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. Progman

    Cruz is doing exactly what his Texas constituents want him to do. He will be re-elected in a landslide by Texans desiring a return of power to the states.

    October 21, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. bcw

    Keep it up Cruz. The American people are counting on you to break the GOPs in the republican party into two in 2014. Or even three small little parties, GOP, TEA and Looneytoon. Tha't all folks!

    October 21, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Cruz Hates America

    Not sure which Americans you are talking about Teddy, but you are not siding with this American.

    October 21, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. me

    what else do you expect this loser to say...

    October 21, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Somebody dropped a Turd in the Tea.

    October 21, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. PCc

    you should know, Ted–you are one!

    October 21, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    genoasteve asked:

    Does Sen Cruz remind anyone of Sen Joe McCarthy?
    Yes, and not only does he look like a young Joe McCarthy, his voice is eerily similar to McCarthy's.


    I know most libs are bashing this guy, he is an easy target, but I believe this is exactly what he should do and is right in doing so. Republicans have been pushed around by this President and Senate and their inability to push back harder and stronger is the reason they are so weak right now as a party.
    The right wing is weak because they are weak minded. They've allowed a radio comedian, Limbaugh, to become the main think tank for their movement.

    People forget that Limbaugh began his career as a AM radio comedian, which was quite popular in rural areas 30 years ago, particularly late at night. He began making fun Billy Carter, Pres. Carter's trouble-prone brother, and his ratings soared. Rush eventually made his entire act about mocking silly liberals and dumb Democrats. The rest is history. People take his act too seriously today, but I remember when it was something meant to be laughed at and not taken seriously at all.

    October 21, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Scott Cluthe aka Seymore Foxhole

    Thanks Ted! keep it up ! Raise the ante dude !

    YOU are the best source of funding possible for the next Texas governor, Wendy Davis!

    You'll personally drag all the lunatics like Dan Patrick out of office ! So sweet ! You are a certified idiot.

    signed a certified Texan

    October 21, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Matt

    Is this guy for real?

    October 21, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  10. stewart

    Strip ted of all committee assignments, put him in the basements offices and turn out the lights. when he walks on the floor everyone should leave. make him a non factor

    October 21, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  11. Proof that it isn't a problem in two parties

    This is the nonsense that keeps newspapers and digital media in business. Because it is CRAZY. Everybody loved Sarah Palin for being a train wreck. It was awesome to watch. Cruz fills that Honey Boo-Boo void.

    October 21, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  12. rep

    Sure Cruz. Everyone who thinks differently from you is wrong, right? Even though you voted with Democrats after that faux filibuster flop? Even though you knew to cave after costing the country $24B on the shutdown standoff? Really?

    October 21, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. SamB19

    What a whining fool. Doesn't he know that the ACA is legitimatelly enacted law? If he doesn't like it, he'd better lobby for a change using legislature. How embarrassing that tea party freaks keep on acting like spoiled toddlers in a toy store.

    October 21, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. Beam me up Scotty

    To change the law of the land you need to follow the American process. Get elected, pass bills using majority votes.
    That's the deal.

    October 21, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. Starr

    Better stock up on the Dr. Seuss books Teddy! You'll need some reading material when you get the boot!

    October 21, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  16. Embarrassed Republican

    who let these wackos take over my party?

    October 21, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  17. mjbrin

    this is so fifth grade!
    seriously! i work at a school and this is exactly what happens at recess! It's not me it's them! back and forth and back and forth! take responsibility for your own actions already! please!

    October 21, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. Embarrassed Republican

    its my party and I'll cry, not because I want to, but because I have to.

    October 21, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. steven james

    Senator Cruz: The Senate GOP is not the problem... YOU ARE THE PROBLEM! How dare you shut down the government placing people's lives in danger. If you don't like Obamacare, do something about it at the next election! GROW UP!

    October 21, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. PS

    Not all of us voted for you here in Texas, Ted! In fact you only won 56% of the votes – not exactly a landslide. We will remember your insanity when it's your turn for re-election. Trust me.

    October 21, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Sal V.

    Ted Cruz is a real American representing real Americans. He said so.

    October 21, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  22. jw

    we need to get this guy removed from office – immediately. he is a danger to himself and all of us. he needs to be in an institution.

    October 21, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. regororedam

    Oh, BTW, what's the main difference between a septic tank and Ted Cruz? A septic tank is below ground; Cruz is above ground. We need to fix this.

    October 21, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  24. Brenda

    The man needs silenced permanently.

    October 21, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. ItSoNlYmE

    Ted, Ted, Ted, Ted. It's not the GOP Senate caucus that's the problem. YOU are the problem. You and the rest of your tea party nut jobs. You don't live in the real world.

    October 21, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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