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. Anonymous

    I have lived in TX and now line in MA for a reason, people like Ted Cruz are a waste of air. I did not vote for Cruz as President and never will. Mr. Barack Obama is the President, well deserved (even though I very much respect Senator John McCain, great American).

    I never liked the younger George (whatever initial) Bush and still do not – he led this country to financial disaster along with Dick Cheney, not Obama.

    His dad on the other hand had this country's best interest at heart. I did not vote him but he was certainly worthy of it.

    I can go GOP (if they present a moderate candidate), I care nothing about the bedroom of consenting adults (societal issues have no place in politics). I do want a balanced budget but not at the expense of pensions/social security/military readiness – increase taxes and reduce farm subsidiaries for large companies before going after these safety net areas.

    October 20, 2013 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  2. FKell

    I am actually glad for people like Ted Cruz. Without him Democrats would possibly have a fight on their hands 2014 mid terms and 2016. But with him, only states that have gerrymandered the districts have safe seats.

    October 20, 2013 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  3. Skarphace

    Republicans should stop worrying about Obama's agenda and instead worry about Hillary. If she runs, she will be the Democratic frontrunner and her agenda will make Obama's look right-wing by comparison. Don't like the ACA? Imagine if Hillary was able to replace it with her version of single-payer. That would be quite ironic and I would take every effort to throw that in your Tea soaked faces.

    October 20, 2013 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  4. shane

    looks like a psycho, talks like psycho, acts like a psycho, is a psycho

    October 20, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  5. HazarD

    Well geez Cruz, I'm from Texas and that comment about "coming in like the Air Force" was extremely wrong and offensive. If you consider that Air Force basic training is at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio TX that was a really dumb thing to say while representing your state. I'm a fan of the GOP but you just lost my vote with that one. Hope you watch your mouth about our service men and woman in the future because this was tactless and you sir should be ashamed!!!!

    October 20, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  6. regenesis0

    You caused this!

    October 20, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  7. sage

    ted cruz is not very pro america

    October 20, 2013 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  8. Happy

    Yes, proceed to further destroy the GOP, Tea Party (koch Industries Party)
    keep pushing until you remove those few Republicans that are still PATRIOTS, not Corporates.

    October 20, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  9. Oliver A. Dyer

    Senator Cruz may have faired well with those who feel obstruction and shutting down the government is a proper way to govern. However for all the hype the economy took a heavy hit. (24 billion estimated by S&P analysts) . So from the party so concerned about spending and a growing deficit, let's see some action putting more people back to work. Instead of trying defund a health care program, make it more difficult to vote, require unnecessary medical procedures for women wanting to terminate a pregnancy, hire unnecessary border guards, etc

    October 20, 2013 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  10. Peter

    I pray this guy wins Republican nomination.

    October 20, 2013 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  11. Anonymous


    October 20, 2013 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  12. Joe

    Delusional at best. Cruz fails as a human. What more can you expect from a tea turd?

    October 20, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  13. Fed Up With Feds

    This man is a clown. A canadian one at that

    October 20, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  14. cruz ship

    your tea boat has arrived.

    time to go to republistan.

    don't come back

    October 20, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |

    The "absolute total surrender" by the GOP to get "nothing", that makes the tragic ending to a Shakespeare play look refreshing. It's was pitiful! A big lost, notice the GOP approval rating is at 24% the same two numerals of $24 billions they blew in the economy. The GOP catastrophic of epic proportion gov't shut down failed stunt will live in affinity, for scholars to study for many years and wonder, "what the hell was these idiots thinking". Yes, a win for the President! You can't spin facts, unless your Fox News.

    October 20, 2013 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  16. Benjamin D Crews

    Ted Cruz should be worrying about his own re-election. Recent polls in his own home state give him a low approval rating. If the election was run today, he would lose!!!.

    October 20, 2013 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  17. Tom

    Ted Cruz is a nincompoop, and those that support him are nincompoops as well.

    October 20, 2013 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  18. Nagu Hu Phart

    The legislators within the Republican party that Cruz is lambasting, are the sensible, experienced ones who knew that to hold the budget / debt ceiling hostage to dismantling Obama care, was a waste of time, American's money, and would do damage to the USA's global credit rating and bond value. As Obama Care is the obsessive objective, it should be challenged on its own merits; or lack there of. Not back-door ransomed. Mr. Cruz should continue on his separatist quest. The GOP has had enough, and is likely to take another hit in November of next year, as a result of the Tea Party anarchy posture. Then Cruz can join Ms. Palin on the road to irrelevance.

    October 20, 2013 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  19. veteran

    Ted Cruz doesn't represent me. And I am very happy to say that. He is a disgrace.

    October 20, 2013 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  20. willywonka

    Sure,give him another platform. He loves the attention everyone is giving him.

    October 20, 2013 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  21. Mel Stricker

    Ted Cruz is a first class opportunist and is only interested in what helps Ted Cruz.

    What would have been helped by the Senate trying to defund or delay the healthcare act? If the senate did that all that would have done is kept the government shut down and pushed the US into default. Defunding or delaying could never have passed. Even if Congress had passed these provisions the president would have vetoed them and there aren't 2/3 of Congress available to override that veto.

    So, in the end, Ted Cruz (not being an American anyway) is not interested in helping the US.

    October 20, 2013 03:36 am at 3:36 am |
  22. cincinnatidavid

    Why does anyone listen to Cruz?

    October 20, 2013 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  23. NY Repub

    This is what is wrong with the Republican party. Yes this will lose elections in 2014 because the principles you are making a stand on is unpopular with the general public. Sure it is popular with some extremist in your state but Ted and the rest of the representatives need to do what is right for the majority of people that elected them. My GOP Representative in the House Chris Colins voted against the Bill then comes back home and back pedals saying he wasn't for a shut down.

    October 20, 2013 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  24. DJ

    No the senate just showed good sense. Unlike the radical, extremist, hot heads in the house.

    October 20, 2013 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
  25. GMAN11

    He's not only unpopular in Washington he's very unpopular elsehwere as well especially in the southern conservative states. He may believe he has a grassaroots movement going on,but to jeopordize the gov't stability,the markets ,etc, shows how laim-brained he and his cohorts all. I say good riddance next election to him and the Tea-bagger party

    October 20, 2013 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
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