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. Ricardo Williams

    The Tea Party may mean well by wanting to reduce Americas debt, but I don't believe ruining the countries credit ratings is a good way to do it, but they do fight a good fight, and I think they are effective because they have the government taking actions to reduce the deficit.

    October 20, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  2. CTYank

    Total demagogue. Herr Goebbels would be proud. He's our "cruz" to bear for a while.

    October 20, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  3. duh

    his use of words like battle, cavalry, air force, bombing- WOW!!! ia that what americans want to hear?? and he has been threathened on twitter to take him out with that same tone? it's indicative of how americans hate the fact that there are amongst them who are stupid enough to vote for cruz who was not even sure to which country he wants to belong – untill he thought he had a( remote ) chance of dreaming to be potus. good riddance from all of us canadians!those who voted for cruz may have the same sentiment in the coming election.

    October 20, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  4. wardenhallis

    The McCarthyism of our time. He'll fade like McCarthy did when people come to their senses and realize how overboard it was.

    October 20, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  5. John Merrick

    What can be said of Cruz that hasn't already been said? As my father once told me "There's always a weak cow in every herd". What a fool.

    October 20, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  6. HeartsAndMinds

    Cruz failed the basic test of convincing Hearts and Minds. I know the reasons but I will not tell how.

    October 20, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  7. wardenhallis

    A modern day McCarthyism kind of guy. He'll disappear when people come to their senses like they did with McArthur.

    October 20, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  8. jimcrow

    this guys looks so much like these snake oil salesmen like southern preachers that fleece the flock on Sunday mornings. not appealing at all.

    October 20, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  9. lgbarn

    This is what you get when you elect terrorist

    October 20, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  10. Thatguy371

    Wow. This wacko is more delusional than first thought. He nearly destroys the nation's and probably the world's economy trying to kill a law upheld by the Supreme Court, and he thinks HE did the right thing... and OTHERS did the wrong thing. Wow. Only in TX I guess.

    October 20, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  11. Big Tex

    This isn't war, it is government. G O V E R N M E N T

    It would appear the Tea party thinks it is engaged in a political civil war. I literally see people talking about stockpiling weapons and ammo in direct response to this rhetoric.

    I'm deeply concerned that Mr. Cruz either underestimates the power of his choice of words OR he and the others at the far extreme are actually intending to plant the seeds for violent civil war between parties. Is that really where we want to be headed? Are these words of war and death really a proper choice for discussion with respect to governing our great nation? What would it say about the soul of a nation where this was acceptable?

    It's not acceptable, Mr. Cruz.

    October 20, 2013 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  12. Dottie

    Ted Cruz has failed Texans, Congress, and the American people with his useless grandstanding to get attention. He is an embarrassment to the state.

    October 20, 2013 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  13. Jeff Wyatt

    Like a certain former GOP vice presidential candidate at one time, Cruz is the Tea Party's current flavor of the month. And like that particular politician, Cruz will discover that outside of his base, his ideas & tactics will not resonate long, nor will it gain him a path to the Oval Office any time soon. Who wants a potential president who can't even manage appropriate etiquette in Congress, towards his own party members no less?

    October 20, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  14. ImvotingforHillary

    Quit the grandstanding, you will never be president.

    October 20, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  15. dmwinsd

    More like House GOP failed America.

    October 20, 2013 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  16. bspurloc


    October 20, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  17. guerriero33t

    Get rid of McCain and McConnell.

    October 20, 2013 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  18. *sigh*

    GOP – best way to regain popularity over Dems: oust your loonies before Democrats and their media sources point a spotlight on them. Otherwise you are continuing to give the Dems a free pass on everything.

    October 20, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  19. luke,az

    This guy is a lunatic !

    October 20, 2013 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  20. Ordnry1

    Isn't Ted Cruz part of the Washington establishment? I understand that the healthcare law or ObamaCare was signed on March 23, 2010. It is the law, so if Ted Cruz doesn't like it, he could follow proper procedures to change the law. Demanding not to fund the law is really silly. I thought Ted Cruz is a lawyer, and he should know legal process. I am not surprised that Ted Cruz is showering grassroots supporters with praise, because without them, he wouldn't be in the Senate. I wonder when he's going to discard his grassroot supporters. Here'a a quote I read recently, "it's better to try and fail than fail to try". I believe that it's better to try Obamacare since it's already the law and if it fails, then the next Administration can change the law or make it better. Ted Cruz should be happy too that he tried but failed. There's no reason to shutdown the government and cause a lot of havoc and over $20 billion loss (added to our future generation debt, compliments from Ted Cruz and Mr. Boehner) not to mention the inconvenience to millions of Americans. I hope Mr. Cruz will be wiser next time and not attempt to shutdown the government come January. It's now time for the Republicans and Democrats to work towards economic growth and creating jobs. While both parties also try to work out spending cuts, the very first thing to do would be to eliminate fraud cases. A Senator from Oklahoma I believe is investigating disability insurance scam that involves lawyers, doctors and individual citizens in Kentucky. I also heard about CEO Castillo in Illinois scamming millions of dollars from the government through veteran's program. There are also Medicare frauds all over the country. All these added to billions and billions of dollars. So, before eliminating programs, we must first see to it that all these scams and frauds are eliminated.

    October 20, 2013 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  21. Ed

    The next time around the Senate and House Republicans won't make the same mistake. They'll ignore this greenhorn who would rather grandstand than govern, and get on with the business of running the country.

    October 20, 2013 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  22. Mark

    Does this guy look like a descendant of Joe McCarthy or what?

    October 20, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  23. Mirosal

    It wasn't the Senate that shut the government down, it was the House of Representatives. And the Senators have every right to fear their consti'tuents. After all, they are the ones who put those Senators into office, and can take them away from office.

    October 20, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  24. sly

    Yep,Ted, it's everyone else's fault. Not everyone is as perfect as you or Tim McVeigh and your other coherts.

    October 20, 2013 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  25. Steve

    I'm a Texan, and I can't stand this pompous, hostage-taking Tea Party shill. The Tea Party is a bad dream we as a country need to wake up for. They've done more damage to America than al-Qaeda has in the past few years.

    October 20, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
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