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. Jaime Rodriguez

    Ted Cruz for president and Putin for Vice.

    October 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

    I suggest he bunk with the other insaniTEA dunces who trod this demented path (Santorum, Bachmann) and join their ranks for he has aligned himself with the lunatic fringe. Yes, they're loud and get plenty of press for their rabid bleatings, but NO ONE wants them being paid to represent them. He'll go away eventually and likely start a 'church' to obtain tax-exemptions.

    October 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    "....They want a shutdown," he [Ted Cruz] said.
    Let's be honest, folks. The answers to all of the following questions are the same.

    1. Who campaigned for their current office by promising to shut down government in order to cut spending?
    2. Who campaigned for their current office by saying the Treasury Department is not needed?
    3. Who campaigned for their current office by swearing to never raise the debt limit ever again?
    4. Who worked the hardest to bring about the current federal government shutdown?

    October 3, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    GOP/Teatrolls: Breaking gov't to "prove" it's broken.
    That's exactly what they are doing.
    The gains in the market are factual. The recovery of of my 401k is factual. The housing market rebounding is factual.
    The Affordable Care Act MUST be disabled before it also proves them wrong by it's efficacy and by being FURTHER embraced by those that clamored for it and got it, and even those that did not want it but will still benefit from it.
    I heard this morning Sniffit, that Kentucky is leading the charge in the number of people accessing and purchasing insurance from the website.
    Kentucky no less!
    They Teatards are spinning in their teacups!

    October 3, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. RI Jim

    While I agree in principle on reducing the size of the Federal Government, I am adamantly opposed to the Republicans' strategy for attempting to do so. Holding the country's economy hostage in pursuit of their blind ideology is short sighted, misguided, and just plain WRONG.

    October 3, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Texas

    Cruz: Not a genius after all.

    October 3, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. dudu

    Anybody checked whether this Ted cruz has a green card, is he at least legal in this country?

    October 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Jake Remark

    Mr. Cruz ever hear of the saying "what goes around comes around?" Appears you are getting a good schooling as to how it works.

    October 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. james Pfeiffer

    Even the ill informed are beginning to see just how sick this government is. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who still believes that we are living in a true democracy are, simply, brainwashed beyond redemption. Doesn't everyone realize that the perverted, selfish and unwise supreme court decision to treat corporations as individuals was a death sentence for democracy? All these ridiculous buffoons representing us in Washington are so removed from the common everyday citizen that next to nothing they do really helps any one of us. Over 40% of these clowns go on to make millions of dollars working for huge mega corporations and billion dollar lobby firms. They eat big, shuck and jive, enjoy their lifetime healthcare and, finally, retire in their hidden-gated communities. While these SOB's are shutting down our country, and while the Republicans are determined to isolate the poor and the needy by demonizing national healthcare and systematically slashing programs that help those who are in need...out of the other side of their mouths they utter the stereotypical Christian verbiage "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"...if they really lived by this they would want all of us to have the same healthcare as they do. What perverse hypocrisy!

    October 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    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.

    October 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. The Real Tom Paine

    -tom l

    I love how the same people that are chatising Ted Cruz as a fraud, when all he's doing is standing up for what he believes in, are the same people that are supporting Wendy Davis. Ahhhh, the irony of the left...
    What Wendy Davis did in Texas did not bring the state government to its knees. She did not threaten to crater the economy in TX. Apples and oranges, i expected better.

    October 3, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. freedom

    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.

    October 3, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. simplefaith

    Fellow Republicans, if you had any sense at all, Ted Cruz is not your answer to your success with the Presidency. President Bush was a decent man, but Ted Cruz is a scoundrel. Anyone with an intuitive mind with a metaphysical perception can see this man is dangerous with no feelings of remorse. I can see now he had planned this shutdown. How sick is this. Our family all work or are in the military. Please let us go to work.All we want to do is support our family and put food on the table. We are not rich but live day by day and paycheck to paycheck. We have good credits and pay our bills on time. Ted Cruz needs to go. How can anyone remove the Affordable Care Act without legislation. It is already law. Ted Cruz is not only a tyrant, he is ignorant too.

    October 3, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  14. Janet

    Too bad the GOP has no "Cruz Control" !

    October 3, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. fed up

    Can't wait for this idiot to run for president, would lock in another 4 years of Democratic control!

    October 3, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Paula Leon

    He has managed to generate support for his position by extremist who are domestic terrorist, they terrorize Americans and other politicians who don't back their extremist ideology, that my friend is terrorism.

    October 3, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. observer

    United States President and honest politicians in the Republican party and Democrat Party do not negociate nor discuss laws that has been passed by Congress, signed by the President and stand the test of the United States Supreme Court. If Mr. Cruz does not understand the American code of ethics, he should go to his place of birth : Canada or his ancestors home: Cuba

    October 3, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Greg H.

    His 15 minutes of fame are ticking away. Tick, tick, tick.

    October 3, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC


    I am amazed that the House rules don't allow for any member to bring up a bill for consideration. The 'speaker' just seems to have too much power. At least in the Senate they have to vote for 'cloture' or to 'table' a bill...
    Each Congress sets its' own rules and procedures. I'm not sure if this current House allows it or not, but the previous House had a rule that allowed for any member to bring up a bill for a vote by collecting enough signatures on a petition. How many were needed? 218.

    October 3, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. RE

    Corporatist suck wade!

    October 3, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. manyote

    Joseph McCarthy re-incarnated... Yikes!

    October 3, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. Rod

    Cruz is not a Republican. He's a one-trick pony, like the rest of the Tea Party minions. These Tea Party flute-followers should quit masquerading as Republicans and form their own third-party. The Tea Party is not the party of Reagan nor of Lincoln. The Tea Partiers are simple-minded morons with a single-minded agenda and are trying to undermine the democratic process our great nation was built on. As a third party they would win only a handful of Congressional seats.

    October 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Get a Clue...

    NOTE TO GOP: Why the GAME you are playing is OVER...
    Even if the Senate passes legislation that reduces or eliminates Obamacare, Obama will surely VETO it and there is NO FREAKING WAY there is a 2/3rds majority in BOTH houses of Congress to override it!! It's OVER!! And before you blame Obama, the name "Obamacare" should indicate how strongly he feels about this piece of legislation that has been on the books for literally years now. You've had your chance, you blew it! Now is NOT the time or the place to have this fight! You will paralize our country should we default on debts. Get your act together and put a Republican in the White House if you want to repeal ACA. What you are doing now is STUPID and will set back any chance you had of taking the White House, minimally for the next election. You sane Republicans need to seriously consider splitting away from the "Tea Party" who are made of up extremists...people who are willingly and willfully jeopardizing our entire nation for their political agenda. A more moderate Republican Party might have a chance of capturing the vote of middle of the road Democrats. I know because I am one. Extremism on either side is unattractive and not going to save the day!

    October 3, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Bart Flaster

    2014 would be a good time to dump some repubs

    October 3, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Johnsole

    The article says "The problem with it is, it's one thing to be good at politics. It's another thing to be not good at strategy."
    This stand off is neither good politics nor good strategy. Apparently the moderate majority are willing to be held hostage by the few non-moderates.... The US public is angry at both parties. Just say NO to incumbents at the polls.

    October 3, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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