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. teaparty days are numbered

    Ted Cruz, Wrong for Canada, Wrong for America, Just Right for Cuba.

    October 21, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. bp

    I have to admire Cruz's ability to deny reality. No wonder he's such a Tea Party darling.

    October 21, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Joe P

    This guy is so out of touch w/America it's damn scary! Please, people, vote these jerks out.

    October 21, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Wake Up

    Un-freakin'-believable, this guy. The reason Sarah Palin is always standing behind him is because he's her hand puppet. He is doing exactly the kind of bull "stuff" she'd do. What she cannot have, she will destroy. The Tea Party needs to see itself marginalized and unable to do anything about it.
    And the Koch Brothers should write the US Government a check for $24 billion to cover the cost of THEIR shutdown.

    October 21, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. dubhlinn

    The Tea Party: Ensuring no future GOP Presidential victories

    October 21, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Mojoman4u

    Pres. Clinton (via James Carville) made the phrase "its the economy, stupid" the linchpin of his successful 1992 campaign. Sen. Cruz is proof that we can now say that "Its the Republicans, stupid" will be the linchpin of the 2016 campaign.

    October 21, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Michael in Houston

    Ego maniac. Remember this.....Cruz will not be re- elected here in Texas. He will run for President of course but he wont make it far. I dont know what it will take for this Tea Party to realize their days are numbered and this Nation as a whole wants nothing more to do with any of them.

    October 21, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. Truth Hurts

    Your RINOS are Unicorns. Keep chasing the dread Ted Quixote

    October 21, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Dan

    Okay, this weak GOP myth needs to stop. Yes, their poll numbers are in the toilet; however they have been a driving force of economic policy for decades, and it will remain so for years. They just love to play the underdog card; gets them bonus points with the under informed who can relate to taking one in the can, here and there. It is a myth, just like the liberal media. There is hardly anything in this country that is liberal; except for bike lanes and pot farms. Conservative policies are here to stay; that's what they paid for, so that's what they get. The side-show is free.

    October 21, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. buck cameron

    Ted, Go back to Canada, if they'll have you.

    October 21, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. Justin

    I can't understand how people actually voted in this clown. So out of touch with reality.

    October 21, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  12. Jo

    Why is a first-year Senator being allowed such a prominent role? Keep the wet-behind-the-ears newbies out of the spotlight until they've learnt the ropes, so they don't embarass themselves and the party.

    October 21, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. steve f

    Ted Cruz is an absolute moron. He and the tea party members blatantly disregard several *GOP* members about pushing the unfunding of Obamacare, this results in Americans losing work they cannot afford to lose, and then Cruz turns around and tries to blame it on the Republicans? I *soooo* don't think so. Mr. Cruz *is* the primary cause of this problem.

    October 21, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Leftcoastrocky

    "A new CNN/ORC poll finds that 54% of Americans say it's a bad thing that the Republican party controls the House of Representatives, 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."

    October 21, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. john.nosetip

    We seem to be following a predictable course. Times get tough and for some reason people start blaming the poor. The poor have very little influence over policy yet many blame them. Making matters worse is there is always some politician who seizes upon this warped logic. Said politician never has any solutions just numerous speeches on perceived problems

    October 21, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Billy

    this guy is just wrong for america. he thinks he knows what america wants, but he has no clue. he thinks just because he's heard the wishes from some crazy people in texas, he's heard the nation's wishes. the thing he needs to realize is that texas is not representative of america as a whole. he's just wrong, wrong, wrong...for america. we're moving forward as a nation whether the conservatives like it or not.

    October 21, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. Janalionberger

    How very sad that this guy is a biggot and will not admit defeat. ACA is the law, and until him and his kind get elected they can not and will not change it, but he is willing to allow many people to loose jobs, be unable to feed there families, pay there bills on time because he and the rest of the Tea Party are so un american that they are willing to destroy this country. He represents a very very small amount of folks not only in Texas but in this country. There is a reason these kind of people will not be elected ever. Sad, Sad, Sad I sure hope he can get on ACA and get some mental health counceling before it is too late.

    October 21, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. pat

    Cruz is running political ads on the radio. The average Texan will listen to these messages, hear what a good job he is doing for Texas and ultimately vote for him. I do not see him leaving the scene soon. There is no one else waiting to run for Senate from Texas that can win.

    October 21, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. I Morales

    I think that the Republicans have opened a Pandora's Box – it is clear that they are willing to play with the country's well being to push their own agenda even when they are clearly in the minority, i.e., they control one house of congress with 20+ members of congress. In my view, if we ever approach the same place we should all act as immaturely. I believe that it would be smart to close the government and threaten a US default on its debts unless the Republicans agree to comprehensive gun legislation to prevent another school shooting. On this issue most Americans agree that having a background law that works makes sense. If Republicans are willing to dispense with civility to challenge a law that was dully enacted and survived judicial review, we all should follow their lead for something that would help us all like gun legislation.

    October 21, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. Whosure

    Is anyone else saying about Ted Cruz, "Shut up! Shut up!! SHUT UP!!!!!!!"

    October 21, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. bellarue

    Dear Ted,

    Keep up the GREAT work. You're doing beautifully!


    Bill and Hilary

    October 21, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. bill

    How about we ask him where his 15 million in campaign contribution came from? If he wants reform why doesn't he stop taking money from industry and be the first one to ask for campaign reform.

    October 21, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Well, blaming the shutdown fiasco on Democrats didn't pass muster, so why not blame the Republicans?

    It's sad that most people don't realize just how skilled this man is at talking out of both sides of his mouth. Publicly he blames the President for "not negotiating", when the truth of the matter is that Cruz filibusted budget negotiations between the Senate and the House ever since the Senate finally passed a budget.

    October 21, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  24. AJ

    It's admirable that he's so concerned about what the "American People" want. The American People don't want you to shut down the government and have another debt ceiling crisis. So pick a position and try to stick with it.

    October 21, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  25. bill

    we need to stop lumping all conservatives and liberals into the same bucket.

    I for one am a fiscal conservative and social liberal person. Many of us exist in both parties.

    It's the fiscal liberals and social conservatives that are the problem.

    October 21, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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