October 21st, 2013
08:16 AM ET
9 years ago

Cruz: Senate Republicans are 'single-most damaging thing' for the GOP in 2014

(CNN) - If Republicans suffer losses in next year's mid-term elections because of the recent partial government shutdown, Sen. Ted Cruz said Senate Republicans–not Democrats–will be responsible.

"The single-most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate Republicans coming out, attacking the House Republicans, attacking those pushing the effort to defund Obamacare and lining themselves up opposite of the American people," Cruz told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash in an interview in San Antonio.

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His comments, which aired Monday on "New Day," come as a new CNN/ORC International survey indicates that more than half of the country is displeased with Republicans holding majority power in the House.

According to the poll, 54% say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it's a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.

Cruz to CNN: ‘I don’t work for the party bosses in Washington’

This is the first time since Republicans won back the House in the 2010 elections that a majority of people say GOP control of the chamber is bad for the country.

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Cruz helped lead the conservative Republican strategy to attach anti-Obamacare provisions to must-pass spending legislation this fall. With the support of the White House, the Democratic-controlled Senate refused to take up anything that tried to dismantle the president's signature health care law.

Ultimately the disagreement led to the 16-day partial government shutdown, which removed $24 billion from the economy, according to an initial analysis from Standard & Poor's.

Republican shutdown pain may boost Dems in 2014

Many Senate Republicans rebuked the effort led by Cruz, a first-year senator who was elected in 2012, and they privately and publicly discouraged the senator from pursuing the tactic.

"It was a fool's errand to start with. It was never going to succeed," Sen. John McCain said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

McCain didn't single out Cruz but blamed "the whole effort" instead.

"Keep up the fight against Obamacare. But don't shut down the government and have so much collateral damage," the Arizona Republican added.

Some argue Cruz's strategy was taken in part to raise money for conservative groups that back primary challengers. One group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, which supported Cruz last year, raised $2.1 million in September–a large amount for a nonelection year.

McCain: Obamacare website rollout a 'fiasco'

Asked if his effort was a money-making enterprise, Cruz said: "Not remotely."

The Texas Republican said he's "hopeful" Senate Republicans will change.

"I am hopeful there will be some time, some reflection, and that Senate Republicans will come back. Come back to the principles they believe and they campaigned on. I'm hopeful we'll actually put action behind the campaign promises," he said.

In the Senate, Democrats hold 55 seats, including two independents who caucus with the Democrats, while Republicans hold 45. Democrats are defending 21 of the 35 seats up for grabs next year, with Republican defending 14.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2014 • Congress • Ted Cruz
soundoff (827 Responses)
  1. Ralph

    Mr. Ego knows it's everyone else is the problem. It sure can't be the Tea nut party who stopped our government along with a few extreme right wing nuts who call themselves Republicans.

    October 21, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. citizenoftexas

    Every time he speaks he fills me with anger and elation. Anger, because of the outrageous lies, and elation, because he is wreaking havoc in his party. Unfortunately, we'll have to endure him for another 5 years yet/

    October 21, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. RinosRwinos

    I see says the blind Tea Party proctologist. Things are looking up.

    October 21, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  4. RapidOne

    Gee, Layla, I wonder if it could have something to do with the utter blackmailing garbage in those bills and the terrorist threats given by the likes of Cruz? God, people like you who are so stup1d but are fed by your demagogues and told you are 'informed' are really the downfall of this country. You're loud and proud idi0ts who can't think for yourselves and simply figure out something like this that it should only take 10 seconds to come to.

    Layla said:
    "The Congressional record will indicate spending bills were delivered to the Senate on time from the House and rejected by Harry Reid.

    Tell me how the Republicans caused the shutdown again? This decision was made by Reid. I support Cruz because he listens to the American people, something NOT being done by ANY in the Senate."

    October 21, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Thorp lastenbar

    Too bad he’s not very smart

    October 21, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Thezel

    How about you let us decide who the problem is...

