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. Greg in Arkansas

    As a result of the shut-down and if it continues, land-lords won't get paid, business owners will see a drop in income with fewer customers, banks won't get re-paid for loans on cars, homes, boats, etc. companies will have to cut back employees due to lack of customers....and guess what....the small business won't have to worry about compliance with Obamacare rules because they won't have enough employees to cover with insurance...
    Therefore....."Mission Accomplished".....no NEED for Obamacare...TA-DA-

    October 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  2. The raking and the blaming.

    Did not the national debt double under Obama's watch..? the Prez is calling the GOP deadbeats for refusing to
    pay the bills Obama kept recklessly raking-up the bills without care who will pay them...So, America get wise and spread the blame three-ways.

    October 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. meb

    lots of cruz haters here. He's doing the right thing and has my support. somebody here posted "About 80% of American voters voted for Obama because they liked his healthcare program.". If you show me any news site that shows either: A. that Obama won the election by a 80/20 margin, or B, 80% of Americans support the ACA, I will eat my support for Cruz. Good luck.

    October 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Tom

    Let the rain fall, and the wind blow, Ted Cruz has got to go!

    October 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Rick Brown

    America's policy has always been not to negotiate with Terroist so why change this policy now?

    October 3, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Obama out among the cheers and backslappers as he whines about the "Republican Shutdown". Typical move from this guy. How about you stay in DC Mr Obama and face the battle head on instead of doing your typical "end around" where you feel more comfortable? Wall Street Journal has it right today ....Obama really out of his element when it comes to negotiating, unlike LBJ or Bill Clinton (democrats by the way). Obama care needs to be tweaked if for no other reason than to survive. Save your sorry butt, start doing your job and quit campaigning .
    The past repeats itself !
    Several members of the U.S. Senate had opposed McCarthy well before 1953. Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a Maine Republican, delivered her "Declaration of Conscience" on June 1, 1950, calling for an end to the use of smear tactics without mentioning McCarthy or anyone else by name. Six other Republican Senators – Wayne Morse, Irving Ives, Charles W. Tobey, Edward John Thye, George Aiken, and Robert C. Hendrickson – joined her in condemning McCarthy's tactics. McCarthy referred to Smith and her fellow Senators as "Snow White and the six dwarfs. Republican Senator Ralph E. Flanders compared McCarthy to Adolf Hitler, accusing him of spreading "division and confusion" and saying, "Were the Junior Senator from Wisconsin in the pay of the Communists he could not have done a better job for them.

    It will take a strong group of republicans to put and end to the Ted Cruz Tea Crazy Party , unfortunately the crazies have the money .

    Ted Cruz / Joe McCarthy ?

    October 3, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. vic , nashville ,tn

    Finally good move by some GOP members

    October 3, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. repuplican

    This guy came from Canada just bring America down ad go back

    October 3, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. paofpa

    “Limit the power of the Party in the House”
    “Limit the power of the Party in the House”
    “Limit the power of the Party in the House”
    And Senate

    If True Democracy says that if a bill can only get started with 50% of one party says so. It is time to jail the speaker. Maybe it is time to ignore the “Parties” in Congress. Change the rules and put to the floor a bill with a 1/3 petition.

    October 3, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. UncleBenny

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

    I think you can put the blame for that squarely on Boehner's shoulders. He should grow a pair and tell Cruz to FO.

    October 3, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Pamela

    I believe the Republican Cruz Tea Party show is definitely scary. He is just trying to put his name in spotlights. Yes, he succeeded, but he might not last long in politics. He likes to eat cake with all the nice government benefits he receives, but expects everyone else to eat crumbs because everyday Americans don't deserve a lifting hand or healthcare by his motto. What happened to the speaker of the house? Where did he go hide? Why did the senior Republicans allow this crazy conservative so much leeway? The Tea Party needs to form their own party separate from the Republican party. In that way, we will hopefully know who is with the crazy Tea Party!

    October 3, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Concern

    Ted's Cruise makes the HMS Titanic and the SS Minow look like successful endeavors. I'd watch a sitcom about this guy being stuck on an island alone. No taxes, no government, no regulations. Tea party paradise, right?

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. dave

    If they can't get their way thru legislation, thru the S.C., thru elections, they hold the economy hostage and demand to get their way. What kind of government is that? It can't be a democracy. Perhaps there should be impeachment hearings on the tea party Congressmen, and maybe some of the regular republicans.

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. stewart

    Maybe Cruz should go back to a civics class he seems to have forgotten anything he learned

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  15. jim

    What kind of people are "Tea Pary"? They must be sick. GOP NEVER AGAIN will you get my vote.

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  16. Oh Ted

     Keep going Ted were about to destroy America then we can start over! Get rid of all the gays, disabled, handicap,and lazy people who just live off the government! We will put old people to death, social security is a joke right ted! When this country goes away from your stand it will be great! Will do away with minimum wage too,I want my neighbor so poor all he can do is work! Oh Ted it will be a Tea party dream. Will get rid of this government and then will be like Mexico, Safe and free!  Keep strong Ted keep going it's about to brake!

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. Voiceof Reason

    A pathetic fool!

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. E Sierra

    VIVA Cruz! Keep sticking it to the D.C. Fatcats!

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. Arthur M

    This behavior is grossly un American and borders on subversive treason in the pure sense. Seems our "democracy" has fallen off the rails when one man and a minority can hold up a majority.

    October 3, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. its a tough life man

    I live down here in Texas and there are a lot of cacaheads like the Chinese lobbyist. Contrary to what he says I don't support him at all. What a Richard noggin he is.

    October 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Ricky

    Ted Cruz is a traitor, he is purposely hurting the economy of the country just to see if he can further his political career (even he is not eligible to be president, and he would never win even if he was).

    October 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. canela

    If Obamacare is good then why are people forced into it. Why did they allow the employer mandate to be pushed back but not the individual mandate is still in effect. This isn't a partisan issue it is a moral question. If in the left's view healthcare is a right, then why aren't you allowed to not have it if you don't want it? Don't buy into propaganda or fear mongering. Be a critical thinker who questions elites

    October 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. pay the piper

    Cruz or no Cruz, ObamaCre and the govt spending, handouts, and bailouts will hollow-out the US economy at some point. Unless the deficit and US debt load are actually are myths then Cruz is only doing what at some point MUST be done. It's like this= you think healthcare is a right? Will the govt force people to become doctors if no one wants to be a doctor anymore? just think about it...

    October 3, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. athiestone

    He's the spitting image of Joe McCarthy.

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

    If you want to know what Ted Cruz is really all about,check out where his wife works.

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