because he looks more African American than White that they ignore the foreigner in their midst who is bent on bringing down our government. Cruz is lighter skinned than most people from his race so he "passes". However, his hatred for America is palpable. Obama wants every American to have health care so the Tea Party hates him. Senator Raphael Cruz stopped our government from working, stopped babies from getting nutritional help, stopped old people from getting meals on wheels...made 800'000 true Americans lose their jobs...and the Tea PARTY LOVES HIM!

    Go figure!!!

    October 3, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. DAI

    The duo Cruz-Rubio will guarantee the continuity of Latin-American countries' political traditions. This means a culture of egotistical and corrupted politicians whose only pursuit is their own interests over their countries'. Watch Cruz’s eyes spark with pleasure on the Senate floor.
    Top that with their perception of women. We are not talking about hispanic men believing in traditional values and the integrity of the family. We are talking about their perception of women as mentally incapable and the feeling of worthlessness when having a boss who is a woman.
    These cultural influences are still very strong since these men have not been in USA for many generations.

    October 3, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. freedom


    The difference between the Massachusetts mandate and this one is obvious. That was for one state. Each state should be able to decide on their own – which was always Mitt Romney's stance. This is a federal mandate – huge difference. And mandate means – you don't have the opportunity to have personal responsibility – because you're being forced to do something or you're penalized – that's what a mandate is.

    October 3, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. American Worker

    How many would take a stand for Liberty?
    Apparently not many.

    Ted Cruz needs the workers of the U.S.A. to march on D.C.

    October 3, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine



    No one is saying you have to like anything or anyone. That is your right in this free land. I'm simply stating the facts as I see them – I too have that right. Those are the freedoms that are being infringed upon. Just listen to Obama's rhetoric and you get an earful – he's the most divisive president in history – putting American against American. It's shameful in the position of power he is in.
    He is not responsible for the country being divided. Its the responsibility of every American to make decisions and accept the consequences of those decision. The consequences of the Right's campaign against Obama's legitimacy as presidident began before he was even elected, and it was a conscious decision. What you are stating is your opinion, not facts: don't ever confuse your rants with facts. What is shameful is the utter lack of respect you demonstrate every day on here, which I don't expect will change.Its a pity the Right wastes their efforts on creating imaginary foes and alternate history to cover up their own failures over the last 30 years.

    October 3, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. DAI

    Republicans should be wary with Cruz. These kinds of men will do anything for power, even pointing fingers at their own base. He is no better than Anastasio Somosa. Integrity that was build on the shoulders of our founding father doesn’t come via Latin-America, specially with men.
    (The Puerto Rican Supreme court judge is a solid human being.)

    October 3, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  11. sampler

    Can we start finding candidates that are not democrats, republican, or tea party (extreme form of republican) and pick another option (DON'T VOTE straight party line, actually research the candidates)? Obviously the two parties care more about the party than the country and they also know that no matter how badly they screw up or how corrupt they become, they are only one to two election cycles away from being in power again.

    October 3, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine



    The difference between the Massachusetts mandate and this one is obvious. That was for one state. Each state should be able to decide on their own – which was always Mitt Romney's stance. This is a federal mandate – huge difference. And mandate means – you don't have the opportunity to have personal responsibility – because you're being forced to do something or you're penalized – that's what a mandate is.
    Romney wanted to adapt it to the national level, then backed out when he decided to run for a second time. Quit confusing your opinion with the facts.

    October 3, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. The REAL Truth...

    Do not underestimate the power of Cruz. He is one savvy individual.
    Learn this.. he has none but his own interest at heart. Presidential candidacies are often won on name recognition alone.. and some debate performance.
    For a freshman Senator, Cruz has received much publicity for his TP stance on ACA and in doing so has made himself a household name. In reality, he could care less about you, your healthcare and your politics. He's been running for POTUS ever since he tore Dewhurst apart in the TX Senate election. He caters to the base element of the TP, and all things GOP extremist. They will vote for him because they think he's standing up for them and their beliefs. They've been had.
    Should be interesting given that he's not an NBC (natural born citizen) and not eligible to be President.

    October 3, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. freedom


    The GOP includes old and new – but some of the old was awful – crony capitalism, bailouts, big spending – their fiscal conservatism got lost – but with the new republicans, it's coming back.

    October 3, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Itsalaw

    Much as you don't like it, Mr. Cruz, the Affordable Care Act is a LAW. It has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Tying the federal budget to measures that infringe upon that law (or any law) is an unacceptable method of getting your way in the legislative branch of our government. What is an acceptable way? WINNING ELECTIONS and VOTING, just like it's always been. You can't take your football and go home. It's not your football and it's everyone's home. Stop punishing the whole country for your inability to accept what has already happened.

    October 3, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. jk

    It is simple I have a vote and will NOT be aligning my self with any Tea Party people. Ok TED and Company... your move!

    October 3, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. PoppaMT

    I retired from the military after 23 yrs. and am a service connected disabled Vet and I am Highly Offended and completely disgusted that Cruz is now using and disrespecting me to pick favorites to fund. "I don't agree to be knights pon for you or anyone's ideology"!!!

    October 3, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. orrball

    What happen to freedom I have seen people come together to help each other but mandates is not freedom ? Plus no one has called out all the promises made? you know kids play the blame game and that is all I hear. What is our leader doing spending all this money on trip like he has an open check book oh I forgot Bush did it so I can too

    October 3, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Mike

    Ted Cruz and the right-wing extremists are just like the Islamic jihadist. They do not care who gets hurt, just as long as they get their points in the news. The jihadists use bombs to target innocent civilians; the GOP right-wingers use the nation's budget to target innocent civilians. The GOP-Jihadist needs to stop this nihilistic path.

    October 3, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. De Cruz Sterilizer

    Sen. Ted Cruz got a lot of pushback from Republican colleagues....

    He obviously doesn't understand "the people" (who voted twice for Obama's healthcare plans), but apparently he's also unable to get the memo from his GOP colleagues either.
    A congress man, a senator, who's deaf (and fanatically dumb too, [i made that up, it applies to smart people who have self righteous blinders on, say, like Dr. Goebbels) and can't hear what the people who elected him are saying, who doesn't understand what his other rightfully elected colleagues are saying.... well, that's like a like a smoking manure pile, a tree stump, a clay pot.
    I hope, I sincerely hope, that the GOP finds a spine and a moment to straighten out this nut case.

    October 3, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  21. freedom


    You can rebut what I say all day long. I believe what I know to be fact, and I also have opinions – like everyone on this blog. You just happen to disagree with mine. Doesn't make yours right. And character attacks seem to run rampant in the democrat party – don't know why you all stoop to that level so often.

    October 3, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Donna Coles

    Raphael Cruz the immigrant that needs to show his birth certificate is no Conservative, he's as radical as his father the Castro sympathier who served time in Cuban prison for his anti Batista activities

    October 3, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. steve harnack

    This charlatan even resembles Joseph McCarthy. Look at pictures of both of them, they could be twins! Is Cruz really a McCarthy clone manufactured in Canada, sent here to finish his father's work?

    October 3, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  24. ghostwriter

    Freedom...if the mandate of having to purchase health insurance is an invasion of freedom, then it is an invasion whether done on the state level as Romney did or on the national level as Obama did. Your conscious attempt to defend one while attacking the other is one of the may reasons we logical folk just can't take you guys seriously.

    October 3, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. MLyons

    Having alienated 78% of the voting public and consequently eliminating any chance of ascending to higher office, this guy must REALLY want to be a contributor on Fox News!

    October 3, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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