    October 21, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. edward

    The House of Representatives is so gerrymandered that it no longer measures the American pulse accurately. Just look at how much damage the Texas redistricting has had on the US House of Representatives. Luckily for the country the Senate cannot be gerrymandered.

    October 21, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Thezel

    "I'm siding with Americans" We're not siding with you.

    October 21, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Bill

    Hey Cruz, you don't speak for me or anybody else with common sense You're nothing but a horse thief and you know what they do with horse theives in Texas.

    October 21, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. ptw

    Not sure if he's delusional or simply planting more bombs to blow up the GOP establishment so that he can become the leader of the new Republican/Tea Party.

    October 21, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. WEEDY

    I saw him speaking Sunday morning and thought how unhealthy he looked... He had marks or scars across his forehead and left temple that I had not seen before and looked sweaty, pallid and not well. I would not doubt that he is having some type of crisis... but I am amazed that he gets a couple nights sleep and his masters push him right back out there. In the end he will be a pitiful man skulking in the shadows and I for one will not pity him...

    October 21, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  12. J Russ

    actually Jimmy the tea party started because of Bush's TARP program......but why get the facts right

    October 21, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Linda from Minnesota

    Just when you think they can't get any crazier than Sarah Palin or Rick Perry, along comes Ted Cruz.

    October 21, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Smeagel4T

    Ya know what, Cruz. You actually only represent those Texans who voted for you. You don't represent anybody outside of Texas, and you don't represent those Texans who didn't vote for you.

    October 21, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Is he an American?

    October 21, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. DJ Reality

    When Ted Cruz looks into a mirror he sees the most damaging thing to the GOP!

    October 21, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Michael M

    I am a social democrat and a fiscal republican... during each election year I vote based on a number of things either democrat or republican and each election is different for me. No matter how much time passes I will not forget what the far right Tea Party did or try to do to this country with shutting down the government and coming hours from defaulting on the national debt. I will not vote for a republican during the next couple of election cycles they have proven to be a liability to this country.

    October 21, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Doc Ock

    Funny how the tea party has this fear of immigration, thought the president wasn't born in the U.S blah blah blah...and their current hero is an immigrant, not born in the US.....seems like convenient morals to me.

    October 21, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Joe The Plumber

    To parahrase Shakespear, "Methinks Cruz protests too strongly."

    October 21, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  20. E.Daniels

    Just say "NO" to Republicans.

    October 21, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. bill

    The single most problem with this country are the neo-radical GOP terrorists. The republicans nearly destroyed America with the Great Recession under dubya and now they are trying to finish the job under Cruz. Only China, Iran, Syria, North Korea would foster such extremist radical ideologies of taking care of the few and oppressing the majority. I think Ted Cruz is more of a threat to America than Bin Laden ever was.

    October 21, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. Ely K.

    Maybe next time it comes up, we just go ahead and let TX secede!

    October 21, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. PM Ohio

    Gerrymandring and unlimited political donations by influence peddlers in the problem. The House members in Red states only have to worry about an even more outrageously right winger than themselves, becasue they are very safe knowing all of the drones in thier district will pull the "R" lever, even if the guy is sociopath, as long as they say they are Republicans.

    October 21, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. bill

    Don't blame Texas or Texans for Ted Cruz. We still don't know how this Canadian came here and got elected or why he keeps saying he's from Texas. The GOP must have really hijacked our voting precincts and/or disenfranchised a majority of the voters to get Cruz elected. We are as surprised as the rest of America that Ted Cruz is our senator but don't worry as we aim to change that either through impeachment or during his re-election year!

    October 21, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. seemssoobvious

    Cruz says America supports his views yet majority voting says otherwise . He is a Joe McCarthy wanna be . Every time he says something is so ,facts say it's a lie . And just like McCarthy he thinks if he yells and rants long enough it becomes the truth . I say this as a Kansas born conservative who never supported neo-cons/tea party radicals hate mongering .

    October 21, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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