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. anonymous

    No, Ted. It's just you.

    Go back to Canada or Cuba or whatever God-forsaken place you are from.

    October 21, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Cruz to the bottom

    He is for the people! Rich people

    October 21, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. rosethornne

    Would everyone PLEASE stop calling the radical anarchist extremist loonies "conservatives"?

    They are not conservatives.

    One of the primary definitions of conservative is "avoiding excess'. Need I say more?

    October 21, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    No Ted, I'm fairly certain you and the wing-nut teapartiers are the problem.

    October 21, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. steven

    I can understand the opposition to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) However its really petty and beneath members of congress and the senate to oppose passing budgets to pay the debts of the United States, because of a bill that was LEGALLY passed and LEGALLY UPHELD by the Supreme Court.

    If you want to fight the Affordable Care Act??? Then find a better solution and/or put forward measures to amend the bill through the proper channels.

    This little stunt pulled by the "leaders" of this so called government have twice now put the full faith and credit of the United States up for question and should all be fired for refusing to fund the country regardless of the debt issues. That and maybe people should vote for new representatives.

    October 21, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. beetle1a

    Ever notice that Cruz always points out how he's against the ACA. The problem is he never really gets into the reason why he is so vehemently opposed Don't give me the stats of two million voters are against the LAW, there may be in his district, give me the reasons why all voters should be against it. Either that or quit running for president and find solutions.

    October 21, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. ritmocojo

    Does Senator Rafael Cruz count himself as part of the problem? He being in the Senate himself. But I'm willing to bet $100 he doesn't count himself as part of the problem he speaks of. No surprise there...

    October 21, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    My Texan grandfather and father would definitely be ashamed ...or actually would have worked hard not to allow him to get to Congress. Ted Cruz, his father and Benny Hinn are not going to take over this country.

    October 21, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Shan

    Ted Cruz is all Democrats need for 2014
    The more this kid talks it benefits Democrats
    way to go Ted

    October 21, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Carter Sherline

    Cruz is nothing like the Founding Fathers. The the core group of Founding Fathers were left wing radicals. Cruz is a philosophical descendent of the conservatives that argued with the core group of Founding Fathers and who had to be dragged kicking and screaming, and given compromises to that we suffer still to this day for, to sign the Declaration of Independence. It is just as true that the Tea Party has nothing to do with the original Boston Tea Party. Same Adams would rollover in his grave if he knew what his name and that of what he led were being used to promote...and he was centrist compared to his cousin John Adams.

    October 21, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Jill-IN

    Ted Cruz has been in the U.S. Senate 10 months, wreaked all kinds of havoc and is proud of it, and believes he is not the problem but it's those pesky other GOP senators. He just doesn't get it ... he is only elected by people in Texas and people from 49 other States elect their own senators and could give a flying flip about Ted Cruz. What an amateur.

    October 21, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Yes Rafael bin laden, because in trying to run on fiscal conservatives ideals you cost our country, not yours Canada, $24 BILLION.
    Way to stand your ground. Too bad it wasn't quicksand!

    October 21, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Smog has choked China's northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, forcing schools and highways to shut and disrupting flights on Monday.

    The density of airborne particles was several times above World Health Organisation recommended limits.


    As the Tea Party and Ted Cruz will tell you , Climate change is not caused by humans !

    October 21, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. RDB

    Patrick Henry???? The guy was a religious bigot....tried to pass laws keeping Catholics out of the country.....go back to school

    October 21, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. annie45

    He is an embarrasment, but also dangerous with his semi-hidden goals of Dominion Theology (along with his father a Benny Hinn follower).

    October 21, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. sly

    We should've finished the Confederates while we had a chance.

    This Mexican Cruz is out to destroy America – quite possibly he works for Al Queda.

    He's not American is he? I consider him an enemy of the American people for treasonous behavior. Trial then execution would be appropriate.

    October 21, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Jacob J.

    McCarthy, Agnew, Perot, Palin, and now Cruz. Methinks Republicans are inbreeding. And we all know what dire results that brings.

    October 21, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Carl, Secaucus, NJ

    So those GOP senators who decided it wouldn't be a good idea for the country to default, they're the problem, according to Cruz.

    October 21, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. evitan

    If you're wondering how and why Ted Cruz was elected, Blake (Flake) Farenthold R-Texas would REALLY make your head spin!!!

    October 21, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. davehhds

    LOONEY TUNE !!!! People say he's brilliant...me thinks brilliant = insane !

    October 21, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. joejeffrey

    Go, Ted, Go!! Demonstrate to the fanatics that, unbelievable as it seems, the large majority of the nation is moderate, middle-of-the-road, and recognizes that America is and always has been a complicated place with conflicting values - and that most Americans understand that and understand that that's why compromise is necessary. Demonstrate it by getting the Talilban wing of the Republican Party banished back under the rocks where it belongs, by losing elections. And then maybe we adults can get back to having two actual political parties - a more progressive one and a more cautious one - and governing the nation, instead of the Democratic Party on one side and a bunch of fools, fanatics, and frothing-at-the-mouth true believers on the other.

    October 21, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. davehhds

    A better description of Ted is "Fascist" look it up !!

    October 21, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Thomas

    It would be a Democrat's dream if Ted Cruz statement was taken as fact by the GOP and the Tea Party takes over their party. Can you imagine how easily the dems will sweep the Oval Office, House and Senate! Keep up the good work Ted!


    The sad reality is there are some in the TeaParty who believe the Oklahoma City bomber was a Patriot !

    Cruz , Palin are not remotely , but un remotely in this for financial gain , they are in it for only themselves .

    October 21, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. aaron

    Why would any Senate Repubs even deal with this nasty so and so? All he's going to do is backstab them if they don't agree with 100% to let the government stay shut down and let the U.S. default on his debt. Beyond insanity.

    October 21, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC


    I certainly concur with the comments so far. Ted Cruz is a loose canon and someone needs to take control of his mouth.
    That's just it, though. Someone has taken control of his mouth. His campaign donors. Thanks to Citizens United, members of Congress no longer need to look to their party's leaders for the larger campaign donations. Party leaders have been completely undermined and rendered impotent because they no longer hold the strings to the only big purse full of large campaign donations. Cruz is on record stating that he doesn't answer to Republican party leadership, never has and never will.

    October 21, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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