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. Paladin Knight

    Ted Cruz is a monkey-boy!!!

    October 21, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. NavyDave

    Cruz' quote; "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,"

    This reveals an estonishing ability for self-delusion and an inability to read polling data. I welcome his entry into the 2016 Presidential sweepstakes. We will all get to watch him get schooled by the junction of reality and public response to his fringe beliefs and (extremely) divisive politics. He makes me feel sorry for Texas . . .

    October 21, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Billy

    When there are no fish readily available – sharks will turn on each other.

    October 21, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Rudy NYC
    What do you think Rudy? Is this Cruz crazy like a fox or what?
    The guy can look dead into the camera and lie without stuttering, mumbling, or speaking in word-salads.
    The man is NOT stupid. Not by far.
    Conveniently obtuse and short-sighted? Yes.
    The Koch brothers have at long last found themselves a good and greedy little soldier in Cruz.
    Romney had more money than Croceus so his motivation lagged at times even with the promise of the Oval Office. The fact is that Queen Ann wanted the presidency more than Romney.
    Cruz on the other hand...well, Cruz can use those buckets of duckets that the Kochs brothers periodically deliver to his campaign "coffers" (read: pockets).
    What say you Rudy?

    October 21, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. PushingBack

    I've never once thought about donating to a republican candidate but part of me thinks that would be a good strategy to give to Teddy Cruz. It would be like doubling any money given to a democrat. I hope this guy does not lose the spotlight. If he goes quiet until the elections next year the GOP could hold their ground. But if he keeps talking, and we know his ego will keep him going, we will have the best election results next year!

    October 21, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. corpsman

    "Anybody who doesn't think like I do is the problem."
    Ted Cruz

    October 21, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. bearitstrong

    Sure, Ted, moderate Republicans are the problem... yeah, un-uh.

    October 21, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Jeff6187

    It's very simple Ted. YOU and like-minded self-interested members of the House and Senate who have completely forgotten your mission of public service ... YOU are the problem. Do us all a favor and resign.

    October 21, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. peavey

    The man's full of himself... and nonsense.

    He lost.

    October 21, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. WhereIsPalin

    To Ted Cruz: You have a lot of competition in the GOP, if you think you are the second coming.

    October 21, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Larry in Houston

    """"For those whining that "Obama is spending money we don't have".... did any of you notice the $2.9 BILLION that Mitch McConnell (Republican) quietly included in the bill that passed to re-open the government last week– $2.9 BILLION that is to go to projects in his home state of Kentucky? Can we say pork? Remind me again just WHO is spending money that we don't have???"""""

    Thank You,Texas Ann – I thought 'ole Mitch was getting Millions, ( with an "M") instead, 'ole Mitch ended up getting Billions, ( with a "B") in Pork, for his state.

    Let me put it to you this way – IF I was in that back room, trying to deal with 'ole Mitch, I would have gotten some sort of an "even" trade.....It doesn't sound like 'ole Reid got much, other than to give "pork" to 'ole Mitch.

    LOL – – well, I can see that none of them really care about the debt this country has......Pityful I tell ya, Just pitiful
    Guess the Voters in this country will continue to elect the "Lifers" – – sad –

    October 21, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Ed G.

    @Se123; Wouldn't it be great if Cruz gets voted out of the house

    Yes, especially because he's in the Senate. Unfortunately, he'll be there for the remainder of his 6 year term.

    OTOH, he's playing the "Not my fault card" to it's fullest. He doesn't have to offer proof for anything he says because he's already convinced his Texan constituents that he's sane. After all, how could a whole state like Texas vote for insane Governors or Senators????

    October 21, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. History Bear

    The single majorproblem with the GOP is Ted Cruz and his ilk. This is a mean spirited, self aggrandizing individual who worships at the alter of money and power and cares not who he hurts . I'd love to have a moderate republican to vote for. Not real happy with the Demo's,,, but until the GOP realizes that their job is to help govern for ALL the people, not just the wealthy and until they divorce themself from the Tea Party Nazis, I'll continue to go Demo. Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him.

    October 21, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Lainie11

    We love Ted Cruz! Cruz for President. He displays more principles that Americans stand for than Dirty Harry has in his baby finger tip. We need to rid the Senate of all RINOS, and elect statesmen like Ted Cruz to the Senate and House.

    October 21, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. alf564

    Dear Ted,

    You sound just like obama. Do it my way or not at all and the problem is HE has the power, YOU don't....Try to understand that....

    October 21, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. dah00

    Ted and people like him are why the Republicans failed to take the WH and the Senate in 2012. I hope they lose the House in 2014, too. Let him keep pointing his finger at everyone but himself. Ha ha.

    October 21, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Ken

    Ted Cruz should go back to Canada.

    October 21, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Ken in MO

    Ted Cruze and the entire "Tea Party" are sick in the head and dangerously stupid. They no absolutely nothing about economics. They are a bunch of spoiled and danderous babies. They want to split the baby in half but in this case the baby is country. Fortunately the only thing that is going to be split in half if the Republican party. They have destroyed what was once a great party.

    October 21, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. CAL BOB

    You can thank the Koch brothers , Jim DeMint and the Supreme Court for getting these tee turds in office.

    October 21, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Truth

    Ted Cruz and his ilk are what's been so damaging. Twenty-four billion or something like it wasted because he threw a hissy fit like a toddler over not getting his way?

    Thanks Texas.

    October 21, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. NameLeeAT

    I didn't believe in ETs until now. This guy is definitely from another world.

    October 21, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. Craig

    He continues to talk as if his saying something will somehow make it a fact. The jury is still out on the ACA, and, in fact, if one could remove the GOP noise from the discussion I'd bet most people would be either "wait and see" or in favor. Sarah's still looking for those death panels, and Hannity is interviewing victims who, turns out, weren't victims at all. Sad.

    October 21, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Millie Bea

    Ted Cruz political action plan: after shooting yourself in the foot, repeat on other foot.
    I hope that the people in his constituency see what a joke he is making out of them.

    October 21, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Frank

    Cruz is a talking head and nothing more

    October 21, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. Jeremy

    Cruz does have a point though to an extent. The GOP fought against each other, instead of pulling themselves together on an agreement. As far as his idea on Obama-care and The Tea Party, that's just bologna...

    October 21, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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