October 19th, 2013
07:14 PM ET
8 years ago

Ted Cruz, back in Texas, rails against fellow Senate Republicans

Programing note: CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley will have an exclusive interview with Sen. Ted Cruz, this Sunday at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. ET.

(CNN) – Sen. Ted Cruz returned to Texas following a whirlwind week in Washington that saw an end to the partial government shutdown that he helped ensure - and for which he made no apologies.

Instead, Cruz blasted his fellow Senate Republicans, saying they are most to blame for the failure of the push to defund or delay Obamacare.

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"The House Republicans marched into battle courageously," the first-term senator told the Texas Federation of Republican Women’s state convention on Saturday, "and the Senate Republicans should have come in like the cavalry to support them."

Instead, said Cruz, "a significant chunk of Senate Republicans came like the Air Force and began bombing the House Republicans, our own troops."

Cruz was a leading voice in Republicans push for Congress to reject any funding proposal to reopen the government that did not specifically defund President Barack Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act. He even spoke for more than 21 hours in a filibuster-like attempt to promote his strategy in the Senate.

Throughout his remarks Saturday, Cruz railed against what he called "the Washington establishment" - people from both political parties who he says are afraid of grassroots movements.

"There are a lot of professional pundits in Washington who go on television and explain that ‘Well, if you stand for anything, it's risky, and we may lose elections in 2014 as a result of this,'" Cruz said, seemingly referring to critics within his own party. "You want to win an election in 2014? Republicans need to stand for principle. And it is the grassroots, organized, that will win elections in 2014."

While Cruz lambasted his critics in Congress, he heaped praise on his grassroots supporters. The effort to defund Obamacare will eventually be viewed as a success, he said, because it energized conservative voters, drew attention to flaws in the health care law and caused Democrats to take "a lot of stupid votes."

He called on supporters to keep up the pressure on their elected officials.

"Nobody said this was going to be easy," Cruz warned. "And nobody should be surprised that the Washington establishment fights back."

Cruz went so far as to tell supporters about the tone of discussion in closed-door meetings, a breach of unspoken congressional etiquette. He accused fellow members of Congress of making back room deals that they don't admit to, claiming that they fear constituents involved in grassroots movements.

"Over and over again," said Cruz, "my colleagues have turned… red in the face, and said: 'My constituents keep calling me!'"

However unpopular Cruz might be in Washington, he maintains significant support from Texas conservatives and was well received at the San Antonio event. He entered to a standing ovation and his remarks were met with cheers of "We love Ted Cruz."

Filed under: Government Shutdown • Health care • Senate • Ted Cruz
soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. georgezeller

    South lost the Civil War....

    October 19, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  2. Marc

    What a hypocrite! He could have blocked the bill in the senate, but he said he wouldn't interfere at the 11th hour!

    October 19, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  3. hefty

    "a significant chunk of Senate Republicans came like the Air Force and began bombing the House Republicans, our own troops."
    Thanks, as an AF Vet, that makes me feel good...

    October 19, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. m

    I Love Burning the confederate flags.

    October 19, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    For God's sakes Texas please dump this man!

    October 19, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  6. Andy Anderson

    First the Bataan death march, now this:

    "a significant chunk of Senate Republicans came like the Air Force and began bombing the House Republicans, our own troops."

    This joker just *lives* to insult people who serve in the military, doesn't he?

    October 19, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    ted cruz is from texas no surprise at all the way he acted that lead to shut down nothing but devil incarnate

    October 19, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  8. Seattle Sue

    Cruz can go back to Canada. He doesn't seem to be a real American. He should show his birth certificate.

    October 19, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  9. WhoDoesHeThinkHeIs

    The strategy didn't work. It didn't work because people didn't support it. People didn't support it becaus they aren't ready to blow up the building because there's a disagreement about the color of the paint on the walls.

    Of course he's going to keep at it, that's how the strategy works. And if we had defaulted, that would have been someone else's fault too. Extremism demands the rejection of reality and facts, allowing only blind faith.

    People really need to think about their vote.

    October 20, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  10. Watto

    This guy is a nut case. He's a communist and we need to deport him back to Canada.

    October 20, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  11. Irony

    I find it ironic that Ted Cruz is so fearful of Obamacare destroying the country that he is willing to destroy the country to stop it.

    October 20, 2013 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. Doc

    Mark my words, GOP Senators have taken just about every step possible to accommodate Cruz and his one track rant. Nevertheless, his raucous demeanor and attacks on fellow Senators will finally push them too far. I doubt they will take a negative position on his anti-Obama crusade. Rather, Senators from both parties will unite to denounce his violation of Senate behavioral norms. He is the biggest threat to the dignity and decorum of the Senate since Joseph McCarthy. I doubt the Democrats will have to do anything. Just as Mr. Johnson led Democratic liberals to remain quiet and allow moderate and conservative Republicans to carry the fight against McCarthy, it is a good bet that the majority under Mr. Reed will opt to let Senate Republicans take the lead on censuring Mr. Cruz.

    October 20, 2013 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  13. deseon

    He is the fool that undercut the house when he declared at the beginning that Senate did not have the numbers to take defund Obama. There are people of conscious in the tea party but Cruz is not one of them.

    October 20, 2013 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  14. Ullas Kedia

    CNN headline was "Senate failed House GOP" Cruz. THe headline shgould have been House GOP failed USA.

    October 20, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  15. Mary

    Who gives a rat's patoot what a junior Senator Says about anything? I notice he isn't saying he's doing any work for Texans!

    October 20, 2013 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  16. huhb

    psssst.....Cruz....Senators aren't elected to serve the House

    October 20, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  17. Jeff

    Let me put this in terms you Texan will understand. Ted Cruz is a downer. For those of you that don't understand, google 'downer cows'.

    October 20, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  18. Joel

    No enemy has vanquished you! You were stabbed in the back!

    October 20, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  19. tony

    He's got the finacial backing and he want's to start a US version of the Spanish civil war.

    With our new all-volunteer military, recruited from the poor, and tons of corporate and church money, he has a good chance.

    October 20, 2013 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  20. John W. Kerestan

    Senator Cruz is definatley the male version of Sarah Palin. How can Texas voters be so dumb to vote for this guy?

    October 20, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  21. B Patel

    May be next time....

    October 20, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  22. Troma

    Only 2 things come from Texas, Steers and Ted Cruz

    October 20, 2013 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  23. dave

    I totally agree. Why take a hard line as a Rep if you are just going to roll over when the going gets tough. All the politicians, Dems and many Reps just worry more about getting elected than doing what is right for the country. When will the Rep party voters learn that it is time to vote out the old school Reps that roll over and either support the Rep cause by digging in and not budging like the Dems or just roll over and give up. Change the name to the Peoples Socialist Republic of America and call it a day. We are on that path anyway. It will be nice for America to become a third world country, then people will jump the fence into Mexico instead of the other way around.

    October 20, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. txan

    Ted is an embarrassment to all but the lunatic fringe Texans. I certainly plan to vote against him next time.

    October 20, 2013 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  25. Amanda

    Sorry but the "grassroots" Tea Party won't be stealing the show in 2014. Ted, you are living in a self-centered bubble.

    October 20, 2013 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
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