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. kiska k

    What a backstabber! Great way to make friends and influence people in your own party.

    October 21, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Laurie

    Cruz has it wrong. HE is the most damaging thing to the Republican party. His ego is so vast he can't see it. I hope he keeps at it, just makes the Republican party's demise that much quicker.

    October 21, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. Unhappy Texan

    Hey Cruz, you don't speak for a majority of Americans, and certainly not a majority of Republicans either. Your antics have pushed this Republican away from any "tea party" support and from you definitely. I got to lose 2 weeks of work because of you, so when you feel the guilt to pay me back my lost wages, we'll talk.

    October 21, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Sandra Tambini

    Stunning that this level of idiocy (or is it evil?) actually exists in 2013.

    October 21, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. ProudACLU

    I believe in the freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. The GOP has gone from the loyal opposition to the extreme end-of-times dominion party and no amount of logic is going to sway them. You can tell them that the deficit is down, that Congress approves all spending, President Obama has made major concessions on spending (far more than we on the left approve) and yet to listen to the RWNJ's – the President is the sole reason that the debit is so high and is killing the US

    October 21, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Debbie

    The tea party and Ted Cruz are toxic. Saying that they are not good for the U S is an understatement.
    I know he doesn't believe it, but the tea party only represents a small minority of the U S.
    Holding the rest of the country hostage for the extreme, dangerous and uninformed crusades of the very few is not a good idea.
    Most of the people that wish the federal government would stay closed forever and wish for a debt default don't really understand how government works. Government is supposed to be for and by the people.
    The U S is the people, and it is not just the tea party or Ted Cruz.

    October 21, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    I voted Republican most of the tim. As an independent I lost my appetite withe GOP most specially the ones associated with the Tea Party. I don't have a clue what this Party stands for but they are too extremist. Not a good Party for America period.

    October 21, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Beishline

    Cruz is as damaging to the American people as Sen. McCarthy was in the 1950's regardless of which party one belongs to.

    October 21, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. D

    He's talking about himself, right? Right??

    October 21, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. TheTraveler

    Joe said: "This is the government that Americans wanted – radicals at both ends of the political spectrum who are unwilling to compromise in pursuit of their extremist agendas."

    Hardly. There will always be, and always have been people on the far right and left. That is not going to change. What has changed is that there has generally been decent leadership in the House and Senate, along with more pragmatic and moderate voices to work out the problems. Unfortunately, John Boehner's leadership in the House was less than effective in direction and guidance in recent years. That, along with media loving and self-serving members like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, and the concerted interests of well-funded ultra-right conservative superPACs and groups, have created a "my way of the highway" mentality.

    I would wager the majority of voting Americans are pretty fed up with the insanity and brinksmanship in government right now.

    Improve the leadership and moderation will return.

    October 21, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    America, our country is bankrupt...cut the spending

    I believe Ted Cruz when he says we are $17 trillion in debt and growing, that this massive unsustainable debt is growing and harming America's future. No politician, including Obama, will address the problem with spending. Obama is part of the problem. We need to cut the credit cards and stop spending so much and growing government so much. We are watching the end of America having gone from $10 trillion to $17 trillion in just a few short OBAMA years!
    Which is exactly why Pres. Obama was re-elected. Republicans do not believe in balanced budgets. Do not deny the fact that Bush handed off a annual budget deficit that was close to $1.5 trillion. That figure has since been cut by at least half.

    Pres. Obama had released a long term budgetary plan that balanced the annual budget in ten years. The Ryan Plan didn't balance the budget for at least 30 years, some say 40. Faced with this disparity, Ryan 'changed' his claim to a decade.

    October 21, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Admiral_Akbar

    um, yeah... $24 Billion was just piled up and set on fire. Don't buy into the economic impact hype.

    October 21, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Rick Reid

    I wish the press would stop printing about this guy. For a 1 st term Senator he's garnered way to much press. If he thinks the "Other" Republicans" are the problem he is totally of base. Which doesn't surprise. I think he is on another planet at the moment. I hope Texas either recalls him or boot him out the next time around.

    October 21, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Lance Pearson

    Ted Cruz is dishonest, a complete nut case. He is the loosest of canons. The more this Canadian born Texan runs his mouth the more obvious it is the tea party needs to take a hike. He says whatever he creates in his own fantasy head. Another Texas ass.

    October 21, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Linda from Minnesota

    Just when you think they can't get any crazier than Sarah Palin or Rick Perry, along comes Ted Cruz.
    I've been posting all day today that he's crazy like a fox.
    This guy is the male counterpart of Sarah Palin with some brains.
    He's smoother, and more polished than Failin' Palin, and he won't terminate his Koch brothers issued paycheck by going rogue.
    Ted Cruz doesn't care about the Republican party or the Tea Party for that matter because Ted Cruz is a party of ONE.
    Keep an eye on the slime...

    October 21, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. John M

    Ted Cruz is delusional.

    October 21, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. start eating teabags

    He should lead the march to republistan.

    first the tea ships come to pick up ALL the republicans.
    Second, in the middle of the ocean above republistan, he walks the plank first.

    October 21, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Jason

    Welcome to Democracy! Remember the good ole days when the Republic protected me from the masses of idiots!

    October 21, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. Erik

    Ted Cruz is exactly what we need. When liberals and Democrats hate him thats when we know we have a winner. We need more fiscally responsible folks who are willing to make the sacrifice. Get rid of the Senate Rhino Republicnans.

    October 21, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. crippled dog

    You sir and your ilk are the problem. You think your rights go past the end of your nose. Well, they DON'T. That's where everyone else's rights start. Once a Repugnican always a Repugnican.

    October 21, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Linda from Minnesota

    Just when you think they can't get any crazier than Sarah Palin or Rick Perry, along comes Ted Cruz.
    I've been posting all day today that he's crazy like a fox.
    This guy is the male counterpart of Sarah Palin with some brains.
    And the winner is ..... ........ ......... nine, nine, nine.

    October 21, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. razrig

    Be it known.....as Canadians, early on we recognized the toxicity in Cruz and sent him packing south. Our apologies but given the danger, we needed to boot him out under any circumstances. Again, we are so sorry.

    October 21, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. theemptyone1

    Everyone else had said it; Cruz is a nominal American, like his Leftie counterpart, Piers Morgan, who comes with that old, Londoner attitude that the world should be made "England," even the current Orwellian version. It first requires a HUGE, out of control ego to think your personal opinions – all of them – ought to be the rule. Morgan bashes his head against the Constitution in a very basic way, every time he does another reactionary commentary about the Second Amendment. Cruz is merely his polar opposite. What do you expect?

    October 21, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Calcommuter

    When Cruz and the other extreme righties start a sentence with "The vast majority of Americans.." they mean the opposite. In reality, the vast majority of Americans DO want affordable healthcare. And the vast majority blames Cruz and Republicans, mostly the House for the shutdown and threat of default. He blames the Senate because they wouldnt drink his koolaid..

    October 21, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    The Cruzinistas will do whatever they want to. They have made it clear that they are not interested in what is good for the country, only what serves their interests in the short term. A more perfect disciple of Ayn Rand could not be found.

    October 21, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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